This past weekend (actually, it started on Thursday) there was an unconscious change in how I deal with my children. Yes, I arrived home Friday after a particularly grueling, stressful day at work. Tim wasn’t home yet, so I had to do the whole “serve supper to 3 kids by myself” routine. I know, I know, many of you do this day after day and to many more than 3 children. But for some reason, this “arsenic hour” as my own mother used to call it, always wears me down. The children just seem to have SO MANY NEEDS!!!!
Anyway, I dished up supper and drinks and ketchup and more drinks and then a spoon instead of a fork…..you get the picture. The 2 oldest continually jumped off and on their chairs and my tired baby yelled at me for “this, this, this” and who knows what “this” is! I was tired, and grumpy and feeling harassed by my work day and now my own children. And I was HUNGRY and just wanted to eat my own supper. So here is what happened: I lost all ability to play those sweet cajoling games we play with children to get them to follow our requests willingly. You know what I am talking about, the sweet chatter we use “please come and sit down while you eat, Mummy is lonely here” or “please stop running to hug your brother while he is eating, I don’t think you like it when people are trying to hug you while you eat”, etc. Yes, something snapped inside. I remained polite, but I would make my request twice maybe three times and then I would LOSE it. That’s right, LOSE IT! This continued for the whole weekend. I would ask someone to get their jacket on twice and then the third time, all heck would break loose. I believe it was fairly miserable for everyone in the household (including poor Tim). But I just couldn’t understand why I had to make the same request 5 TIMES and have it ignored and continue to be patient. So I wasn’t.
You may be wondering if this changed the kids behaviour in any way. Well, I am sorry to report, not one thing changed. Except now mummy was yelling a lot, which she never used to do. I think they found this entertaining. But they sure didn’t listen any better!
After the weekend, our babysitter arrived Monday morning and told me that she was “like poison” all weekend because she was so cranky. I realized that I, too, had been “like poison” in our home. And it had not changed anything! In fact, you could describe it as an utter failure, except for one little thing…I sure felt better indulging my inner rage.
But I am back to being patient mom, the poison has been neutralized, and there is less yelling and the house is more peaceful and everyone is happier. But as I mentioned…it felt pretty good for the brief while I indulged!