One morning as I was trying to get Emma out of bed and into the bathroom to brush her teeth, I said, "Come on, Emma, move. Mommy's at the end of her rope." Emma then groggily turned over and moaned, "It's not time to say that yet. You say that in the car." Out of the mouth of babes!
I am working right now on my ever shortening temper. You see, I like perfection; however, I am horrifically imperfect. This provides me with constant internal conflict. I know how I SHOULD be. I should fold the laundry right when it gets out of the dryer; I should make the kiddos bags before I go to bed at night; I should get up before 6 AM and not hit snooze 500X; I should treat my family like they are the loves of my life rather than an imposition; I should be a good 20 lbs. thinner; I should work out; I should talk to my husband rather than bark at him, etc. I have a bunch of rules that I feel I should follow, but rarely do.
For example, this weekend I got most of the laundry washed, dried, and folded. The clothes didn't make it to the drawers. So yesterday, I come home to find the laundry baskets taunting me. Almost, but not quite, perfect. And then, Emma starts to talk about having cookies for Brooke's birthday at school, and I realize--Ouch! I forgot about Brooke's birthday part on Saturday. And then I open her school bag and find that in our frenzied morning (because I overslept, yet again), I forgot to fill out her reading log. And then I start making super--spaghetti. While I am making it, I'm thinking, "At least one thing I am doing right. Everyone but Brad likes spaghetti!" As I am making spaghetti, I put Emma to work at the kitchen table on the homework paper that we forgot to do last week, and Logan to work on taking all of my nicely folded laundry out of the laundry baskets (not the activity I had planned for him, but he was safely occupied while I cooked). Then Emma, who has decided that this is the perfect time to assert her will, tells me that she no longer likes spaghetti. She wants macaroni. I tell her to stop telling me she wants macaroni; she's getting spaghetti. And she won't stop telling me she wants macaroni. In fact, she is incredibly 4. Over and over again, she says, "I want macaroni, not spaghetti." Well, about her third time in her chant, which to me sounds like, "You can't do anything right; you can't do anything right; you can't do anything right," I lose it. I mean totally lose it. Shouting, sending her to her room, screaming at her to be quiet, etc. And then, the guilt. She's 4. She's behaving like a 4 year old. I, however, am acting like a, well, a complete crazy woman, and probably like a 4-year-old myself. Brad comes home in the middle of this, and I have to admit that I didn't win any "perfect wife" awards either. I wanted to run out of the house and leave him with supper, screaming kids, and all the nightly duties. But some sanity prevailed and I realized that he is tired too and that leaving the mess wouldn't make the mess go away.
So now, not only am I not perfect, I am dreadfully a failure. No one is eating the supper I have prepared (except Logan; that delightful child eats anything), Emma's probably scarred for life, and the laundry is no longer even kind of folded. Therefore, I spent the rest of the evening building back the bridges I had burned because I am not perfect and couldn't deal with it.
Where do I go from here? I am going to try to accept that I am not perfect and to not allow my imperfection to cause such frustration that I give up and become a screaming banshee. That's enough for now.