TODAY, I YELLED!
I had had an emotional morning for a variety of (non-kid related) reasons. I found myself spiralling out of control as I was dealing with soiled pants, a child who was objecting to being cleaned and another who was struggling with my mood and being extra clingy. When my clingy daughter tried to push the other away from me as I was trying to clean up her poo, I shouted:
“LUCY, STOP IT!”
She immediately burst into tears and ran to her room. I let her go. I needed space but I regretted yelling at her. She was reaching out to me, wanting reassurance that I was still her rock, even when I wasn’t feeling the best.
I went to her room after I had taken a couple of minutes to regroup. I knelt down to her and opened my arms, inviting her in. As she allowed herself to be enveloped into my embrace, I apologised wholly and completely. “I am sorry I yelled at you. I shouldn’t have done that and I wish I hadn’t. It doesn’t feel nice, I know, and I want you to know that I will always be here for you and I love you very much.”
She sniffled into my shoulder as we both paused in reflection. Finally she broke the silence with a surprising, thoughtful response. “It’s a ‘liddle’ bit scary when you yell. You must have been very mad, Mummy.” Tears flowed down my cheeks and she wiped them away. “Don’t worry, Mummy, you can have some of my birthday cake!” she empathised.
How could I have yelled at this child? I know why I did but how could I?
The truth is, it wasn’t her; I wasn’t mad at her. I had failed to take care of me and had taken it out on her. Sometimes life puts us in this predicament and we find there is little relief when we need it most. These are the times our emotions sit teetering on the edge, ready to jump out at the next opportune moment.
Just as our children build up their emotions and send them hurtling out at us when they can finally hold them no longer, we too do this. The difference is, we can and should control them. Whilst we can see beyond our children’s anger and emotions and see a hurting child during their outbursts, a child can’t possibly give us the same understanding, they feel our anger, take it on board and turn from us in fear.
This is why making amends is imperative.
The rest of our day was blissful. Lucy had a new sense of calm and tolerance about her which took her right through until bedtime. Taking that little bit of time out to reconnect and reassure her revived her confidence in me and allayed her fears. This then afforded me the space I needed to work through my own issues.
Today I yelled, but tomorrow I will try not to!
You may also like to read:
Damage Limitation Following a Parental Meltdown ~ Kate Russell (Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids)