Monday, March 24, 2008

A Bad Day

Yesterday was a bad day. I spent most of the day being crabby, snappy, sarcastic, frustrated, and impatient.

Every little thing ticked me off. The kids were too loud, too whiny, too bratty. They complained about their dinner. "Let's see what happens if I don't feed you for two days straight. Let's see if you get picky about your food then!"

I tried to order groceries online but had to phone the shop to have a lady tell me I had to go to the store to see what they had before I could order online. "I CAN'T go down to the shop. That's why I want to order ONLINE!"

My doctor's office called to see what time I wanted my blood test next week. "Blood test? What blood test? Nobody told me about a blood test. It would have been nice if somebody had mentioned this to me the last time I was in your office."

"Who made this mess in the playroom?! Who spilled this milk on the floor?! Who said you could have that candy?!"

And for the finale... I told Toby he couldn't have milk before bedtime and he exclaimed, "It's not fair!"

"FAIR?!?! You want to talk about what's FAIR?! What do YOU know about FAIR?!" Toby's just two and a half years old.

As I was putting the kids to bed, I said to Josie, "I had a bad day today, didn't I? I was in a bad mood all day and got cranky with you and Toby. I'm sorry."

Josie, with her innocent forgiving heart that just GETS me, said, "That's okay mommy. It wasn't your fault." What was she thinking? Did she think the cancer was getting to me? That I was so crabby because I wasn't feeling well and the coughing and breathlessness was making me irritable? I lay next to her in her bed for a few minutes thinking about this.

And then I had my first moment of clarity all day. "Josie, do you think it wasn't my fault for being cranky because you were being naughty and that put me in a bad mood?"

"Yes," she said.

"Josie, you might be naughty but that doesn't mean it's your fault that I'm in a bad mood. If I'm in a bad mood, it's my fault and nobody else's. You can do all the naughty things you want, but I'm the one who decides whether that's going to put me in a bad mood or not. I can't blame that on anyone else."

She said, "Okay", and gave me a big hug. And I felt happy with myself for the first time all day because I was finally acting like the grown-up.


Carol said...

I've had my moments too. I've said all those things plus more. I remember threatening to throw all the toys out the door if they weren't picked up and going on about poor children and even saying the I'll give you something to cry about. Anyway been there with less cause. The evil twin does have her appearances.
You made bedtime loving and wise and beautiful. Just like you.
Love, Carol

Leighbee said...

Hey! Its OK to be grumpy - heavens only knows I am like it most days without reason so at that point.....let it gloss over you! I doubt many of us Mums can profess to being HALF the "Mummy" you are, so don't beat yourself up about an "off day"! You are blessed with AMAZING children but their ways can only be attributed to you and Tony, so relish in the fact that you are AMAZING parents.......

leighbee said...

TO CAROL............

Who are you? I sadly have never met you BUT know you are a wonderful woman! I bow down to your wonderful love and sentiments.......

Thank you for being YOU - who ever you are...........I hope one day we will meet and get to chew the fat as it were......!

Anonymous said...

For goodness sake, we are all only human, and if you could be with my two children for any length of time you would realise how super-human you have to be to keep a good temper!! Children are children, they certainly don't mind if you get cross with them, more than most of the time the little fiends deserve what they get!!

Yes, Children are wise but they won't hold it against you if you had a "bad day". They'll forget about it.
I love my children more and more each day! They change.

Deb said...

Are you worried that your bad days are the things that the kids will remember and that you don't have the years to show them that you're not really a grumpy old mummy?

Years from now, when the kids do truly understand what a terrible disease this is, they'll look back in admiration at the way you are dealing with this and the bad days will be totally insignificant.

Don't waste one more second beating yourself up about this.

What you have to do is go get the kids, pull up their shirts and blow a big raspberry on their tummy. Then you've got to squeeze them until they're dangerously close to suffocation. Then you've got to take their face in your hands and tell them you love them. Then when they say "why did you do that mummy?" you just tell them it's therapy.

For those of you who don't have kids at home to do this then you can do it with your dog or cat but do beware of claws and tongues.

Sorry to make light of this Shin but really you're allowed a bad day and I'm sure you weren't half as bad as you think you were.

We all have bad days, don't be too hard on yourself.

With love comes forgiveness and you're loved very much so consider yourself forgiven.
I think the kids would go along with me too on this one.


Carol said...

Hi Leighbee,
I hope I get to meet you too! I'm Anthony's mom and it means so much to me to know that Shin and Anthony have such loving and generous friends. I'm here in the US and it's so hard for me being so far away from them all. I plan to visit in April. Hope to see you then!

ainin said...

Dear Shin,
I started reading your blog a few weeks ago. You are such an amazing person and your insights and wisdom to life, parenting show me I am but a fraction of the parent I should aspire to be. This post is touching, inspiring, and beautiful.