I am very thankful that you all responded so quickly and with such certainty that my kids are in good hands. Here's a little bit of an email my dearest friend sent me after reading my confession:
You want to know why you're a Super Mom? Because after you got done scolding your kids and making them pick up, you went upstairs and realized you'd perhaps vented a little misplaced frustration and realized that your kids are just being kids (and not bad ones), you cried because you're a Super Mom. Unsuper Moms don't realize those things. Unsuper Moms tromp upstairs and fume about their pain in the ass kids and absent husbands. If Unsuper Moms cry it's because they realize they can't off their offspring without being caught, and they're stuck with them for years to come, and it's only going to get worse. Super Moms accept hugs from their 5 yr olds and wonder if they're doing irreparable damage...which you're not. If your kids end up in therapy because of you, its going to be for something you do years from now....I can guarantee you haven't earned Unsuper-status yet and aren't going to any time soon. I'm betting on no parentally-earned therapy for your kids, period.I love that she doesn't discount the idea that I could do something in the future that will put my kids in therapy! Her support is laden with humor! However, I think I might agree with what she's getting at. I don't claim to be super anything, really, but I do think that there is something to realizing our mistakes. Even in the moments where I haven't known what to do with a certain parenting situation and I thought I might be at my wits end, I haven't wanted to give them up. I do love these three monkeys. I do love their father. It's a good thing.
And I like that I'm honest with the kids. I think it's a good thing that I can admit to them when I've made a mistake or when the strength of my yelling wasn't quite proportionate with the transgression they committed. I even think I'm getting better at letting go of the frustration and moving on to play Legos, read books, watch movies...have fun with the kids again. I have noticed how quickly the kids move past being in trouble and I'm making a conscious effort (being intentional in 2011) to do so as well.
I've always been honest with the kids about my emotions, which are many! They know that sometimes I don't want to read a book because I'm tired and sometimes its because I'm lazy and sometimes its because I'm annoyed. They also know that in five or ten minutes they can ask if I'm still feeling that way and I'm probably not and will likely read them a book. So, even when Scott's gone, I'm not "strong for them," as some people try to be. Instead, they know that I'm sad, that I miss him, and that crying about it sometimes is OK. It's perfectly acceptable to wear our "daddy" shirts and talk about him. It's also OK to have fun while he's gone and share those stories with him. And we're all in it together.
Lastly, I'm making an effort to get to sleep earlier. I'm currently trying to find the balance between a little kid-free me time after their bedtimes and the longer amount of time it takes me to actually get to sleep without Scott. It's a tricky balance. I am also over my cravings for Mt. Dew, which is spectacular to say. I know some of you thought I was being a little hard on myself for having this one little vice. But it wasn't little and it wasn't one. It was a daily habit (often more than one a day) in a diet that is reasonably healthy otherwise. And the cycle of caffeine, including the crash, was not something that I enjoyed. I much prefer healthy eating, adequate sleep, and stable moods. I'm sure the kids do too! So, we're well on our way to "back on track" with that!
OK, one more thing...
I didn't write yesterday's post to fish for parenting compliments. I like to be real. I am real. I want to put myself out there so other parents, spouses, whomever reads my writings know that they're not alone. We all shine sometimes and we all need a lot of polishing other times. Thank you for all rubbing you guys do! Hopefully I can help you put a little gleam in your armor when you need it too!