Love is finding a whole new world in the very same places.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Woeful weekend

       There have been very few times in my life where I have been deeply ashamed of myself, where I have questioned myself to such a degree or had a day that was so terrible it would affect the next days to come.
                              Sadly, this weekend was just a series of those days.

       As a woman I know that I can sense in myself, most of the time, when I am just on a hormone driven rampage. I feel my blood pressure spike and I can feel the frustration immediately instead of gradually. Therefore, I must admit that there have been times, that after I was done yelling or speaking I had to stop and ask myself. "What the heck just happened?"
        As women though, there are times when this is justified. We inject ourselves with hormones to prevent pregnancy, we consume foods that alter our hormones, we stop injecting ourselves so that we can try to conceive. We screw with our biology a lot, it is a wonder that we have any control at all. However, we can still maintain control. As my mother always told me; 
                    "If you feel yourself getting angry, just walk away. Let it be and breathe."

    Very few times do I feel like I have failed to do so, but no one is perfect and it has happened.
 For example:
                It was a lovely afternoon, Carter and I were out playing in the yard and his daddy and his buddy came out to work on the truck. The bugs had been getting Carter and I all morning, so I offered the men our bug spray. After a short while Carter and I went inside so he could take a nap.

            The boys drove the truck out for a test run down the block, everything runs smoothly and they come back. As I come outside, by this time I've rubbed off my bug spray and I feel a little sting and I ask the boys for the spray. As they inform me that they left it on the truck as they drove away and it is now gone I can feel the immediate fury.
             Now don't get me wrong, this was not a golden can of bug spray, which costs me millions and I can never replace. This is is standard Off! brand spray. However my, hormone driven self doesn't care. 
            Now ladies, I hate the term "PMS" and the first man to ask me if it's "My time of the month" is going to lose some essential parts and become a woman, but I respect that sometimes we do slip. Just as any humans can be, man or woman, we can get a little unreasonable. 
            In this particular instance, I did slip. I stormed off down the street, shouting obscenities in search of this bug spray, like losing it was going to alter the course of my life forever. After a short, heated tromp down the street, I turn around and have thankfully calmed down. But, the damage is done and the look on my husband's friend's face was unforgettable. It was as if I were that little creepy girl from The Ring crawling towards him to eat his soul or some other horrible monster from the black lagoon. He seemed genuinely worried for his own personal safety.

         It was in that moment that I realized I let my frustration and possibly my hormones get the best of me. 
      This past weekend was much the same, except it was not hormones but circumstance that I let take me to that place. For many personal reasons, my husband and I were at each other's throats this whole weekend. Let's sum it up to us both being without work, among many, many other stresses that life has thrown this way. (Although as of today we are both working again! WHOOP! WHOOP!)
 After being on edge this weekend, we decided to do something nice and take our kids to the Cincinnati Children's Museum on Sunday. We go out to breakfast in the morning, it's a beautiful crisp day, the kids are happy and other than a morning spat all is well. 
      Breakfast is something we do quite often when Chloe is with us. On Saturdays we make chocolate chip pancakes and eggs and Sunday we go to Bob Evans. My husband began the Bob Evan's tradition with his grandmother and so it has special meaning to all of us.
    Of course Bob Evans and The Golden Nugget are packed. We then decide to go to Steak N' Shake. In the middle of our meal, thanks to the wonderful gift of online banking, we realize the new insurance we just switched to has come out a few days earlier than expected. So no Children's Museum.
          It was no one's fault, Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) was just kicking our butts. Instead I took Chloe and Carter to the park and we had at home time.
           After a series of more events and more fighting we have reached that point where we are just fighting over anything. You know what I'm talking about, you're fighting over the trash, the laundry, the dishes. Little insignificant things that in the grand scheme of life should not result in such drama, but do anyway.

