I was on edge all day today. Every single thing my kids did drove me insane. They were too loud. Too rambunctious. Too inquisitive. Too hungry. Too difficult. I could not figure out what had gotten into them. Was it a full moon? I griped at them incessantly. As the day progressed, my complaining only worsened. I thought about the drive home from Steamboat tomorrow, the snow piling up outside currently and the holiday weekend traffic sure to be horrendous, and I became even more short-tempered. Around 9 p.m. I decided that they needed to go to bed simply because I could not deal with them any longer.
As I tucked them in, my sweet and sensitive Joe apologized to me for being so “bad” today. His apology hit me hard, not because I was grateful that he’d recognized how obnoxious he had been but because for the first time all day I realized that he was not my problem today. I was. I had a rotten attitude all day. I was the one who made everything worse. I woke up tired and grumpy and tortured everyone with my foul mood. My boys were not any different today than they are on any other day. I was simply less prepared to deal with it because I hadn’t slept well and was out of sorts.
I hate waking up twelve hours after I’ve actually woken up and at last knowing that the source of all my problems during the day was me. If I had been able to soften my attitude, to relax and accept that what was troubling me was not my boys’ behavior but my inability to deal with it on this particular day, I’m sure today would have been much more pleasant for all of us. After Joe’s comment, I went through about an hour of serious self-loathing. Why had I been unable to recognize that the only common denominator in all the friction of the day was me? Why had I been so unkind to my sweet boys, the ones who mean the world to me? Ugh. I wanted to crawl in a hole or cry or crawl in a hole and cry.
Then, it finally hit me that what I most need in this moment is to cut myself some slack. It was a bad day for me, but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. I was tired, too tired to recognize that my noxious attitude was the source of every problem throughout the day. Truth is, though, none of it matters. If I wasn’t the world’s best parent today, it’s okay. I can learn from my actions and go forward. And even if I experience another day like today, I know that what matters is the sum total of my parenting, not a few mistake-ridden days. So, I am going to stop beating myself up for being an ass today. I’m going to go to bed and get some much needed rest. Then I’m putting on my bravest Scarlett O’Hara attitude because, after all, tomorrow is another day.