Friday, July 26, 2013

Rude Awakening

I have been running around like a crazy woman this week.  My wonderful husband was on a trip this week so I was on my own.  My oldest is in camp and I chose a place that is about 30 minutes from my house on a good day.  Since it runs from 9 AM - 1 PM every day, my normally low-key-jammie-wearing boys have to be prodded into eating breakfast, getting dressed and getting buckled in the car by 8:15 AM.  I also need to make sure lunch is packed, the dog is walked and that I have at least brushed my teeth.  We have accomplished this without fail every day this week and yet, I don't feel so proud of myself. 

Yesterday, my little one fell asleep in the car after screaming for 20 minutes.  He was so exhausted after two days of late naps and when he realized we were going on the highway instead of going home, he lost it.  "NO!  HOME!  Night Night!" he sobbed over and over again as I tried to soothe him.  Nothing worked.  He finally passed out and I sat clenching the steering wheel waiting for the calmness to return.  

Once we got home, I got both boys upstairs for their naps and then practically ran downstairs to lie down in my bed.  Just as I fell asleep, I heard, "Mommy.  I'm all done with my nap!"  It had been twenty minutes.  I honestly fought back tears.  I just wanted an hour.  Just an hour to rest, read, maybe even write.  I just wanted an hour to be a grown up without anyone needing anything or fighting or crying.  And so I lashed out.

"Get.  In.  Your. Room" I heard myself saying before I could even control it.  "Stay. In. Bed."  My oldest shrunk back and cried huge crocodile tears.  "Mommy!  Why are you using your mean voice!?" he cried.  I wasn't dissuaded.  "Enough.  I love you but you have to rest.  Upstairs," I announced.  "But I'm too sad to go upstairs!" he wailed.  At this point, I got even more frustrated.  I felt like he was working me.  Why wouldn't he just GO and leave me ALONE!?  I picked him up and we walked up the stairs through his protests.  I laid him down and finally felt the adrenaline beginning to run out of me.  "Look," I told him once he was settled, "I love you very much and I'm sorry I used my mean voice.  I need you in this room until I come and get you.  Even Mommies need a break sometimes."  He relaxed a bit in my arms and said, "Alright, Mommy.  But I'm not going to sleep."

And he didn't.  Neither did my youngest (except for the nap in the car).  But I wasn't really upset with them.  I was getting a signal that I wasn't taking enough care of me.  As I've rushed us through the morning then rushed them down for their naps (I can hear myself saying, "You've got to lay down, it's very late.  It's time for your nap.  It's very late" over and over again), I don't feel serenity.  I don't feel any appreciation for them.  I just want them to do what I'm telling them to do.  And I'm pissed when they don't do it.  With a day's perspective, I suddenly realized that I was lacking the quiet and the solitude that I absolutely need to maintain my composure.  That is not my kid's fault.  It's mine.  I read a quote this morning that I'd like you to think about today. 

 "There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I know that many of you lead incredibly busy lives.  I know that so much of your time is spent caring for others.  Today, find fifteen or twenty minutes of solitude.  Write, think, pray, meditate...Do whatever you have to do to get back to center.  And if you happen to freak out on your family, know that it's okay.  We're all entitled to bad day every once in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. My two boys have been in day camp all week too :) I have been feeling the same way that you have, so I completely understand! I hope you have a calmer week next week!


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