I lost it yesterday.
My meltdown happened quite quickly actually. But looking back now, I can see that I was just a dormant volcano waiting for an excuse to spew lava!
The trigger was Caleb’s reluctance to come to his study table and do his math homework yesterday afternoon. All because for some reason I allowed him to watch his Max & Ruby cartoon first. By right, that should have been a privilege given only after his homework’s completed.
So my meltdown subsequently during the homework time was something that I had brought onto myself really. The shouting and banging of table, in response to Caleb’s own tantrum and resistance to homework, was just over the top and out of line. I really didn’t have to lose it to that degree.
But I did.
What was worse, after Jaedon returned on his own from his violin class, and I had sent Caleb to nap against his will, I turned on Jaedon and let him have it too. It was nasty and mean and uncalled for. My excuse? That he forgot to check with his violin teacher when the next lesson was, like I asked him to earlier in the day.
So he got it from me too.
What’s worse was that he was on his way out to meet his friend, and I managed to shame him into not going, saying terrible things to him like how he only cares about his fun, he doesn’t care that daddy is upset, etc. He was so distraught that he sat on the living room sofa in tears, insisting that I was right and he didn’t deserve to go out to play. That’s when I knew I had gone too far.
In the end, I came to my senses in time to apologise to him and give him a big reassuring hug, convinced him it’s okay and he can go out to play (which he did).
After waking Caleb up from his “daddy-enforced” hour-long nap, I also apologised and gave him a hug, especially cos it looked like, despite the nap, he was fully aware and remembered well what had happened (he looked like he was about to cry again).
I know that I can’t turn back the clock. I know that I’ve left scars and memories of what happened inside their young impressionable minds (and hearts) that can easily be called out again the next time I lose it (and I’m sure I will).
So it’s not hard to imagine the feeling of guilt I carry with me now.
Thinking back, I knew at every moment of my meltdown in front of my kids, I had the option to stop myself, to refrain. But in the end, I made the wrong choices. Sure, unhappy emotions shouldn’t be bottled up since that is unhealthy and might lead to worse outcomes in future when I really lose it in the wrong time and place (not that there’s an absolutely right time and place anyway).
Yet I can’t help wondering why I didn’t manage things better? Why couldn’t I have spared my kids my wrath? How do I stop myself the next time?
The rules of the parenting game need to be constantly reviewed and adjusted, especially now that the tween years have begun with my boys.
And I need to do better each time on this long and arduous journey so my sons know my commitment to them is pure and dependable. But to succeed in this, I best work on answering the above questions before the next volcanic eruption!
Hopefully in coming similar posts (hence the # in this one’s title!), I’ll have figured it all out. Hopefully.