I felt it surfacing. The bubbling frustration underneath that I had so long tried to push beneath the surface and prevent from lashing out on my children. Finally, one last squabble among two of my children broke the last straw, and the yelling began.
I have been so good at applying positive parenting techniques and was so proud of how patient I was. However, every now and then, I get worn out. There comes a point when I can no longer focus all of my energy on trying to help keep the peace in the household, making sure we are all fed, the house is clean, and the homeschool lessons are done. Sometimes I want to be taken care of.
And so there it was. I had a throbbing headache and I still was pushing myself to be mom and to continue our day. It could have been an easy fix and I could have tapped out, politely ask my spouse to take over what I was doing, and just rest. But I didn’t. Instead, I yelled. I irrationally scolded at my children, and not just one, but all. They were not all to be blamed. But all of my frustrations and achiness just were released. I stormed off and returned, feeling a mixture of emotions. I was partially relieved that my frustration came out, but then I also became upset at myself for handling it in such a terrible manner. What kind of example was I setting to my kids by throwing this adult tantrum? What do I usually try to tell them when they act out in such a way? It is definitely not something that is encouraged. Then guilt overcame me. How am I helping to model good emotional health by behaving this way? What if it only perpetuates and they copy it? By regretting and blaming myself more, it did not help the situation.
I calmed myself down and eventually approached them apologetically. I explained that the built up frustration, paired with an immense headache had set me off into a spiraling tantrum. I felt incredibly embarrassed for the scene that I had caused. They were very understanding and forgiving. I was so appreciative of their reactions.
We all ended our evening on a good note and I knew I just needed a well-deserved sleep. (On usual nights, I stay up late to work or have some “me time.”) Tonight’s “me time” would be to sleep early and forego watching Netflix.
The next morning, I awoke to find this handmade card from my kids.
It definitely was the cherry on top of my kids’ thoughtfulness and forgiveness. I truly knew that regardless of how monstrous I behaved the other day, my children understand that people have their bad moments. They knew that I had good intentions and was not feeling well. If they could forgive me, so could I. I would need to stop beating myself over my irrational yelling and move forward with my day, thankful and appreciative of the learning experience.
So, I write this to remind myself that yes, although we work so hard to be the best parents we can be and implement so many positive parenting strategies, we still are human.