Earlier today I was sitting at my desk crying. Why? Well, I had just shut down a game I was playing with my children, and walked off like a big meany. I know … meany is not a word, but I still felt like one. I really hate it when I’m unreasonable with my children and hurt their feelings. It makes me feel like crap!
So why did I run off like a child who doesn’t know how to handle their emotions? Well, I think it’s because I never learned how to handle my emotions. I always just stuffed them deep inside. Yep, just keep stuffing and stuffing and stuffing … explode! So today that meant I was too stressed to handle my kids just being kids.
I had just brought home a brand new game and everybody wanted to touch something, and that was just too much! I said something like, “I can’t handle this anymore. You’re all acting like two-year-olds! It’s too much stress!” Then I heard one of my little ones from the other room mumble under his breath, “Seems like it always is …”
Oh, dear God, what am I doing? I’m failing! I’m a bad mom! My kids will be scarred as adults. I need to just try harder. Don’t be so selfish.
I was suddenly afraid my kids would grow up and only remember me as a stressed out mom. After all, that’s how I remembered my parents … stressed. I felt like I was always in their way. Whenever I wanted to talk about something (and they didn’t) they would ask me if my responsibilities were completed. They never had trouble finding something for me to do to get me out of their way.
Please God, I don’t want to be my parents!
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my parents dearly. And I think they really did the best they knew how. But they were severely misguided and did things I do not want to repeat.
So I put myself in time-out. I needed to calm down and figure out what set me off. I knew it was more than just pent-up emotion. Then it came to me.
It was perfection. For many years perfection was drilled into me. It was something I was supposed to achieve. And whenever I couldn’t attain it, I mentally beat myself up over it. Perfection was expected of me, and naturally I expected it of others. I think when I was playing that game, I was expecting my kids to sit there like a bunch of polite, and quiet adults. But my kids are not adults, they’re children. And now that I think about it, even adults might have been touching stuff. My poor kids didn’t have a clue they were about to set me off. They were just being kids … excited, fun-loving kids!
Oh to break free of the perfection poison in my mind! I know it isn’t true. It just keeps lurking beneath the surface berating me and my family.
Someday I will handle my emotions in a more healthy way. For now I’m working on it.
I’m not perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. Nobody’s perfect. But love is.
So I did something I want my children to remember. I went and I apologized.