Losing It

So. 

I need to be real here. 

I read this article a few days ago. 

I read it because the first line caught my attention in a way that something must in order for me to give it more than three minutes of my time. 

This. 


As I read, I saw more lines that spoke volumes. 

This one. 


And, this one. 


Some days, I feel like I've lost it. It, being my patience to get through one. more. minute. without crying or running away or screaming. Or doing all of the aforementioned. 

My children are not terrible.  NOT even close. 

They are precious.
Jack, especially, is oh-so-loving. He is my little buddy. My shadow. My tag-along-pal.

Ella is still smiley and squealy and snuggly.  Her chubby cheeks get kissed and caressed as often as she's awake. 

But, they are 19 1/2 months and almost 7 months. They are little. They need me. A lot. And, it's exhausting. Physically and emotionally. 

The Husband was released from light duty a few weeks ago, and my days that were already tough have become tougher. I know that sounded complain-y.  That's because it was. 

He's now gone from 2:30pm to 11:30pm five consecutive days a week. 

Now, for those of you without young children, that probably doesn't sound bad. 

But.

If you, like me, have one or two or God-bless-you-three (or more) little ones, you know that those evening hours starting as early as 4pm can get ugly. And fast. 

If I didn't have some sort of schedule and routine, I'd be bonkers by now. 

The toughest time is dinner, bath, and bed because if Ella's off her routine, she's miserable, and it makes us want to rip our ears off. Us, being me. It makes Jack concerned, and he pats her or let's me know she's crying by whining loudly, too, while pointing in her direction as if he thinks I can't hear her wails.  
It's helpful. 
Not.
Wow. 
I just dated myself. 
Whatever; "not" is still a perfectly acceptable response. So is "whatever."
Not. 

So, while the mornings usually go pretty smoothly, as soon as they're both up from afternoon naps, the rest of the day can go one of two ways. 
Smoothly, with few hiccups and lots of laughs. 
Or. 
To hell, with lots of hiccups and many tears. 

Both are usually followed by me collapsing on the couch while trying to decide if eating and showering are truly important. 

So, you can imagine my relief when I read that article. 
First, it was great to read that I'm not the ONLY one who loses it. 
Second, that it CAN change. 
Third, that it will possibly and hopefully affect my children's behavior, as well. 

We can control our reactions to our emotions.  I forgot that. 

I'm typing this at 2:30pm, and it's already been a tough day. My countdown has begun earlier that usual. 

I'm already imagining the worst, but I know that my reactions can dictate how this evening goes, even if their reactions don't mirror mine. 

It's now 4:45pm, and although the countdown is ticking away, my children are mostly content--Ella nursing and Jack playing with his Pooh Bear and puppy.  In an hour, I'll have dinner almost ready and will be getting Ella down (fingers crossed) for a cat nap. Then, Jack will eat (maybe I will, too), I'll give him a bath, we'll read 5-10 books, and he'll go to bed. If Ella has cooperated and isn't screaming bloody murder, I'll grab a drink, transfer the laundry into the dryer, then I'll wake her to eat and go back to sleep. 

Then. 

I'll breathe. 

I need to do more breathing like the article suggests.

Lots more inhaling and exhaling. 

Maybe, then, I'll find what I've lost. 

Comments

  1. Too true. Nobody said it would be "easy", but it WILL be WORTH IT! I remember my sister struggling with the same thing when her (now ex) husband was deployed overseas. She had a lot of help from neighbors and my parents, but it was still hard, and there were days when she just gave up the schedule and put everyone to bed early- including herself. And that's ok. You don't have to wait til the clock says "bedtime", just because the schedule says so. It's ok to throw in the towel and you can all use the extra sleep. Even I have gotten frustrated, at times, and I only have dogs (and cats, and turtles)! But on those days when it's been raining all week and I just cannot stand another minute, we all go to bed early- meaning 6pm instead of 7!

    It helps.

    I also wanted to discuss the flip side of this article, which was where my mind went when I read it. We're currently dealing with a teenager who is definitely a product of his parents' reactions and the way they handled (or failed to) situations growing up. He has caused a lot of conflict on the team my husband coaches, and his parents are doling out more the same reactionary, emotional responses to his behavior. It's been very frustrating, but at the same time, I've learned this kid's mother is having a rough time. A recent divorce, the passing of a loved one and her son's senior year- she's experiencing a lot of loss, and while she is causing my family a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration, I am beginning to understand that, in her misplaced grief, she is just trying to cling to and control something. I spent much of the week being angry and frustrated, but this weekend, all I can think of is how we've become the inevitable targets of this woman's pain. I don't even know her. I probably will never meet her. But I am praying for her, just the same. I know how my own mother, and mother-in-law came unhinged with the passing of one of their parents. This woman's whole life is changing, and she is broken. She's hurting us in the process, which sucks and isn't fair, but I'm trying to understand. And praying that she will realize how much her behavior is harming her son. Kids see everything that we do. People are always watching us- we can respond appropriately, or we can react in appropriately.

    -Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer,
      Your response is the right one! Praying for her is the biggest and best step. I'm praying more and more for patience under pressure and for the right words and responses in stressful situations.
      And, I would totally put them in bed earlier if that didn't mean they got up in the morning earlier haha! I'm happy with our 7am wake up time. Any earlier, and I might just not get out of bed ;)

      Delete
  2. We know it's hard - I've told you I went through some tough times when your dad was working in PA and NM. Both times, I had a very small child to cope with. The night time duties are definitely the hardest!! You know, we are only a phone call away, and any time the three of you need to get out of the house and have a change of scenery, we're here. You are a wonderful mother - just keep breathing and inhaling and exhaling!! Love you.

    ReplyDelete

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