I was a terrible mother this morning. I was impatient. I was disconnected. I was rushing. And I yelled. Quite a lot. I was 'me' at my worst this morning.
I am PMT-ish and I've been awake since 4:30.
Toby wet the bed at 4:30am. Just as I was about to drift off back to sleep at about 5:15, Dylan wet his bed too. Twins, eh?! Dylan then fell asleep in my bed (squashing me, obviously) and we were joined by Toby – just as I was drifting back to sleep – at 6:00am.
I'm not attempting to offer excuses for my behaviour. But I'm putting it into context so that – somehow – I can find the love to forgive myself.
I did at least warn the children that I was extremely tired and was therefore likely to be grumpy, short-tempered and not very nice!
They ignored that warning completely, of course.
But then came the magic.
As I kissed Toby goodbye at the door to his classroom, he looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry you didn't get enough sleep mummy. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
I welled up.
I knelt to the floor to be eye-to-eye with him.
I put my hands on his shoulders.
I looked him in the eye and said, "Thank you, my darling. I love you very much."
He smiled and threw his arms around my neck.
The ability of children to love – unconditionally – never ceases to amaze me. I must learn from them. I must try to be more like them.
So I must love myself unconditionally, as they love me unconditionally. There's no point in me beating myself up about how I behaved. What's done is done.
NOW is a new moment. I can use the experience to connect to a part of myself that is normally hidden, to see it, acknowledge it and integrate it so that it no longer has the power to rear its ugly head.
I'm learning that I don't have to love all aspects of my behaviour to unconditionally love myself. I must give to myself that which I (try to) give to my children: nurturing, loving guidance and a safe space to reflect.
I know I have the power, in every moment, to choose how I experience it. And frankly, I didn't much like the experience of bringing conflict into my family this morning. I could have created a much more positive experience.
I don't know if I'll be able to do it differently next time I'm suffering from PMT on little sleep. But I hope I'll be able to see it and recognise it earlier next time; to find that distance, that separation necessary to be able to see the opportunities in the moment, rather than the challenges.
The Loving Parent was founded by Vicky, a 36 year old single mother of a 7 year old daughter and twin boys of 6.
Blogs at: The Loving Parent