My husband took the kids to the pet store next door while I went to the grocery store alone to do the grocery shopping. I’ll be honest — I love shopping alone. It’s not that I don’t love my kids… but anyone who has gone grocery shopping with three or more kids can understand, I’m sure.
I was 90% done with my list and here they came bounding in the store as I’m at the meat counter.
“Mom! Can we PLEASE get a kitten???”
“There are two kittens there and they are sooooooo sweet.”
“And we can put all our money together and we’ll have enough to buy one.”
“Dad said to ask you.”
“Your sister is ALLERGIC to cats. We’ve been over this. No kittens until she’s had another prick test.”
“But mom, pleeeeeeease? It can be an outside cat, and look, she’s not sneezing.”
“Being around a cat for 5 minutes is a little different than living with one.”
“Can we get some bacon?” (My husband’s great contribution to the conversation).
And I did what any mom would do under pressure. (Or maybe just me). I lost it. Raised my voice. Got angry.
All I had left on my grocery list were two items.
“What’s for lunch?”
“I don’t know… what do you want?”
“What’s easy? I’m hungry.”
Sometimes, do you just want them to make a decision?
That conversation didn’t end well either.
Nor did several other conversations for the rest of the day. To top it off, my husband has this amazing ability to not get stressed over the small stuff and to unnaturally control any temper flare-ups. He rarely raises his voice. It’s almost annoying… Especially when I’m in a yucky mood and everything bothers me, and I just want to scream, and I don’t hold my tongue as I should…
Do you ever just feel like this?
So, what do you do about it?
Take a Time Out
Take a few minutes for you to take things in perspective and to calm down. Usually for me it is the “small stuff” that gets me all bent out of shape. I imagine there are some parents in Newtown who would love to have their child around to beg for a kitten they were allergic to.
Mommy Time Outs are something my kids and I have come to know and respect. I either go sit on a bench and look at my garden or shut myself in my room. The kids know to give mom some space and let me breathe for a few minutes before one of them usually comes to see if I’m “okay.”
I know that this works better for moms with older children, but even when they’re little you can plop them in front of Baby Einstein, throw them some cheerios or M&Ms and lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes. Take earplugs if you have to.
Ask for Prayers
Prayer helps me calm down. Yesterday I sent out a tweet that I could use some prayers for patience and within 5 minutes, several people had let me know they had prayed for me. Knowing I had others praying on my behalf really helped me calm down. Even if you don’t want to send out a public announcement that you may be loosing it, you can text your best friend, and I’m sure she’ll sympathise!
Start afresh. Forget past transgressions. Make a plan to move forward with a better attitude. Sometimes, it really just takes sleeping on it. Waking up to the rain this morning made me feel like it was washing all the yuck away from yesterday. As Anne Shirley says, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Here’s to better days with no mistakes in them YET!
~ Mama Tutu