I am exhausted and annoyed. I need five minutes to myself where I am not listening to the caucaphony of children and their arguments as a soundtrack.
I try to be level-headed. Think empathetically. Be calm rather than reactive.....But then Liv starts spraying her brother with the garden hose, the dog knocks Briar over in his attempts to grab the jet of water with his mouth, my camera narrowly misses a shower and both kids are screaming at me and each other that some terrible injustice has befallen each of them. I attempt to breathe and 'get to their level'. I try to sort out how we can find some sort of resolution. Some compromise involving spraying away from others. Putting the dog inside. Helping siblings up when they fall. I attempt to speak quietly over their screams and try to hold back limbs that are aimed for siblings fury-filled faces. I try to be the grown-up. Teach by example. Breathe. Just breathe. Just fucking breathe.
Then I lose it. "Why the hell are you doing that?! Get your bloody foot out of your brother's face. NOW!!!! Stop slamming that door! BE QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I am not the poster child for NVC. I am not even close to being a 'functional mother'. I watch as Liv stares at me with something akin to contempt while she tells me, "You don't care about me as much as Briar!!! I want my dad back!" and know that this is just the precursor. I know that this train is on the track to kids who spraypaint their bedrooms black and wear olive green long johns and black overcoats for everyday attire. I can already imagine Liv with a pierced eyebrow/nose/tongue and some foreign sounding dark music spewing from her mp3 player. How the hell do I stop this? How do I even educate myself? I spend every moment of every day, awake or asleep, with these kids. I know that those pro-conventional schoolers are thinking smugly, "She belongs in school. That'd teach her. Jackie's gonna have her hands full!"
It makes me want to scream foul sounding choice words at the world. I need help. I need a few minutes to myself that I can count on. I need a break. I need to know that I can take a course in latin or dog training or bowling, for all I care, as long as I can have a minute to decompress.
I truly want to have a compassionate, functioning, and enjoyable relationship with my kids. But, if I am honest, often times, I feel like I am stumbling, tripping and existing as a parent. I was once a totally aware and conscious parent. One who thought out many of my 'reactions' with my kids. One who had theories and words that adopted for calm interactions with my kids.
Is it that I have two kids now?
Is it that I am always taking care of more children than just my own?
Is it that Jeff is dead and I don't have as much time/energy/resources/rest?
Is it that Jeff is dead and my kids are scarred and going to morph into angry goth teenagers?
Is it that I just suck as a mom?
Is it just that everyone feels like this sometimes and I don't really get the depth of their frustration until I am living it and think "No one else must feel like this. I suck!"?
So tell me, do you have these times? Are we 'normal' or completely dysfunctional......