From the moment the kids struggled to go to bed last night I had prepared myself for a tough morning.
As a parent, you know the delicate interdependency of moments. This staying up late moment is a short term concession that will make sleepytime tougher, likely make them tired in the morning, and make anything through at least lunch a battle.
So I prepared for it. Went to bed early. Woke up before them. Took all my breaths this AM. Had breakfast stuff ready to go.
All before they woke.
And I still screwed it up. I tried to cut through their behavior 15 different ways but by 11am (geez, just thinking of that short fuse is a level of guilt I won’t shake for a while) I had lost it. Separating them. Reading to them. Playing with them. Making them change their clothes again to reset the day.
In the 3 minutes between finishing a chapter in The Tale or Despereaux and starting to unpack a volcano gift the kids devolved into the worst side of Cobra Kai and I snapped. At a booming level that I’m sure is still bouncing around in their skulls.
I was overconfident today. There’s a lot going on and I wasn’t kind enough or honest enough with myself to give myself space. To let them hop on the TV. Or do their iPads when nothing else was working.
They didn’t need the space. Maybe I did?So here we stand. It’s 1pm. And I’ve conceded the day.
For all our complaints about time moving relentlessly forward, it’s days like today that I can’t help but be thankful.
4 counts in
7 counts hold
8 counts out
All we can do is acknowledge it, give ourselves space, and get better.
Update: I shared this because I know we’ve all been there. And it felt right to share. Sometimes, even with our kids, the folks we love the most, the best thing is space. Space that acknowledges right now they just don’t want to hear it, and space that acknowledges right now, we just don’t want to say it.
I’m good. At 1230 I embraced the day. Just letting it unfold and doing less to impose myself on it and more to take the instructions it (and they) give me.