I lost it. I totally freaking lost it. Choo-choo and I had two nearly perfect days, then I snapped.
After being called up to his room for the twentieth time in half an hour during nap time, all my hard work went into the toilet. I mean, I’d already given him all the hugs and kisses he asked for. I took him to the potty like he asked. I had already rocked him. I sung his naptime lullabies through twice. I used the syrupy sweet voice every time I walked away, no yelling. What more could he possibly need or want?
He is a professional staller. Nothing I did was enough for him to stop calling to me. I could feel what was coming. I told him I was getting mad. Did he want Mommy to get mad?
Yes, he answered with a grin.
Brat. Lovable, infuriating brat.
That was it. Crap, I thought. It was happening. Everything I’d held in was going bursting out.
I slammed the gate, I screamed, I bawled like a baby. I needed to get away and he wouldn’t let me. I had no control over the situation, then I suddenly felt like I had no control over me.
I don’t blame him for crying, too. I’m sure it’s terrifying to see Mommy behave in such a way. I also was frightened.
I’m not proud of myself. At all. I hate myself for it. I’ve hated myself for it so much that I think I don’t deserve to be his mom. He does not deserve to be yelled at, no matter what. No child does.
My problem is, how the heck am I supposed to keep this from happening again? You see, it’s like I told you yesterday: I have to physically hold in my anger. I literally bite my tongue (or rather my mouth) to control the nasty vitriol that wants to fly out whenever Choo-Choo doesn’t listen. (I bit so hard yesterday that my mouth still hurts.)
I know not feeling heard is a trigger for me, and I’ve been working on that. But apparently, I can only hold it in for do long until it’s stronger than I am.
So how do I deal with my anger in a healthy, productive way? I tried walking away to breathe. Several times. I told him I was getting angry and needed him to help me out. I promised him we could play with Play-doh after his snack if he would go to sleep. None of it worked.
So what do I do?
Well, I keep walking away to breathe as much as I need. I keep using my gentle voice as much as possible. And I keep researching for something that will help.
I am an avid reader. I can devour books in a single day. I also love discovering new articles on the topics of self care, happiness, and, since Choo-Choo came along, parenting. The other day, I happened upon such a site all about parenting through your triggers (see here: http://www.racheous.com/respectful-parenting/triggered/)
It spoke to me. Like really truly spoke to me. I have it saved now. I plan on turning my mindfulness journal into a parenting journal, documenting the ways I can improve, the ways in which I can be a better mom. Because that is the ultimate goal: being a great mom to my son.
I know that it takes more than a try or two for an action to become a habit. I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep at this, the no yelling, even if it takes me 100 attempts to get it right. I hope and pray it’s less time than that, but I will still not be deterred. My son deserves me to fight my anger and depression with all I’ve got.
For those who are interested: As soon as Choo-choo woke up from his nap, we were both happy and playful again. We didn’t have any more problems the rest of the night. Partial win!