    I am ashamed to say that the look on Chloe's face when she left with my husband to go back to her mom's will haunt me forever. She had listened to us yell and she was sad and it broke my heart. That isn't what a five year old needs and we knew better. To my understanding though, Jon had a nice talk with her about grown-ups fighting on the way home.
  Now, we are not by any means the parents who go in the bedroom and fight. This does not teach kids about conflict resolution and therefore we don't hide, but we also make sure that they see our make-ups and 'I'm sorry's' as well or we at least talk to them about it. We have even gone so far as to have little kissing matches with Carter after, so that he sees the love too. In this way they know that we always love each other and we have resolved our anger. Each child knows that even though people fight, there can be ways to solve what you are angry about.
     Sadly though, the look on Carter's face later that night was also an unforgettable one. For the first time in his little, short life I yelled at him, really yelled. 
     As a parent, and even more importantly as a step-parent (which sometimes requires a lot of delicate handling) I try to hold myself to a high caliber. Never will I hit my children, I have said "Imma spank you."  In our house even our running joke is to say "Imma beat you" and then attack the person with kisses, because in our house the idea of an actual beating is that ludicrous.
           Sadly though, as I transformed Carter's crib into a toddler bed that night, I had the worst time getting the board in place, with it's evil itty bitty screws. After struggling for forty minutes with the allen wrench and with my hubby not there to help, I was at my wit's end. Then, as I finally began to feel the last screw catch, Carter jumps right on the board and knocks it out. 
   As a person and as a mom, I feel the need to say that this was the straw the broke the camel's back.
Frustrated and afraid that he was hurt, I screamed out "Mommy said No!" to him. 

  Anyone who has a toddler or any kid knows,
 that there is the "You told me no" cry and
the "You scared me mommy" cry.
This was one of those.
If you ever needed something to bring you to earth,
 it is your kid looking at you in fear and sadness.
After this happened I think I cried harder than he did. 

This isn't Carter, but dang can't you just imagine if this was your kid looking at you all sad and it was your fault?!

To make it worse, I was even more ashamed that night, as he did so well in his toddler bed and has continued to do so every night! 

      Although I would personally never hit either of my children, I know there are people who hit levels deeper than my own. By no means does it mean you should even think about striking your child. I am a firm believer in there being a difference in spanking and hitting. Personally, I am not a believer in either.

        Spanking itself is a very controversial issue. Many people say "Spare the rod, spoil the child." However, there are so many cases of abused children in this country that many believe it should be unlawful to spank your child.

            After all this, what is your opinion?
As a mom or dad, when was the first time you had to walk away and take a breath?
For some it's the first nights after the baby is born.
For other's, it's the toddler phase or the older phases.

                                                 When you fight, do you hide?  

    Do you have a specific disciplinary policy for your family?
My husband and I are both lucky enough to agree on ours. (Finally, SOMETHING, right?)

             These are all things that need to be discussed. As a person we come with limits, if you are unable to take a step back, you may really scar your child. I'll admit, there are some days when I want to throw things or kick the trash can and this is a learned behavior. But, it is also a learned behavior not to.
      I am confident that my children are safe in my home, that they will never be abused or neglected. It is my plan to show Chloe and Carter how much their dad and I truly love each other, and I believe that 99% of the time we do show them this. Sometimes we just have bad days. We're human. 


  (If you feel that you are unable to take a step back from your anger, if you have previously hurt your children or considered/planned hurting your children or if you wish council on any of these issues, please feel free to look at any of these pages I have linked below. If you do not feel like you can bring yourself to ask for help here is a short video on anger management techniques.)
Child help hotline
Anger Management Hotlines
Love Our Children USA

1 comment:

  1. well, my general answer would be to each their own, but that wouldn't really be honest. I think it completely depends on how each parent was raised. How they were taught to deal with their emotions and how to resolve problems. While we do spank, it is kind of an unsaid rule that only Mommy spanks. Daddy uses taking things away or time-out, etc. We do argue in front of the girls, not always nicely or in the healthiest manner, but I do agree with letting them see it through. Don't leave any cliffhangers or big gaps where they believe everything is just magically back to normal tomorrow. Let me be witness to the resolving process and see how a resoltuion is accomplished. It is a learning process for them also. Make it a positive one.