My sister snapped this photo at my mom’s house on Thanksgiving while I was snuggling with the kids on the couch. Zach and Ryan were pretty consumed watching Toy Story at the time and Brayden was just interested in those things the older boys were shoving in their mouths. As for myself, I was just enjoying being surrounded by three of my favorite kids.
This is how I feel most natural, surrounded by kids. I love them all, but Zach and my nephews have such a special place in my heart. They bring so much joy to my life. That’s why when I get frustrated and lose my cool with any of them it breaks my heart and I wonder if I’m really cut out for this parenting thing. I know kids act up and I should be prepared for that, but sometimes my frustration overtakes me and I lash out.
The whole losing my cool thing has been happening a bit too often lately. Instead of consistent disciplining, I find myself yelling and having the urge to spank out of frustration. I know it has a lot to do with the lack of sleep and Zach’s seemingly endless tantrums these days, but I find it happening more and more often. The less Zach sleeps, the less I sleep and we both end up crankier and crankier.
This morning, during an almost hour long tantrum I lost control to the point that I scared myself. After a night of very little sleep, Zach was screaming and thrashing around and refusing to cooperate with anything. I was getting later and later for work and he was getting more and more obstinate as the minutes went by. I had to hold him down to get his clothes on him and after he kicked his shoes off for about the fifth time I was spent.
I felt myself growing more and more angry and knew I needed to take a step back. I finally managed to wrestle him into his car seat and strapped him in. The car was in the garage, so I left him there for a couple minutes while I stepped back inside the house and tried to calm myself down. It didn’t take long. I just needed a couple of deep breaths and a moment to put things into perspective.
When I came back to the car, Zach was still screaming (just as I expected) but I was in a different frame of mind. He finally settled down shortly before we got to his school. I wanted so badly to turn the car around, go home, and just hold him for the rest of the day. Instead, I had to take him inside to his class where he clung to me with a death grip. When his teacher finally pulled him away from me, I had to listen to his screams all the way to the door.
I left his school with tears in my eyes, knowing that all he really wanted was some time with me this morning and I was in too big of a rush to give it to him. After being away from him all weekend, I couldn’t give him a few extra minutes of my time when he needed it. The worst part of it all is feeling like I let him down.
By the time I picked Zach up from school tonight, he was perfectly fine and had most likely forgotten about the whole thing. I was the one in need of some extra snuggling by that time and he was happy to oblige.