Thursday, May 9, 2013

Coming Unglued

I have been following a wonderful series called Build 'Em Up on the blog Kelly's Korner and this week she writes about coming "unglued"...
I am a control freak….I admit it. I am a planner, I am an organizer, and I am very resistant to change. This is a recipe for disaster when trying to manage a household of ten. I have four of my own children, four step-children who are with us every other weekend and six weeks during the summer, and a husband who works in Washington DC, so I am a “single mom” Monday through Friday. Add working full time into the equation and I find myself coming “unglued” on a semi-regular basis. I am not proud of it…in fact I find it rather upsetting, as I happen to be a perfectionist too!

When I was a SAHM with my two girls, I was super-mom...I felt patient, organized, and under control....then the twins came along...BOYS....and that is really when things first started to unravel and I realized that I cannot possibly live up to the standards I had set for myself. Here is a taste of that time in my life...

This is what I called "Level 2 Lockdown" for the twins' time out as they could easily get over one baby gate by helping each other over. I had to have a "time out" that they would actually stay in.

Typical toddler day climbing on anything they could...notice the lack of furniture in their room...they TOOK IT APART...literally....with their play they had their mattresses on the floor and their clothes were locked in the closet with a gate lock.
So my life drastically changed when I went from two calm and quiet little girls to a mother of twin boys. That is when I first recall really coming "unglued" at times. I know a lot of it was sleep depravation, but some of it was just a total lack of patience and feeling a loss of control over my life.
When I come “unglued” I usually take a time out for myself. I remove myself from the situation, go to my bedroom, and close the door until I can maintain some sort of sanity. I usually know when I am on the verge of coming “unglued” and can actually warn my children. I tell them that I am very tired, feeling a lot of stress, and that I REALLY need them to cooperate with me. That does not always work, and when I come “unglued” I usually yell, have my own version of a tantrum...and then go to my room.

Everyone loses their patience at some point; it’s unrealistic to think that one would never lose one’s temper. It’s what you do AFTER you come “unglued” that I think is important. After I calm down, I go to the person(s) I lost my temper with and acknowledge that I lost my patience and that I did not handle it well. Next, I apologize for doing so and ask for forgiveness. I find this especially important to do with my children as it teaches taking responsibility for one’s actions as well as teaching forgiveness. I also talk about how the situation could have been handled both parties involved.

At the end of the day, I think we all have to own how we react to situations. I know that I am much more likely to come unglued when I am very overtired or have had a particularly long day at work, so I try to not get myself into situations where I know I may lose my temper. Of course when I come home from work exhausted, make dinner, get kids to activities and back, supervise homework, and then finally fall into bed to sleep, I am less than pleased when #3B  knocks on my bedroom door at 10:00pm to announce that he needs tri-colored mini marshmallows for a science lab…TOMORROW. Like who stocks tri-colored mini marshmallows in their pantry? 

Bottom line….am I doing the best I can? I think so....I have to accept that I am not perfect, and realize that I am doing the best that I can with the time and emotional resources that I have. Self-care is VERY important, and as I mentioned in my earlier post, I am a better (and more patient) wife and mother if I take care of myself first.

What do you do when you come “unglued”?

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Eiggam Balazs said...

It's not easy to balance a desire for perfection with the realities of being a working mom with a house full of kids. I think you said it very well - self care is very, very important. Thanks for the post!

Leslie said...

Ha! This is so funny and one that all moms can relate to. My kids are 22 and 24 .. so I've already been through all this Lol! Balance is tough and no one is perfect. Taking time of yourself and keeping the relationship with your partner in tact is essential. Keep a good sense of humor :)


Natasha said...

It's been so comforting for me to hear that other moms have temper tantrums too. I agree wholeheartedly that it's what we do afterwards which counts. I also apologize to my kids. I think it's important that they know that adults make mistakes too and it's what you do afterwards which is important.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing such a relatable and honest post! I'm so glad you linked up with us!

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