The day before Thanksgiving, I had an epic parenting fail. I screamed and yelled. I made my kids cry. I could tell you that I had been under an unspeakable amount of stress for three weeks prior, but that doesn't matter. There is no excuse for failing as a parent. We all have our parenting failure moments, those are not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being a bad person. I'm talking about being someone I don't want to be. I'm talking about being someone who makes me sick to my stomach. You can apologize. You can try again. However, once things are said, they can't be unsaid. It was that super fast downward spiral that started it. The trigger? Sloppy writing. Sloppy writing on work that wasn't even for school, but just additional practice at home for me. It led to getting bad grades (which he doesn't get bad grades), to being late for his classes in middle school, to failing out of high school, to never getting into college, to working at McDonalds and living with his parents for the rest of his life, to laziness being a sin. Yeah, it really went like that. The entire time I'm freaking out, I keep telling Monster how much I love him and that's why I'm so upset because I expect better. Know what it really was? It was I expected better from myself. The whole time I was losing it, I realized how crazy I was sounding. I realized how irrational I was. But I couldn't stop that damned spiral until I hit the very bottom. If all this doesn't sound bad enough, we can't forget to include Little Miss Sunshine, who just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was sitting at the table with Monster as I'm losing it over sloppy writing and she made the unfortunate move of trying to interrupt my insane rant. That spiral went like this, interrupting me to attention seeking to not thinking of others to selfishness to other people never wanting to be around her. Good parenting right there, right? Wait, it only gets better. I then combined the two. They shouldn't be allowed to go to Thanksgiving dinner. They shouldn't be allowed to get Christmas gifts. They should just have to sit in their rooms from now on and never do anything fun. I'll accept that Parent of the Year award now, thank you.
Let's fast forward to yesterday. It was another bad day. I had my epic parent fail in my head and was determined not to let it go there. Unfortunately for Sunshine, she just doesn't know when she should keep her mouth shut. It all started with something small (and yes, it was actually something that was unacceptable behavior on her part), but then she kept talking. She kept digging a deeper and deeper hole until I lost it. Not near as bad as before, but this time it was in front of one of her friends. I try to not lose it in front of other people's kids as rule. We can't have other people thinking I'm nuts. Yesterday though, I snapped. I promptly texted my friend to let her know I lost it in front of her daughter. That's the responsible thing to do, right? Politely let someone know you are crazy. After dropping the girls off at dance, I came home and told Husband the story. He agreed that the thing Sunshine did was unacceptable, but that didn't make me feel better about losing it in front of her friend.
Why on earth would I tell the whole world what a horrible parent I am? Because it's important to know we all fail. We all have bad days. I've been told by a lot of people how together I am. How calm I am. How laid back I am. Ha! See how well I have everyone fooled? Really though, the reason I'm sharing this is a reminder that we all need a break. We all need to slow down. We all need to take a breath. We all lose it, most not as badly as me, but we do all lose it. During the craziness of the holidays, we need to stop and remember what's truly important. Yes, I need to get gifts shipped out by today. Yes, I have a holiday party to plan for Monster's class. Yes, I have a birthday surprise to plan for Monster's teacher. Yes, Sunshine has a huge dance event coming up. Yes, I have to make sure the Spiritwear stuff for the school comes in and all gets passed out before break. Yes, I have to bake cookies, wrap gifts, buy more gifts, and write out Christmas cards, Honestly, though, that will all fall into place and none of it is THAT important. It's important to remember that each day is a new day. It's important to remember that each day is a gift. It's important to remember to be thankful, for the good and bad, because getting through the bad makes us stronger (or at least that is my hope!).
So, today is new day. Today I am thankful both kids slept through the night. I am thankful Husband slept through the night. I am thankful I get quiet time in the mornings. I am thankful for the magic of Christmas and the joy I see in my kids when the find Oee (our elf). I am thankful for friends who tell me that I can come over, wrap gifts and cry. It's only 8 am and that is a lot for which to be thankful. Today I will remember to breathe. I will remember that sloppy hand writing does not equal working at McDonalds. I will remember that little girls are very different than little boys and they need someone to teach them the correct behaviors and one bad choice does not mean she will be the mean girl her whole life. I will remember to put things into perspective. We will not all die after a miserable existence. Today will not be a bad day. Even if I get nothing accomplished other than writing this...and getting the package mailed!...I will not let it get me down. Bad days happen, but today won't be one of them.