Parenting is not easy. No one ever told me it would be, nor did I expect as much. I have this ideal in my mind of how I should behave as a momma and what that momma is like. Some days I live up to this role. Many days I feel like I have let myself and Harper down.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Perhaps it was because of the heat. It was about 90 degrees outside and our air conditioning isn't working properly, making our home a sweltering 84 degrees inside.
Perhaps it was because Harper was having an honest-to-goodness bad day. If it happens to me, surely it happens to 13 month-olds, right?
Perhaps it was because I have a lot on my mind. But then again, when don't I?
There are a million reasons I could give, yet I still feel guilty.
Yesterday I was a bad mom.
I lost my temper with Harper about every three minutes. I raised my voice more than I care to admit. I made her cry with my impatience and loud voice too many times. I felt overwhelmed. I found myself wishing someone else were there with me so I wouldn't have to hear her whiney when I walked two feel away from her. Or when she hit me. Or when she peed on the floor. Or when she wouldn't nap. Or when I wanted to go to the bathroom myself and had to bring her with me so she wouldn't cry.
I found myself wishing I could get away for just a few minuets ALONE. I needed to breathe. Collect myself. Relax. But even though I knew I needed a Time Out myself, I felt guilty. I shouldn't wish to be away from my daughter. I should want to spend every moment I can with her so I don't miss anything.
Not yesterday, I'm sorry to say. After a full day of Harper being incessantly and overly whiney, acting out in music class, refusing to listen whenever I said "No," etc, etc. left me broken. I needed that Time Out.
So here I sit, writing during my self-invoked Time Out. The image of my ideal momma crept into my mind throughout today, just like she does on all my bad parenting days. usually I am able to be reasonable and ration and pull myself together. Yesterday was different. Yesterday I was fed up and in a foul mood. Yesterday will be my learning day - a day I don't want to repeat. The momma I was yesterday is my un-ideal momma to say the least. I know these types of days will happen in the future; that's a given. But I hope what I've learned will be recalled later. Unlike yesterday when I couldn't reel myself in and change what I didn't like/see/hear, I hope I can summon the strength to do so later on. I owe that to myself and to Harper. I know I certainly didn't like myself yesterday so I can't expect her to like me when I'm like that either, no matter how frustrated I am with her. I am ashamed of myself and angry. No I didn't hit her or verbally attack her, but I was not nice or fun. Granted, it was not all bad, but the good moments were few and far between.
Now that I have given myself this Time Out to reflect on my behavior and attitude, I know I can do better - I WILL do better. I love Harper too much not to try harder and show her what a good momma is like everyday.
Because, of course, every day is another chance to do better.