Saturday was a VERY rough morning for me. I saw a side of myself that I didn't know would ever exist, would ever come out so blatently. It was Saturday morning, and the kids were all up. Ramsey had gone to the gym to meet with his trainer, and I decided to pull out the boys' storage bin toy holder. It sits in their closet, basically empty, and I figured I would throw it on Craigslist to get it out of my house. I brought the shelf into the living room and put all the buckets back in to take a picture. Well, my ADD self decided I should go ahead and warm up the stove for the pancakes I was about to make, and let it get nice and hot while I finished the shelf deal. As I was walking from the kitchen back into the living room, I see Roman stomp on the bottom shelf and snap the wood rail into two pieces. I got mad, but managed to just tell him that we don't do things like that. Naturally, he smiled his Roman smile and started jumping up and down doing what I now refer to as the "Penguin Flap" aka arm flapping aka autism behavior that I never really noticed as a sign until I started my research. After cracking a smile, I went about my business. I was in the kitchen and my neighbor, Susan, called. She started telling me that she was crying the night before because she wants so bad to fix this for me, she wants to take the pain away, etc... you know, all the things a friend would say in situations like this that really pull on your heart strings...I hear her voice cracking, and in an attempt to not cry myself, I tell her how frustrated I am... then I start telling her how I don't know the difference between typical 2 year old behavior versus he doesn't understand behavior and it is really stressful. We finish our conversation, and I make my way to the pancakes. (Told you I am always doing a ton of things at once :P) So, as I start the pancakes I hear Rayna crying in the bathroom. I poke my head around the corner to her telling me that she "didn't see the Littlest Pet Shop in the toilet and she accidentally went pee while it was in there". I go to the bathroom, fish out the stupid monkey, flush the toilet, wash my hands, and go back to the stove. No sooner than I flip the pancake, Rayna is hysterical in my bedroom. I walk to her and she informs me that her Minnie Mouse is swimming in MY toilet. At this point, I am fuming (picture cartoon character with flames coming from every angle out of my head). Roman has been spending his "quiet times" throwing toys in the toilet, stomping wood shelves in half, and throwing footballs at my living room ceiling fan to see it spin the football off and into the windows. Awesome. All of this is going down within seconds, so the only way to prevent it would be to tie the kid to my hip....which I am beginning to debate. Not seriously.
I lost it. I admit it. I....LOST....IT.
Out of pure frustration, and feeling like a complete failure at this parenting thing, I punched my kitchen cabinet. I slammed my elbows down on the counter top, smashed my face into my hands, and cried uncontrollably like a little baby. I finally calmed down and started to wipe my eyes, when I felt these little arms reach and wrap around my waist. I heard my oldest daughter, in the quietest little voice say, "I love you, mama!" Naturally, I cried all over again. I repeatedly told her how sorry I was that she saw all of that. I started explaining that I didn't know what it was, but I was going through a lot and I promised her that she would never ever ever see me hit something like that again. I, again, felt like I failed as a mother.
Immediately, as if I felt like I owed the world an apology, but more of an "I need someone to keep me accountable so I will admit what just went down", I picked up my phone and tweeted. I let all of Twitter know that I had failed miserably, and my children witnessed it. Several replies confirming I was not a failure came flooding in, but deep down, no matter who said what, I felt like the World's Worst Mother.
Later that day, after all had calmed down, and I realized how ridiculous I had been....and that my entire church's staff knew about my tantrum...I tweeted again: "Finally ate. Now I feel sick. Kinda embarrassed to show my face at E3 tomorrow after my anger fit this morning." The reply I got made me stop in my tracks and tear up all over again..."If you can't show it here then we have failed. Real place for real people. Come get some love." straight from the phone of one of my pastors. Not surprised, but surprised all at the same time, I replied again "No failing on your end, humility on mine. You know I'll be there..." The reply to this one was a reality check I needed...more than he probably even realizes, and it showed me just how amazing the support I have from my community is: "God gives grace to the humble! Cry on our shoulders and we will praise Him through the storm...Together. #nohoodienecessary"
I am SO THANKFUL to have a church family that loves my family, loves me despite my angry outbursts, doesn't judge, offers to carry my burden WITH me so that I am not walking alone, prays for me, prays WITH me, and best of all..... knows me well enough to know that hoodies are my "safety net" and they have no problem reminding me that I don't need it all the time, because that is what they are there for...
Thanks, E3, for being my safe haven, and a place where I can be loved just the way I am.