My frustrations have been getting the better of me with my children all over the place. Last night it was with dealing with their homework. Oh. My. Goddess. My patience wears thin really quick during homework time mostly because my children, who are VERY smart, try to cop out from actually doing the work and instead revert to just trying to guess what the correct answers are. *twitch* Buuuuuuuuuuuut, when I get frustrated, I know it doesn't help, it stresses them out beyond belief which only provokes them to guess more because suddenly their alarm at my frustration makes their poor little brains forget everything they were ever taught on that subject and it just goes spiraling down from there.
Believe me, I know this isn't a good thing. And this morning wasn't very good either. It started with Aspen and Sage deciding to wake up a good hour before my alarm was set to go off and start LOUDLY horsing around. -_- This, in turn, makes for a VERY grumpy Morgaine, especially since I had a helluva time getting to sleep last night. Still, I thought overall that this morning would still go relatively smoothly at least for getting them ready for school.
I got back home from dropping them off at school and I was already, once again, kicking myself and pretty much crumpled over with shame. I headed into the kitchen to put some water on to boil to brew up a cup of Yogi's Kava Stress Relief. While I waited, I brought my computer and my Tarot deck out to the computer desk in the living room as well as my incense burner.
I put a couple cubes of scented wax into the wax warmer to start some good, cheerful scent in the room. I dug into my altar box and found my box of Myrth incense (got it from Wal-Mart). Damn skippy I needed some "myrth" going on! I didn't light it til after I got my tea ready. Finishing my tea prep, I contemplated as I dipped the teabag.
"I choose to not let my frustrations and my temper get the best of me. I choose to not yell. I choose to walk away to calm down if I feel my temper getting away from me. I choose to be more patient." I repeated this again as I stirred some of my favorite creamer into my tea and took a sip. When I sat down at the desk, I took a stick of that Myrth incense out. I inhaled a little of the scent and smiled.
As I lit the incense, I said, "I accept that I make mistakes. I accept that I will make many more. I accept that I will still sometimes lose my temper. But I also acknowledge that, when I do, I will accept my mistake and try to do better at the next given opportunity. So now, as I light this incense, I take into me mirth and humor and a readiness to laugh."
I have 3 jar candles on the desk -- a green Pine-scented, a brown Vanilla Cinnamon Brulee, and a brown Warm Rustic Woods. I lit the Pine. "I draw prosperity and good fortune to me and mine." I lit the two brown candles, saying both times "All negativity is drawn into these flames and burned up, never to be seen again."
After taking a moment to breathe in the wonderful scents of each candle, I sat down to drink my tea and opened up my browser to make this post.
As anyone with children knows, being a parent is not easy. There's so much frustration that comes with it that we just don't tend to experience otherwise. Oh sure, people that don't have kids but watch over other people's children still experience frustration, but they're not as, shall we say, at as much liberty to make the mistakes that we parents do. A babysitter or nanny doesn't have the liberty to lose their temper and yell at their charges. Oh, it still happens, I'm sure, but they run the risk of overstepping their bounds and losing their jobs if they do. So they kinda have to watch their step. Not to mention, though, that more often than not, babysitters only have to watch their charges for a few hours and then go home. Nannies, depending on the situation, sometimes have that same privilege (excluding the live-in nannies, of course).
We parents, though, outside of school and/or daycare, have our children non-stop. Not that we're complaining, of course, but we don't generally tend to get a break from our kids even when we REALLY need one for the sake of the collective sanity of everyone in the home. And then we sometimes feel guilty for feeling that way because, well, we love our kids and a lot of us have that thinking that says "Well, if you love your kids, then you shouldn't NEED a break from them!" or some bunk like that.
I don't know. It's different for everyone.
I'm one of those parents who doesn't really feel like I NEED a break from my kids very often. Part of that, though, is probably because there really isn't any way for me to get that break. I don't have anyone who can babysit them (outside of school) to allow me to get out every once in a while to do something for me. I'm used to always having them home with me and I'm used to finding ways to get my "breaks" at home, whether it's playing a game on my computer or reading or watching a TV show or movie with my kids or by myself while they spend time in their rooms.
Fact of the matter is, though, that I'm a yeller and that's something I've been trying to improve on for quite a while, especially when we were having to stay with other people or when we had to live in the motel room. It was just way too close quarters all around for my Ban Sidhe-like howl to be tolerable. Not to mention that I absolutely HATE the way I feel when I'm yelling at my kids. I feel completely out of control and powerless. Mind you, I don't mean "out of control" as to say that I feel as though I would cause harm to my children. HELL no. I mean that as saying I feel like I feel powerless to regain the control I need to stop yelling.
I was doing a LOT better at not yelling at them as much as I used to, but the past couple of days have felt like all the progress I've made just unraveled. Mentally, I understand that sometimes that happens and that I need to accept it and try harder to maintain my calm. Emotionally, I still feel embarrassed and ashamed of myself, which is why I made the verbal statements that I did earlier which has helped.
Fact is, I know I'm not a bad parent. I make mistakes like anyone else, but I do try to do better. I'm also not afraid to apologize to my children when I do wrong. I don't get the parents that have the mentality of "apologizing to your children shows weakness!" -_- Seriously? It's not easy to apologize, so I say that anyone who is able to do so has a strength of character to be envied.
But my children know that I love them. The day never ends without me giving them hugs and kisses, rectifying any mistakes I've made, and reassuring them that despite the fact that Mommy sometimes goes batshit and no matter how upset I get at them sometimes, that I love them very very VERY much and always will.
Making mistakes does not make us bad parents. Refusing to acknowledge our mistakes and refusing to make an effort to do better for the sake of our children makes a bad parent.
And now, having done all that and reflected on this, I feel a lot more ready to begin my day. :-)