Dear readers, this post is part confessional and part, "Maybe you can relate?" Yesterday evening was a huge mommy fail moment for me. I yelled at my son. I'm not typically a "yeller." I have a naturally low tone voice so raising it feels unnatural and uncomfortable for me. This morning I woke up feeling the sting of my inadequacies. Sleep eluded me all night, and today I'm questioning how I could have lost my temper over essentially nothing.
Normally when my son comes home from school he has a snack and watches a little TV before completing his homework. Yesterday he watched a little more TV than usual. I try to let him take the lead on when he completes his homework because I want him to be able to understand and manage his schedule. On any
given school day he watches one half hour program and begins his homework. Yesterday was the exception when he decided to start his homework at the exact same time that I began dinner. I decided to get "fancy" for supper and make something complicated. Naturally this seemed to coincide on a day where he was having math amnesia and forgot the most fundamental math facts. I was so busy rushing back and forth between the dining room where my son was completing his homework, and the kitchen where every burner was going and the oven was being used in order for to me to fulfill my inner Julia Child fantasies.
Between responding to the constant calls of "MOM!" and answering to the multiple dings of the kitchen timer, it happened. I felt the heat of anger rise from the pit of my stomach to the corners of my face and... *SNAP!* Just like that, I yelled. Loudly! I looked at my son and admonished him for not paying attention, for not reading directions, for not listening. I watched as his normally bright eyes widened in fear and flood with tears. As my son ran off to the bathroom to comfort himself, I just stood there in the kitchen doorway pumped full of adrenaline and shocked at my horrible behavior. In that moment I thought (and I still feel like), "I am a terrible mother. I failed him. I failed myself." Before I let that venom escape my mouth, I should have verbalized to him that I was feeling overwhelmed. What I needed to do was to take a "time-out" for myself.
As parents we delude ourselves into thinking that we are amazing multi-taskers, but in reality we can only do one thing really well at a time. During yesterday's debacle, in that moment I could have prepared a perfect gourmet meal, or I could have been the perfect tutor for my son, but in trying to do both I upset my precious boy AND dinner was sub par because my timing was thrown off. What added insult to injury was when after licking his wounds, my son walked over to the kitchen and handed me a piece of paper (pictured below). Even though I was completely in the wrong, my son apologized to me. Yup folks, I'm a officially a schmuck. He desperately wanted to make amends, to make things right, to feel loved by his mother again. I knelt down in front of my little man and embraced him. I never want my words spoken out of frustration to be his inner voice. Through my tears I told him how sorry and wrong I was and asked if he could forgive me. He squeezed me tighter and said, "Yes, mommy. I love you." We stayed in that position hugging one another for what felt like minutes. I think I needed that hug more than he did.
Still feeling like a schmuck,
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!