One Of Those Days

Today has been one of those days.

It started off at the ungodly hour of 6am, when Squishy decided to wake up for the day. Who on earth decided that 6am could ever be considered morning? No, no, no. 7am is my limit, and usually when awoken before that magical time I would just chill in bed and let him play next to me while I dozed, but thanks to Squishy’s insistence on repeatedly attempting to latch onto my nose whilst pulling my hair, it wasn’t to be.

The day kicked off to a promising start; I managed to clean the living room and kitchen, including mopping the floors (!) and cleaning the downstairs toilet (!!), all before 11.30am. The kids were happy, I was happy, all was going well.

Then, things started to go downhill. My husband came home from work after an emergency doctor’s appointment revealed that he has shingles. He then proceeded to fall asleep on the sofa for the rest of the day. Of course I don’t begrudge him this; I can only imagine how crappy he must be feeling, and after all I cope with the kids by myself every day when he is at work without a problem. There’s just something very frustrating about having an extra pair of hands right there but unable to actually help!

As the day wore on, the children became more and more tired and cranky and so did I. Monkey was on top form all day – whining, shouting, snatching, teasing Squish with toys only to snatch them away as soon as his pudgy little hand made contact, emptying buckets of toys all over the living room and refusing point blank to help me tidy them up… Yeah. It’s been one of those days.

Even the most gentle, conscientious parents have days when they unwittingly abandon all of their principles and end up resorting to the shaming and yelling they endured as children. 

My exhaustion was the leading factor in my inability to be a Calm Parent today. My level of tiredness was that where when you close your eyes you immediately feel yourself drifting off… and watching Ill Husband sleeping on the sofa didn’t do much to make me feel energised. Would it really have been that mean to have kicked him out and crawled in his place? After all, if it were me that had shingles, I’d still have to look after the kids… Ahem. I digress.

Today could have been a perfect opportunity to try out the positive discipline techniques I’ve been learning from a fantastic book I’ve been reading – Positive Discipline for Preschoolers. Lets just say that opportunity was missed. I shouted (several times), rolled my eyes, bribed, and let a few “Oh for goodness’ sake, what’s wrong now?” escape my lips after enduring what felt like hours and hours of needless, pointless god-awful whining. I have apologised for losing my temper so many times today that I am sick of the sound of myself apologising; it sounds so false when it’s repeated that frequently.

I remember how I felt when I was little and my parents spoke to me in the same manner I spoke to my children today. They meant well, of course, but I remember that feeling of shame thanks to the eyeroll over my crying, and the shouting when I was being difficult. Days like today make me realise that they were just human beings, trying to negotiate the day whilst dealing with what, in all honesty, was a pretty difficult child at times.

Days like today are what makes me think twice about judging the mums we all see every so often that yell at their kids at full volume, or drag their tantruming toddler along the street by the hand. It’s hard not to make a snap judgement – after all, it’s easy to do that as an outsider – but I always try my best to remember that she’d probably had a day like mine was today. Even the most gentle, conscientious parents have days when they unwittingly abandon all of their principles and end up resorting to the shaming and yelling they endured as children.

It’s so hard to get away from the methods with which we were raised. And that is why I will continue to try as hard as I can to raise my kids in a different way. I want gentle, mindful, positive discipline to come naturally to my children if they are blessed with their own in the future.

And as for today… well, today can suck it. Here’s to tomorrow. *raises glass*

Comments

  1. says

    Hi, Imogen. Just came across your blog recently and I love it! This post is so honest and to the point:

    “It’s so hard to get away from the methods with which we were raised. And that is why I will continue to try as hard as I can to raise my kids in a different way. I want gentle, mindful, positive discipline to come naturally to my children if they are blessed with their own in the future.”

    I couldn’t agree more! I’m guessing lots of us mamas have lots of ‘those’ days, especially if we didn’t have the best role models. We’re learning as we go. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Your right, parenting is an ongoing thing and even when we know what’s best, the habits of a lifetime can easily jump back in when we’re not functioning at our best.

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