Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I lost it with the kids last night. I am not proud of it. Between 4:00pm and 6:00pm every day my children seem to get a sudden burst of energy. I don't know what causes it, but the energy level in the house rises dramatically during these hours. Typically, I can handle it by redirecting that energy into something productive or simply ignoring it. Yesterday, I could do neither, try as I might. The kids were running and screaming and wrestling and throwing things. They were out of control. It was how I would imagine a pack of rabid wolves would behave. I simply wanted them to stop wrestling (which is not allowed in the house anyway) and pick up the toys that they had spread all over the entire house. I tried asking them. I tried demanding they do it. My requests were met with absolutely NO response. They continued laughing and having a grand old time as if I were not even in the room. I can handle a smart-mouthed little kid....I can handle tantrums. What I have YET to learn to handle well is being completely and totally ignored. It drives me to the edges of insanity. I could feel myself getting angrier by the minute. Eventually, I began yelling...then screaming. I ranted and raved like a lunatic. Ruanita called me in the middle of my rant and I was almost in tears. I have this extremely annoying habit of crying when I get angry. It completely undermines any standing I may have in an argument at all. I am sure Ruanita thought I had truly fallen off the deep end. At one point, I jerked Nicholas up by the arm and dragged him into his room to pick up his toys. I had no intention of hurting him, but afterwards I scary for a little boy. Here was this angry adult who was much larger than him, jerking him up. I am sure he thought mommy was going to hurt him. I felt horrible afterwards. I felt like the absolute worst mother on the planet.

The response to my screaming was mediocre at best. However, I finally was able to get the kids to put their toys away. I put on their pajamas and put them straight to bed. No bedtime stories, no piggyback rides. Just straight to bed. When I tucked Lucas and Nicholas into bed (Sophie was not so much the problem as the boys were last night), I apologized for screaming at them. I explained that it really makes mommy feel bad and it hurts my heart to yell at them, but I don't know what to do when they completely and totally won't listen to me. Lucas gave me a half-hearted "Sorry, mom." Nicky chirped, "Ok," and then smiled and kissed me. They were perfectly normal. They were completely unaffected by the fact that I yelled at them with such intensity. Either they did not care or they were used to it. Not good. Either way, that is not what I want for my kids.

I come from a long, distinguished line of screamers. I remember as a child my mother screaming at us with such intensity that I thought her head was going to explode, all the while crying. It would go on for so long that I would wish she would just beat me instead. Please mom, just knock me unconscious so it will stop. Of course my mother never laid a hand on me and wouldn't dream of hurting a child. She was simply a single mom, coping with the loss of her husband and trying to manage four rambunctious kids. Still, I don't want my own children wishing that I would knock them unconscious. I don't want to be that woman who loses control. I don't want to be that mom who all of the neighbors can hear screaming at my kids. I don't like feeling out of control. I do not like being angry with my kids...simply for being kids. I am just tired of being a single mom Monday through Friday. I am tired of being alone during that 4:00-6:00pm crazy time every day. When will it end? I do not want to wish away their childhood, but I need some relief. I realize that this has been a looooong winter, and I think we are all feeling the effects of being cooped up in the house together for so long. Hopefully, spring will bring some relief. I pray.


Jennifer said...

Why do we yell and scream? It gets us no where, lol I do it too and try my best not to! Sometimes I win, sometimes the screaming monster inside wins and it does make ya feel like crap after wards. I hope spring gets here soon so much better when the kids can play outside =)

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