For the record, I am not a yeller or name caller. When my kids are driving me bananas I don’t fly off the handle, lose my cool and start yelling things like, “You’re being a brat!” It’s just not who I am. BUT, there is an ugly side of parenting where I think we all feel a little “murdery.”
When I mentioned feeling murdery to a friend yesterday, she did a double-take. What?!
Feeling murdery is the feeling you have when you have just hit a wall with your kid and the vision of Homer Simpson strangling Bart seems totally reasonable.
Are you with me here?
I TOTALLY understand the feeling of being ugly. No one can push me to this point quite like my own offspring. I love them, I adore them, I literally kiss their little feet and toes because I am obsessed with them, but there are times…
So let’s talk about it and shed some light on the ugly side of parenting. When do you experience it? What do you do about it?
The first time I truly felt murdery was (and still is) when my kids mess with my sleep schedule. Every parent has their thing- what they are passionate about as a parent. Sleep is one of mine. We sleep trained with great success. Now having someone wake me up in the middle of the night after literally years of uninterrupted sleep makes me grumpy, to say the least. Moreover, it is a punishable crime if my kids refuse to nap, which means I don’t get to take MY nap. This mama needs her sleep and if I don’t get it, the ugly side of parenting comes out.
When things get to the boiling point, I have to give myself a timeout. I don’t know what I would do if I stayed in the environment and tried to untangle my high-flying emotions and be a calm and lucid mother when my animalistic urge is to make my kids see just how angry I am. Meanwhile, my littles are calm and cool as a cucumber while I am seeing red and my blood is running hot (this makes some people even more irate).
If I showed my kids my internal rage, what would it accomplish? I guess they will be afraid of me, cry and run away. Ironically, they will then continue crying because they will want me to come and console them. We call this quiet little cuddle time in my house “giving love.” To think the thing I need to calm them down from is me and the fear I created with my anger is messed up.
I don’t want my children to be scared of me, ever. So, losing my composure will not make a positive difference. Instead, I walk out of the room. I give myself a timeout to calm down and I really need it.
In these situations, I punt the parenting football to my husband (if he’s around) because I want to tap out. (Is this too many sports metaphors?) My hubby knows when I’m at my limit and I have told him point blank, “I’ve got to go. I have to walk away.” He picks up the parenting reins and smooths things over (I don’t know what kind of magic he does) but when I walk back in my kids are well-behaved, give me hugs and kisses and a heartfelt apology.
When it comes to sleep, I literally go to another floor of the house (typically our basement aka guest suite) and sleep there because like I said, this mama needs her sleep! When I wake up, the world is a new and beautiful place once again.
So, I am not a perfect parent. I have my limits; there are times I just need to walk away because sometimes parenting gets ugly. Please tell me what you do!