The awful ragweed season we're having has been wreaking havoc on my energy level and my quality of sleep. Sunday night I was finally sleeping well...until Chickie woke me up at 4, having had a rare bed-wetting accident. It took The Engineer and I awhile to clean it up.
Sure enough, that missed sleep messed up everything. I got up on Monday, and it wasn't long before I was feeling genuinely sick. Congestion and exhaustion combined to make me a tired, frustrated mess.
I spent quite a bit of the morning getting the house straightened up and cleaning the tile, wanting a decently clean house so I could relax for the rest of the day. At lunchtime, I made macaroni and cheese. After we'd sat there eating for several minutes, I started hearing it.
Sllllap. Sllllop. Slllip.
I looked at Zoodle next to me and realized he was purposefully dropping cheesy macaroni on the floor.
And I decided to let leash my frustration instead of having self-control. "NO!" I yelled. "WE DO NOT DROP FOOD ON THE FLOOR!!"
Immediately I felt terrible for yelling at him. My voice came down to a normal level, and I said, "Zoodle, I'm sorry I yelled." I began to cry. "It's just that Mommy doesn't feel good, and I cleaned these floors today, and I didn't want to have to clean them again!" I continued tearfully explaining my frustration to the kids, who thankfully showed concern (Chickie) and remorse (Zoodle) even if they did feel a little confused about why Mommy was crying about a messy floor.
I got a good nap that day during Zoodle's naptime, and that night I slept very well. Yesterday I woke up feeling much better...and able to evaluate what my reaction had been to Zoodle's naughtiness.
I wish I hadn't yelled. That's not what I want to teach my kids. On the other hand, I don't regret crying in front of them when I was sick and frustrated. I want my kids to see me experiencing and expressing genuine emotions. That's how they learn to pay attention to the feelings of others. If I let them see that their actions upset me (minus the yelling), they learn that their actions affect others. And there's nothing wrong with them seeing that mommies are human too, that we don't have unlimited energy and patience and health.
But now that they've had the chance to see Mommy at such a rough place...it's nice to be back in a state of mind that doesn't leave me crying over spilled macaroni.