It was late afternoon on a Sunday, the last day of the girl’s fall break when it happened. The day had gone as it usually does, run some errands in the AM and head to swim lessons at the YMCA at noon. After lessons were done and a few more errands completed, we headed home to relax for the rest of the day.
In causal conversation, I asked my 8 year old if she had completed her homework packet that was given to her before the week off. She had been diligently working on it during the beginning of the week and when I last checked, she was almost done. Well, I guess I didn’t check close enough, because in addition to needing to complete like 8 worksheet pages, she had a shit-ton of online lessons she needed to do. She hadn’t even started! At this point we were less than 4 hours to bedtime and still needed to fit in dinner and a shower. At this realization, I literally felt my blood boil. I couldn’t help it, my frustration exploded.
I started ranting.
“How could you wait until the last minute on so much work? Why didn’t you tell me you had online lessons? How old are you? What were you thinking?”
I was filled with such frustration that I had to do something to regain some control over my emotions. I certainly wasn’t helping the situation. So, I walked away. I needed a timeout. I was yelling at my kid and achieving nothing. I was venting I suppose, but she wasn’t the only one I was frustrated with. In all actuality I was more frustrated with myself. Why didn’t I pay more attention to the checklist on the packet? Deep breath. How can we fix this.
After a few minutes, the dust settled and logic began to take over, I came back into the kitchen, we sat down and got to work. We finished up the worksheets and over the next 3 hours completed as many online lessons as we could, literally until my daughter was falling asleep at the table. The next morning we woke up extra early to try and finish up. And we nearly did.
It’s not too often that I lose my shit with my kids. And when I do I instantly feel guilty about it. Sure, I raise my voice at times but what parent doesn’t. I find that the only way for me to settle down in a meltdown situation is to remove myself.
So what do you do? Are there ways you can prevent yourself from reaching that point in the first place? Breathe into a bag? Drink heavily? (I kid.) What?
I think that the key to avoiding a meltdown situation is not allowing things to build up to that point. Whether its work stress, lack of sleep, or missing a few days at the gym, maybe its more about preventive action on our end. Sure kids are going to screw up and push the limits but I had been stressed at work, hadn’t gone running in a few days and this scenario was just the tipping point. Mamas and papas need their own de-stressing time. Its so important to our well-being as well as our kids!
So I’m making a note to force that early evening run, pause in the moment and not turn into a total psycho. On a lighter note, check out this Amazing World of Gumball clip. Silly but relatable. Had me rolling.