Got up this morning in a bad mood… not sure why. I went to bed early, Baby E didn’t get me up at an ungodly hour. But, I woke up with a bad head ache and feeling like I hadn’t slept a wink. My mood didn’t improve as we sat and ate breakfast, trying to rush Riley to get ready for school and out the door for the bus. Allen was also in a grumpy mood, and I’m afraid we were feeding each other's mood. Sigh, trying really had not to yell and scream “Riley! Move it!!! Emma quite picking! Beka knock it off!!!”
One of my favorite movies of all time is Anne of Green Gables. I have seriously seen the movie hundreds of times (I’ve worn a VHS and a DVD out). In the first few minutes you see Anne walking in the woods reading a book. Then you hear Mrs. Hammond yelling at her. At the end of the scene Mrs. Hammond turns to her kids and yells “EAT!” It was a bad moment when I realized I was becoming a mom like her! Ugh!
Riley and Allen left. And I was still grumpy. So, I called for a morning do over! I put Ephram back in his crib, tucked the girls back into their beds and told them we were doing a do over. I was going to go into my room and take a shower. They were to stay in their beds and pretend to sleep, I would come and let them know when it was time to get up. I went into my room (still grumpy) and decided I needed an attitude adjustment. I got into the shower and got clean. This had an amazing effect on my mood. I felt so much better, I even brushed my teeth!
During this time Ephram finally went to sleep. Yeah! After I got dressed and felt like a new improved Super Grover Mommy, I went into the girls’ room. I walked in and said (loudly) “Good Morning Girls!!! I’m so happy to see you guys! Let’s get up and get this room cleaned up” I made both of them jump! and they laughed. and we had fun getting the dirty clothes put into the dirty clothes basket. We took them downstairs so that Emma would have something to wear for bed.
The day went better. I am working on this no yelling thing. I read something today that really struck a cord in my heart: I don’t want to unleash my bad feeling on my children because they don’t deserve it. Will I have ugly feelings and want to yell? Yes. Can I choose not to. Yes. I can choose to tell my kids how I’m feeling without yelling AT them.
Last Friday, I felt like we should keep Riley home. I was very conflicted. I wanted to go up to the county fair (we didn’t get to go at all). I wanted Allen to take the day off. I wanted to do something fun as a family. But, Allen went to work. I keep feeling like I really should keep Riley home. But… I didn’t. I drove him to school. I kept asking him if he wanted to stay home. He didn’t. He was excited about fab Friday activities. But his head was hurting, a little. When he got home, he wasn’t feeling too good (and he bombed his spelling test and he’s fab Friday activities weren’t what he had hoped). I got dinner made (which I totally ruined) and he started screaming about his head and throat hurting. I got him upstairs and he had a low grade fever. He hasn’t been wearing his glasses and now had a migraine. The pain was so bad, he willing took pain killers (Riley NEVER takes any kind of meds). He finally went to sleep. Poor guy. Moral of story? Listen to your instincts. I could have gotten Riley to drink lots of water likely staving off the headache and we would have had a fun time together as a family. Lesson Learn!
So, today when I pulled into my driveway and noticed 7 teen boys sitting on the neighbor’s wall. I try not to judge others, but it has been my experience that when more than 2-3 teen boys get together it means trouble. I wasn’t quiet done finished doing the grocery shopping, I was just dropping off the frozen stuff. I did drop off my groceries and started heading to the next store. I felt a very strong impression that I should return home. I’m not sure why. But, I turned around and parked the van. 4 of the boys were still there. So, I let my girls play in the front on their bikes. The boys were left in about 10 minutes. Not sure why I had the impression, but I’m glad I listened.
The other thing I am working on is discipline vs. punishment. I know there have been times when I wanted to punish the kids for what they did, how I was feeling inside. I wanted to make them feel bad. This is hard to write, because this is so not the mom I want to be. Do kids need discipline? Yes. They need to know there are consequences to our choices. Sigh, but not my mad, angry, out of control, stuff directed at them to make them cry and feel bad. Our family motto is: I will be kind, respectful, and gentle to myself and others. I am learning that I need to follow this motto as badly as my kids do.
I’ve also tried take stock of my triggers, what’s making me feel out of control. One of them is when there is too much static noise. For example, if the TV is on, the computer game is going, the dishwasher is running, the dryer is going, and kids are running around. I can feel the walls coming in on me and my blood pressure go up. It’s too loud. Solution: stop the dishwasher or the dryer, turn off the TV, go outside.
This is a process. I am learning and changing how I do things. I don’t believe in being fake with my kids, that everything is wonderful and perfect. But I want them to know that I love them and want the best for them. I don’t want them to be afraid of me.
See, I can change my world! I did it today, and I can do it tomorrow as I choose how to express my emotions! Go Super Grover Mommy!