I have a secret I must confess.
I am human. *Gasp!* I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow. But I’ve been human for about 34 years now. Because of the comments and emails I get from many MommyhoodSFS readers, I was beginning to think that I’d given you the impression that I had all the answers – that I had found a way to “cure” my kids somehow, simply because I send out messages of Hope and encouragement so often. However, I need to remind you that I’m incredibly human with flaws bigger than my actual children!
The crazy thing is, my kids? They’re human, too. They’re human with an extra dose of crazy stuffed into their pockets. And their humanity has been clashing with mine at colossal rates these past few weeks. Yesterday, I was close to sending them out into the yard with shovels to dig holes (6 feet deep). But instead, I chose to use words I would not normally say to them, scream until my throat hurt, and stomp my feet very angrily… because stomping angry feet is the tap dance of a Mama who has been pushed well beyond her limit!
Did my kids break anything? No, well, not intentionally. Did they get suspended at school? No, just the usual reports. Were they aggressive? Destructive? Raging? Again, nope. So why have I unleashed my humanity so ferociously on these precious little people?
The only way that I know to describe it is this:
Imagine that every day, each time you saw your neighbor, he smiled at you and then walked over to shake your hand. Except instead of shaking your hand, he flicked you in your forehead. Every day. Every interaction. For 4 years.
Eventually, even the calmest person could find themself transformed into the Unabomber. Not because being flicked on the forehead really hurts, but because it was constant. Relentless. And all the evidence points to the fact that it, quite possibly, may never stop.
I can tell you that I would give my neighbor a shovel and he would be out there digging a hole right alongside my kids.
But as for our house, I am constantly being flicked in the proverbial forehead with lying, back-talking, arguing, and the incessant attempts by these short ones to do all they can to tick the other one off. This is followed by more arguing, more lies, yelling, stealing of toys, and doing things to get the other one in trouble. For 4 years, this has been our daily constant. And for almost a month, this has been our every waking moment.
I didn’t realize just how Unabomber I’d become until my kids missed their bus stop one day and were returned to the school at the end of the bus driver’s route. Instead of them walking in the door at 3:48 that afternoon, I picked them up at 4:15 from the school. And those 27 minutes were the most glorious of the day. It was like being a kid and waking up, only to find there was a snow day. I had 27 more minutes without arguing and fighting… 27 less minutes I had to hold back my humanity until bedtime.
You know you’re human when you wonder if you can leave them at the school even longer and go for a massage. It was only out of love for our blessed principal that caused me to pick them up in a timely fashion… even if I did take the long way.
I’ve come to realize that I can love my children enough to feel immense anger at them when they act like hateful beasts. I can love them enough to tap dance and scream when they refuse to follow simple instructions (ones that were given no less than 45 times in 10 minutes). You see, I used to think it was hate… but I now know that if I hated them, I just simply wouldn’t care. But I love them so much that I feel sick over the thought that they hate one another – that they may end up with no friends in life – that they may know what the inside of a jail cell looks like. I love them so much that I am unable to hold back my anger when they act like anything less than human towards others or when they lie to my face for no apparent reason.
I love them so much that I can have these strong feelings and know that I will survive them just the same. So, to those of you that have flexed your humanity this week, that have given your kids shovels, or that have threatened the most ridiculous of consequences, you are not alone. You are human. And you do this because you love. Know when to say you’re sorry, know when to own your mistakes. But let us never question our big feelings, for they are what make us real.
If you, too, are human and need some extra parenting help, click HERE.