Every once in awhile I get so down on myself b/c I can't meet this ideal of being an even keeled, always calm, gentle disciplinarian. It's just a too high of a standard. I'm supposed to be the adult. In control of my emotions, keeping a straight face and never reacting or exploding when my kids push me too far.
How is that even remotely possible?
I think it's time to face this and accept that it's not fair to ANY of us, in this house first, but all mothers really, too, to expect to be emotionless and above human. We might wear a supermom cape and juggle all day long but that doesn't mean we don't feel. We do feel. We feel really strongly.
For the first time in a long time yesterday I felt like going back to work, putting both my kids in full time care, and not dealing with this anymore. I am a terrible mother, I told myself after I lost my cool and yelled AGAIN. I can't DO this. I can't be this ideal. I should just give up. Be there after work and on weekends and let someone else handle all this. They don't tell you this when you decide to have kids how inept you are and how you'll never be perfect. They don't tell you how much it's going to hurt when your daughter tells you she hates you, you're a bad person, you're a mean mom, go away!!! They don't tell you your daughter is going to shout this at you when you are tired at the end of a long day, after trying all day to make life happy and perfect for her, after playing dollhouse and cars, after making meals she refuses to eat and putting on shoes she refuses to put on herself. After doing laundry and dishes, and making dinner and cleaning up and trying so hard to not pass out on the couch from exhaustion. That's when they'll shout it at you. Not when you're feeling your best or proud of what you've just done. When you're tired. When you're done. When you feel like you have nothing left.
So I cried. And I yelled. And then I took a minute to gather myself because, after all, she's only four. And I'm supposed to be the adult. I'm supposed to just let it all roll off my back and not feel. She doesn't mean it, right? She doesn't know how to handle her anger. She's just a child. All those things my mind knows and understands, but my heart? My heart that expanded and started beating outside my body when she was born? My heart breaks. My heart wants to know why I'm not good enough. Why I suck at this. Why is my daughter is saying these things at such a young age? What have I done wrong?
And yet today is a new day. A new start. Another chance to try to get it right. Another opportunity for me to steel myself against the potential hurt that is sure to come at me from all directions, and rise above it and be bigger than it. And not give up, not send them to daycare, not go back to work where I might actually be validated and appreciated for my hard work -- no. Because although there might be more tangible benefits from a job outside the home, it wouldn't feel as rewarding as when Girlie tells me she loves me. Or when she smiles that huge radiant smile at me because she's genuinely happy. When she ties her shoes on her own. When she buckles her carseat all by herself and exclaims, "Did you see!? I did it!" with a huge grin.
She keeps me guessing. She keeps me on my toes. She pushes me to be better than I am.
She needs me. And I need her, too.