What an awful Sunday. It was a beautiful day, we had 3 extra kids with us (wonderful, charming, fun, respectful kids) and yet our 2 behaved awfully from start to finish.
Why? I wasn’t on top form yesterday. Maybe their behaviour was no different from normal, just that I was unable to handle it and stay calm. After a day focussing on all 5 kids on Saturday, I decided that hubby was around too, so Sunday could be a bit more of a relaxed affair and I could be a little more selfish too. Their homework was a priority. So was my bike ride and getting the garden a bit organised for Summer.
Picking youngest up from a sleepover was when it all started to go wrong (8.45am!) – she’d only had 3 hours sleep, been overdoing it lately with sport and complaining of bad ankle and finger – ‘I can’t do gymnastics’. Not a disaster. But I was cross. So I didn’t handle it well.
All day it felt that the two of them were competing with each other. Trying to score points off each other. Trying to ‘win’ and ensure the other ‘lost’. I was embarrassed (mostly when I yelled at that so loudly in the garden that the neighbour must have been totally judging what a shit Mum I was being). I felt bad for the other 3 kids with us – they were being put in the middle of our 2 or having to listen to hubby or me alternately shouting / losing it. I was at my wits end. I had no strategies to deal with it. I felt shocking anyway (middle aged aches and pains, stomach cramps, start of hayfever…) without the kids winding me up too and I dealt with their arguments, emotional outbursts, bickering, tears etc so badly.
Why? Is it just one of those things? Do we just have to expect days when our kids behave like this all day? (I don’t think so, and I hope not). Is it because I was in a bad place? Is it because I don’t have / am not using the right strategies? I certainly didn’t take the time with them individually yesterday to help them manage their emotions and behave differently. But I’m not perfect. I felt in no fit state yesterday to help them, because I was finding things tough myself.
I feel in serious need of some parenting help. Me and hubby both need it. Doing the next module on my online parenting course has been a priority on my to-do list for months now. I must remember how bad Sunday was, how much our kids need me to be a better parent and I just need to do module 2 THIS WEEK!