Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Disappointing Myself

This morning was horrible. Horrendous. I am not a perfect person, in spite of what some might believe, and I make mistakes, including parenting mistakes, like everyone else. This morning was one HUGE mistake. It really started last night. Instead of setting The Boy Up for success, I set him up for failure, and this was worse than when I told him to "just stop crying."  No, I did not hit or abuse him. I did not endanger him, but I was ugly. Let me start from the beginning...
Last night, I went to dinner and BRU with my neighbor. I got back later than I normally allow myself. (Mistake #1)  The babysitter does not do a good job of implementing our bedtime routine, and I need to talk to her about that. (Mistake #2) When I arrived home, The Boy was riled up, exhausted, and infinitely sleep. We went directly to bed, where he squeezed me because he missed me (he told me!), but when morning came, he was still in bed far past his normal time. Normally, I'd gently wake him and get him out of bed. This morning, however, I left him to sleep until he woke up (Mistake #3), which was a terrible idea. I felt rushed and due to a trip to Stillwater for a presentation, needed to get to work sooner than later (Mistake #4). 
This is where it got ugly.
The Boy was upset being rushed out of bed, didn't want to pee on the potty, and was all out crying and throwing a tantrum. Rather than dealing with it calmly, I scolded (Mistake #5), shouted (Mistake #6), and was disrespectful to him in many ways (Mistake #7). Rather than acknowledging his emotions and talking to him, I threw my own little tantrum. 
I know he does not respond well to shouting. He actually behaves worse in response and becomes more angry, which is exactly what happened. Rather than slowing down and gaining a handle of my growing frustration and anger (Mistake #8), and rather than slowing down to calm him and talk to him (Mistake #9), I continued to yell and act ugly (Mistake #10). 
When we arrived at school, we had both calmed down, and in spite of my already super late status, we sat in the rocking chair for five minutes or so snuggling and loving on one another. I felt incredibly guilty leaving. I wanted to snuggle more, and tonight we have done more snuggling and loving. The best of all things to come from this-- observing my son's complete willingness to forgive me in an instant for my shortcomings.
I am so incredibly disappointed with myself. Some will argue that he should have listened and not thrown the tantrum, but I set him up to fail, AND I made it worse by modeling poor behavior! I acted like a two year old rather than an adult. I failed my son, and I failed myself. However, as Erin reminded me of ten good things that will come from these ten failures. I haven't been able to ask if I can share her list, but hopefully she will be comfortable with it, and I can post them later this week.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well... not that I know Thing 1 about raising kids, but I'm guessing he learned some important things. No one is perfect. No one can keep it together all the time. People get angry, frustrated, upset. They make mistakes. But the most important thing here is, it's OK to be sorry when you mess up. You try not to disappoint the people you love, and try not to be disappointed by things they do -- but when it happens (and it will!) you acknowledge that things went wrong and you keep loving each other.

I'm sure Erin's list is better though!

-lauramac

Peggy W said...

Oh, Maria! You are a good mother, a good person, a good soul. Don't "should on yourself." We all have learning moments---our children as well as us. You are a remarkable parent and showing your vulnerability just makes you all the more human and lovable. Hang in there. Your love shows through in so many, many ways. Amari is very lucky to have you as him mom!

Bethany said...

I know you feel bad, but not only was it a learning lesson for you, it was one for him as well. We all have moments when we think "wow I am the worlds worst mom" (well at least I do!) but we are not. He still loves you. Don't beat your self up over it, just keep on giving him hugs and kisses! If he has forgiven you, you need to forgive yourself.

sasspot said...

you are an awesome mother. don't be so hard on yourself. we all have our days... and i am willing to bet that you will learn and grow from today's experience and only be better for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, children are indeed infuriating, aren't they! It's kind of a vicious positive feedback loop - mommy is cranky, and so baby is crankier, then mommy gets more frustrated and baby gets madder... It certainly is a good way for God to actively teach patience and selfless love for others! (-: I also think God makes kids with short memories and a lot of love so they do forgive us really quickly (b/c we need it!).

~eva

KaritaG said...

You are an awesome mom! Retrospective "shoulds" don't help anyone, especially you. It was a learning experience for both of you and hopefully you learned some ways to keep it from happening again. Your post is very self-aware and that kind of unconditional love/forgiveness you both experienced is priceless.

phdmama said...

Thanks, I needed that. I was having a bad day and I snapped at Sister for misbehaving. Of course, I have felt terrible for doing that. It helps to read other moms journey and realize that a)I am not alone and b)it will all be okay. Of course, Sister has forgotten all about it while I still carry the guilt.

Maria said...

It is amazing how quickly children forgive and move on.

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