So my kids and I went to the laundry mat yesterday, not normally something to share with the world. A hour and half before bedtime. I should have known I was setting us up for a disaster. It was brutal! By the end Lillybug was crying
and upset at the world. JD was grounded, crying, angry, and very disrespectful. I felt like I was one whine or disrespectful comment away from losing my mind. So we came home and I was very angry and both kids were upset. I was very short, almost to the point of being nasty, and just got them in bed a quick as they could change and go potty. I'm sure they both went to bed feeling as though their mom didn't like them (something I never
want my kids to feel). So fast forward to today. This morning was tense but
uneventful. We walked JD to the bus stop and saw him off pleasant enough but I still a bit emotionally detached. After he was gone I spent the majority of my day busy with work. Well around lunch time I had a hour to myself. For some reason I couldn't get last night out of my mind. My reflections started with "I can't believe how selfish and disrespectful JD is!" After some further thought it hit me that my son is usually anything but selfish (unless he sees coffee creamer in the fridge... then it's on and he will drink the whole dang bottle- all by itself lol). Also he has a tad bit of a mouth on him normally that I just chalk up to his budding independence but it's
normally nothing that severe. So why in heavens name did he act like that?
The mental replay was humbling..... For the very start of
our "outing" I was grumpy. I hate laundry day. I mean HAAAAAATE it. My behavior
and attitude reflected that fact. Then I ended up overwhelmed by the amount of
laundry (I've been slacking for a few weeks....), Lillybug getting upset, other
kids running around screaming and play video games really loud, and trying to
pay enough attention to the clothes so I don't put something on the wrong
setting or mix darks and colors and etc. So I, ME, and MYSELF got nasty. I
started barking orders, cutting him off when he was trying to talk to me, and
just being dismissive and rude. Is it really a wonder he ended up giving me
exactly what I was giving him? How would I react if someone was disrespecting me
the way I was disrespecting him last night? I think I would be a helluva lot
worse to be honest. Was my son right in the way he acted? No. But upon further
thought was he justified? Yes.
Now came the tricky part. I had already grounded him for
two days due to his poor choices. I'm not big on grounding. It's kinda my "hail
Mary" pass. As I sat here and thought it over I felt guilty. But do I risk
losing the "this was serious and not ok" factor with my son and let him off the
hook or do I ignore the fact that I was mostly responsible for last nights
dramas? This internal indecision lasted until I saw my baby get off the bus and
look at me really sheepish. We came home and got settled in. I sat down right
next to him and hugged him. He looked at me like "what Mom". I calmly told him
while snuggling "JD we both had a very rough day yesterday at the laundry mat.
I'm sorry I was rude to you. How about we both try harder next time to make good
choices? You're not grounded anymore. let's just make better choices next time."
My son was so happy! He started crying and said "Thanks Mom, that really makes
me feel better. I didn't know what I did yesterday to make you so angry and I
kinda acted crazy. I'm sorry I talked mean to you Mom."
I know some will read this and think that I weak and
caved. I hope most of you will understand that I realized that I was the one who
was responsible for all the stress last night. My kids need to respect me, this
is true. But how can I expect them to respect me as their mother, role
model, adult, and human being if I can't even admit when I was the one at fault
and also the one who was wrong? Admitting your mistakes doesn't make you weak,
not even with your kids. Instead it teaches them that we all make mistakes but
we ALL need to own up to our mistakes.