Yesterday was a rough day on the kids. They seemed increasingly sensitive and needy and I was (and have been off and on for weeks) stressed and tired. It’s never a good combination as a parent – when your kid’s bad mood and your bad mood overlap in time. Yesterday? It involved a couple of occasions of tears (mine and theirs) and some clingy behavior that impeded my ability to get some quiet work time after MrZ came home. One of the few nights he didn’t have a work out, so I asked him to help with the kids while I did some maintenance on my site and computer. Unfortunately? They were only half interested in Dad Time and half interested in playing around my feet while I work. Eventually it ended in AndyZ begging me to sing him night-night songs and I decided my work could wait (I was running into issues there anyway) and I took him to bed.
When I was in bed with him, my first instinct was to be frustrated with his neediness and to just rush the songs and get back to work. But something about his pitiful face and his GIANT blue eyes (they are of the devil, you know) shook my grumpiness out. I just took a few deep breaths and started rubbing his head and singing to him. “One more song…” he said after every one, so I went through the 6 song menu I choose from every night. He slept with one of my stuffed snowy owls (Hedwig!) and I kissed him goodnight.
It’s hard, sometimes. To not let the rest of my life get in the way of being a good Mom. Suddenly having to walk my dogs 3+ times a day and mow two lawns a week during the hottest summer on Alabama’s record books – these are a few of the things giving me a permanent case of the grumpies. Then there’s trying to get the house on the market and the generic Back To School chaos that ensues this time of year. But none of these stress catalysts are my kid’s fault. As a matter of fact, many of them add stress to their lives as well. I’m trying my best to remember that. They are innocent bystanders in the pandemonium that is now our life…just as affected by the situation as I am. Should I make it worse by being short and terse with them? Or should I do the opposite and try to increase the positive in their lives. Definitely the latter, because as I realized singing to Wes last night – Being good to them? Is also being good to myself. I felt very much at ease as I left his room last night. Letting go of my own stress so I could sing to him peacefully? Did me as much good as it did him.