I yelled this morning, for really stupid reasons. I yelled loud and then I stormed into the kitchen and banged one of the kids' plastic Dora bowls so hard on our kitchen island that it broke.
I haven't posted about parenting issues for a while because, for the most part, all has been pretty quiet on the parenting front. There are a lot of reasons for this—two big ones being greater maturity on Maddie and Riley's part and greater general happiness on my part. It's been a nice change.
This morning, though, brought up a lot of unpleasant memories for me, taking me back to times not too long ago, times with more yelling from me and more irrationality from everyone. Nothing ever warrants the kind of behavior I exhibited this morning, and, frankly, what got me upset this morning was nothing more than typical three-year-old behavior, the kind that is frustrating and annoying, yes, but also part and parcel of this age. Quite simply, Maddie and Riley were more interested in putting stickers all over themselves and dancing around than they were in getting dressed and having breakfast, and they would not settle down, listen to what I was saying, and get on with the routine of the morning.
Nothing usual, nothing to get that upset about. There are days when our morning routine goes off without a hitch (rare), days when we get out the door more or less on time but not without some difficulty (the norm), and days like today where, for reasons I can't pinpoint, I just don't have the reserves to get us through the morning without blowing my top. On a normal day, Maddie and Riley do the kind of thing that got me upset today, but I manage not to get upset about it. Today—why today?—I just couldn't deal.
Morning routines are stressful for most of us, with kids or without. Having to be somewhere at a specific time in the morning is not easy. Every minute counts. I have a habit of getting the kids out of bed a few minutes later than is really wise, and I need to be better about that for all of our sakes. Having a bit of a time buffer will help me for sure.
I am not big on new year's resolutions, but one goal I do want to work towards is more calm, more compassion, and more kindness. When I have mornings like we did today, I feel awful, and the kids don't feel great, either. I know the usual techniques of stepping away, counting to ten, giving myself a break or a time out, and the like. What I'm wondering is if I'm alone in the swiftness with which my anger arrives. I will honestly feel fine fine fine, then suddenly, I'm yelling without the awareness or time to get myself out of the room to count to ten and cool my jets. If I don't even feel it coming, how can I manage it? How do I know when it's going to be one of those days when it's too much for me to take?