Friday, June 7, 2013

Cultivating Calm {A Confession}

I didn't really know I had a temper until I became a mom.  Something about trying to convince little people to put away their things, while simultaneously picking up the trail of clothes, shoes, legos, cups, paper shreds, and topless markers they leave behind in their wake brought seemed to have brought it out in me.  Today I had a moment of darkness.  I found my nearly two-year-old mischievous {on his best days} son cleaning the bathroom floor with the toilet brush, which was dripping wet with the pee that his oldest sister “forgot” to flush down... again...  Yelling is not something I'm proud of, and I want so badly to remain calm in these situations, knowing that at some point in the {very very distant} future, I will look back and laugh at the havoc he caused.

But despite my intentions to not be a yeller, there it was.  Loud and scary and not at all who I want to be or the kind of mother I want my children to have.  I was so angry in that moment, angry from the crazy crying that had been going on all morning, angry because my little guy is going through separation anxiety and has me getting up all night for the past week and I didn't sleep well again, angry because I must say twenty times a day to flush the potty {really how hard is it to remember???} and yet there it was – bright yellow pee covering the floor and my son and threatening to put me in cardiac arrest I was so upset!

Reflecting back on it now, I know I over-reacted.  Majorly.  I knew it at the time as well, but that didn't stop the yelling.  In fact, just moments after my tantrum, I apologized to all three of my kids, trying to take away some of the sting I'm sure they felt from my harsh, abrasive tone.  I could see in the eyes of my daughter, I had terrified her.  It was my eyes, my angry eyes that were enough to send her sobbing and running into her room, locking the door behind her.

It's not an easy thing to admit to these less-than-perfect moments of motherhood, but it's real.  We all have hard days, we all do things we regret, we all lose control of our emotions and act in ways we are ashamed of later.  It's part of being a parent.  It's part of being a human.

Tonight, we played a little longer than usual, and they had already forgotten everything about the incident this morning, but that doesn't ease my guilt.  I know I wasn't the mommy I want to be today.  But that's okay.  I have tomorrow with them to be better for them.  To cultivate calmness in myself for my own happiness sake, but mostly for the sake of my babies.  They deserve a calm mother.  Children are amazingly forgiving, I know mine have already moved on from the happenings of today.  Now so must I.

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