Here we are again at the end of another week. Five weeks into term and my body has slowly succumbed to illness. Me and son2 have shared our germs – I blame his insistence on sharing my porridge spoon each morning- and we have been ill all week. Illness combined with husbandface’s busiest week so far, not making it home for bedtime a couple of days and barely the others, and we have perfect conditions for what happened over the last couple of days.
Towards the beginning of the week we were doing well. Tuesday (normally our most ‘challenging’ evening) went well, so much so that son1 and I high fived in the bath because shouty lady hadn’t appeared. Sadly as the week went on my patience left, my energy levels plummeted and my resources to deal with small people well were depleted. The days were too long and with small stresses in our home I went over the edge of sanity.
I used to think I’d dealt with the anger that had plagued me as a teenager. In my twenties anger didn’t seem to feature all that much. I think maybe I just didn’t have anyone close enough to get angry with. It’s pretty easy not to get angry with friends. We generally present our best selves to each other. The people who hang around us 24/7 generally see more of the messy stuff of our lives. When I got married anger lurked and presented itself in different guises. As a couple our anger is pretty contained. We are both hedgehogs in the way we deal with it. Silently spiking each other with our loud loud silences. I used to think that wasn’t anger but now I know it’s just a different type of anger.
Having kids brought a whole new level of anger I just wasn’t, and am still not, all that used to dealing with. To be fair friends did warn me and assure me that it is normal for anger to be a massive part of the emotions of parenting. It was still a surprise that I could feel such rage at my baby not sleeping, not napping when I thought he should and more. I know it comes from a place of being out of control, from sleep deprivation and from being with the same people 24/7. There is little time to regroup and breathe. Knowing where it comes from is half the battle but oh is it hard to manage at times.
I guess I’m talking about it here because so few people do. There is part of me that is terrified to admit it, just in case everyone thinks I’m awful.(and let’s face it I’m quick to get my judgement on when I hear people shouting at their kids in public). I know we all have shouty moments at our kids (if you don’t please please tell me how you manage it.). I know I desperately don’t want to shout at them but I also know the deep deep frustration that lurks when they have ignored me for the 100th time or demand pasta for 2 hours and then refuse to eat it when it comes.
Yesterday I raged at the boys and all my parenting strategies for being calm and patient went out of the window. It wasn’t pretty. Weirdly they’ve forgotten all about it and were incredibly excited to see me this morning. It’s harder for me to forget that actually the overriding message they get from me is love. I remember the hideous moments. They have a shorter memory and are happy in the assurance of my love for them. I’m not saying that makes it ok. It isn’t ok to shout (except if they are about to stab each other with knives etc) but it is normal and human. It isn’t ok but there is forgiveness from my kids and from God. I can only keep going each day because of that grace. I need forgiveness, I need help to love my kids well and even though I shouted and raged at the One who loves me most as well last night there is still forgiveness today. I rest in that.
Over to you. Tell me how you deal with the anger, the shouty moments and the crazy times. Please. Let me know I’m not alone and let me know how you cope.
It does me good to see the ever patient husbandface get frustrated with son2’s insanity when he gets home from work. Knowing that it’s normal is very helpful.