So your kid has a meltdown. The kind of meltdown that has everyone screaming. The kind of meltdown where he says all the meanest things he can think of, where he hits and shoves, where you find yourself with a throat raw from yelling. The kind of meltdown that makes you want to throw in the towel. Walk out the door and never ever look back.
And then he has his time alone in his room to calm down and you have your time alone to calm down.
But you don’t calm down.
Luke can bounce back from this kind of thing in a way I just can’t. He comes back wanting to hug, just forget it and move on. But I can’t forget it and move on because my blood is still boiling. I lost it and have not found it again.
Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you can count to ten and calm down like all those know-it-all experts suggest. But not me. I can count to ten again and again and still feel nothing but rising rage as my child tells me to shut up. It takes me a long time to cool back down from that kind of flagrant, outrageous misbehavior. A much longer time than the offending child.
I ought to demonstrate forgiveness and moving-on-ness. I know this. I probably shouldn’t be so pissed off in the first place. I probably should stay calm and cool and focus on the behavior and not the child doing the behavior. That’s what “they” say, right? But the thing is that I’m a person first. I’m the person I’ve always been. The person who doesn’t want or know how to cope with an irrational, obnoxious person telling me to shut up. But because I had kids I’m supposed to be this new person who doesn’t fuck up or get really mad, whose feelings don’t get hurt, who never wants to throw in the towel and walk out the door and never ever look back.
And then the grief hits- the certain knowledge that my kid needs a mother who is like that new person I didn’t become. He needs some other, better mother who would demonstrate the right things. Some mother who can handle a daily onslaught of shut ups. Some mother who might not incite them in the first place. This mother is failing him. This mother is not doing it right.
Am I the only one floundering this way? Did you all become that new person when your kids arrived? Am I as awful and deficient as I feel? Or are you reading this and relating? If you get mad, can you forgive and forget as quickly as your kids want you to?