30 Days of Truth - Day Three: Something I have to forgive myself for.

I have been pondering this post for a few days now and writing it and re-writing it in my head.  You are probably wondering, why?  What is so hard about this one, well trust me-these are all kind of hard... The truth is HARD.  Hard to admit and often times very hard to face.

Here is some background that you are going to need.  My almost 4 year old son and I are having 'issues'.  I am sure it is all related to the fact that, a) He is 4 years old and stubborn and bossy and, b) I am 38 years old and stubborn and bossy.  Ah, yes, it is very apparent at times like this that he is indeed my son.  He does not like being told what to do, even if the very thing he is being told to do is exactly what he NEEDS to do at that moment (think pee, eat, sleep).

Then you add me and my flaws and well, it can get messy.  I am not a patient person.  I like things done when I ask and that is that.  Repeating myself over and over and over and over and over and over and.....(are you getting the picture?), well that just drives me completely insane.

So along comes Monday morning this week and wow, it was a doozie!  First, he did not want to get out of bed, then it was a fight to get him to go pee and then IT happened.  Somehow he has it in his head that if he does not touch the toilet while he is peeing, then he does not need to wash his hands.  This is NOT the rule in our house. The rule is, you go to the bathroom, you wash your hands-END OF STORY!!  Always has been and always will.

He refused to wash his hands, I insisted, he refused, I reiterated the RULE, he refused again and again and again.  At which point I LOST IT!!  There I was repeating myself over and over, like some modern version of Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest, "Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, WASH YOUR HANDS!!!"

....and then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and lost it on a whole other level.  What I saw in that mirror was not pretty.  I saw this ugly, red-faced, crazy woman SCREAMING at her child, who was cringing and afraid (and I don't blame him, because I scared myself too.)  I immediately left the room, went and sat down and proceeded to bawl my freakin' eyes out.

I kept thinking in my head, what am I doing?  What kind of image and message is this sending to my kid?  Am I scarring him forever?  What is MY problem?  Why can't I figure out a better way to communicate with him? And so I cried, I gave in, I just let those rough waves of motherhood wash over me, pull me under and make me feel like giving up.  My husband came in to check on me at that point and I said the words, "I can't do this anymore."  I am not sure exactly what I meant, but I was DONE at that very moment.  No more mama juice, out of gas, next station 225 miles from here!!

But of course that can't happen. So I picked myself up, revved my mama engine on the fumes that I had left and headed out to have breakfast with everyone.  By this point I was all nice and puffy-eyed and sniffling from all the sobbing and not one to let anything slip, DS looks at me, big eyes and a big smile on his face and says:

"Mommy, are you crying?  Why are you crying?"

LIKE THE LAST 15 MINUTES DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!!

Seriously, he was genuinely oblivious as to why I was upset and was obviously not in the least way suffering any ill effects from my psychotic outburst.

The problem I am having is that I am suffering.   I remember what I looked like while I was screaming at my child.  I saw the fear in his face (even for a few milliseconds) and made him cry.  And I don't want to be that mom.  The one who can't control her anger, who doesn't recognize when she needs a time out and not the other way around and so I really feel that I have to figure out a way to forgive myself for this incident.  It is an easy thing to say and a very hard thing to do.  No one sets out to mess up their kids, but in the end we all have some kind of mommy issues right?

Ack!!

Alright.  I, Natasha, forgive myself for losing it on my kid and scaring the pants off of both of us!  I can't promise it won't happen again, but I do promise to do better, to know my limits, recognize his limits, take my time-outs and realize that he is only 4 years old and not out to intentionally drive me crazy (at least not yet)!

And after a tough day like that, the best thing I can think of to help is some closeness and babywearing-no matter how old said 'baby' is!!

Natasha~

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.  ~Mark Twain