If you haven't guessed yet, I was the one melting down (this is my first "Friday Confession"!) Even as the words were coming out of my mouth and I stomped around I knew that I would be sorry. And sorry I was. The thought actually crossed my mind that I might be subconsciously trying to create material for my blog-post. I already had a different one started, but this is much better. (When I was younger I used to have a running narrative in my head that was like a book or a movie. Now my thoughts continually seem to be creating blog-posts! If only I could remember all these amazing ideas when I actually get time to sit down at the keyboard.) After I calmed down the kicker was my daughter said sorry to me. Ouch. So after practicing being quiet and not saying anything I told her a few things (when her show was over - gotta be respectful!). I told her that what I said wasn't true, that I was frustrated and didn't want to behave that way when I'm frustrated. I asked if she forgave me, which she did immediately. Then I asked her for advice and she told me to take deep breaths and calm down (so the message is getting through even though she says she doesn't want to do that herself! ha!)
It was kind of a kick in the pants after my last post was all about how awesomely I handled a tired day. I'm not exactly sure why this day was different. But I am sure there were probably a lot of different variables that included my choices, my state of mind, and my childrens' too. When I was a teacher I noticed a similar but opposite trend - whenever I would have a particularly bad day, almost always I would have an absolutely amazing day following the bad. With parenting I feel like whenever you start feeling a little too smug about how you're finally handling things so well, something happens to keep you humble. And I guess that's how life is, it ebbs and flows.
I know a lot of people would try to make me feel better about my behavior. After all I was tired, she was being impatient, and we have a cold working it's way through our family. But all I could imagine was her saying the things I said or acting the way I acted sometime when she got frustrated. And I know I want to do better. Normally I do.
However, this post is also NOT about beating oneself up or trying to be a "perfect" parent or changing the past. In fact today after I apologized to Marisol (without saying the words "I'm sorry"), I practiced filling myself up with love by imagining myself wrapped up in my own love and saying affirmations in my head. It was way healthier than obsessing over my regression to toddler-hood. Also, although I'm striving for peace in my life and in my relationships, I know that I am human and will make mistakes. If I cannot forgive myself then how can I forgive others? I also don't believe in regret (or at least when i'm feeling good about myself! :-P) Instead I tried to focus on what I could learn from the situation. I focused on my breath a lot. I tried NOT to think too much, because I was tired. And tired thinking is not normally the best kind. I remembered how many tired days I've gotten through successfully before, and how brighter times are usually just around the corner. I remembered that just because I had a bad moment, that didn't mean the whole day had to be bad and it was up to me to help make better ones.
And by the afternoon things were better. We got outside in the beautiful weather, the kids ran around with their friends, while I talked with mine. Plus a new book I ordered from Amazon came today and I started it tonight. It's titled, "Beyond the Sling: A Real-life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way" by Mayim Bialik, PhD (Remember Blossom??) Nothing like a good new book to boost my mood. So far I love it (oh, and I want to be her friend!)