If you need me, I will be hiding in my closet with a quart of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
We had a page of English, some science, and we needed to add 2 things to our history timeline today. As soon as the boys started English, they started fighting. ALL WEEK LONG it has been a fight. I have no idea what it is about English that makes them want to rip each other apart. Actually I do know. It is because there is ONE English book and 2 children. They COULD just put it in the middle and do the work side by side but no. They take turns pulling the book closer to themselves, turning it to face them so that the other has to read upside down, or they try to block the book from the other persons view. Today it turned into an actual rolling on the floor, wrestling match. I had to literally pull them off of each other. I told them both where to sit so they would not be touching each other. I put the book directly between them and told them not to talk to each other or look at each other. Do you think I did this using my sweet, angelic, soft voice? Of course not! I YELLED!
On top of this Hershey has not wanted to eat solid food all day. He just wants to be held and nursed. I would LOVE to just sit in my recliner and watch TV and hold him and nurse him all day. I know he is growing up fast BUT I had 3 loads of laundry to wash and put away, my bathroom needed to be scrubbed, my kitchen needed to be cleaned, the bug guy came and sprayed, and I had a project that I really wanted to work on and don't forget I was doing schoolwork and breaking up fights. I am just one person. When it came time for his nap he was screaming, crying, and hitting me. He kept trying to climb up me like a tree. I should have sat down with him and rocked him to sleep like I normally do but I was exhausted from breaking up fights between Skittles and Twizzler all morning and being climbed all over like a mother gorilla and beaten over the head by and angry toddler. I finally yelled, "ALL DONE!" and I put him in his bed for his nap. He cried for about 2 minutes before he passed out. Then I told his brothers to go play in their room quietly. I sat down for a minute and tried to regain my composure.
The rest of the day went well, I got my chores done and Hershey slept so long that I had time to work on my fun project. I was feeling good. I talked to Nana who invited us over to her house for dinner. She has some missionaries from Mozambique staying with her and I am sure she wanted to show off her smart, sweet, and well-behaved great grandsons. As soon as we walked in the door Twizzler laid down on the floor and took off his shoes and socks. Then he and Skittles turned on the TV and ignored everyone else. Hershey climbed up into one of the missionaries lap, yup, a complete stranger, and cuddled up like he had known him his whole life. At dinner Hershey only wanted to eat corn on the cob and kept shoving his plate at me, spitting out his other food, and screaming. Then Twizzler announced to everyone, "Mommy screams at us. She yelled at us today." I was stupefied. All I could think to do was ask him why I yelled. So he got quiet. Nana asked, "What did you do to make Mommy yell?" He slowly answered, "She yelled at (Hershey) because she needed a break." Oh great, now these complete strangers have been told I scream at my kids, even my 1 year old. Maybe if I actually got more than 5 hours of sleep per night for the past year, my brain would have been functioning enough to explain. All I could do was say, "It was a rough day," while fighting the urge to crawl under the table and yank Twizzler down there with me before he could do anymore damage.
I cried the entire drive home. I do not want to be a mom who yells. I have been working on yelling for a year now. I have a group of mom friends that are also trying to quit yelling and we started a support group online. I also started going to a bible study this week with a couple of friends that is focused on Women's Words. I really have gotten a lot better. I know this because I am not going to bed with a sore throat. That just shows you how bad I was. It is astounding what stress will do to a person. And it is stressful being a single mom. Being a parent was much easier when I had back up. I can't say, "Wait until your father gets home." because that is not happening. And no matter how wild the kids are, or how exhausted I am, I still have to cook dinner every night and then wash all the dishes. I can't take a break on a rough day. I can't have a night out with my girlfriends because I can't afford a sitter. The only break I get is after the kids go to bed. But after doing my chores; washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, and dealing with laundry, all I can manage to do is collapse into my bed. If I am lucky Hershey will sleep through the night.
We have had family discussions about how I am trying to do the best I can. I have told them that God's plan is for children to have 2 parents but it does not always work out that way. And it is hard doing it alone. I want to stop yelling and I want the kids to help hold me accountable. Every night we sit around the dinner table and discuss the day. It makes me giggle because Skittles always asks, "So how was your day?" and since we are always together all day long it seems like a silly question. I always try to answer him though. We talk about the things that our making us angry. We talk about the things that we learned. We all talk about our favorite thing that happened that day. Sometimes, on really hard days, when we have all been talking and fighting all day, I ask for quiet and we just enjoy being together without having to say anything at all. Tonight Twizzler was just doing what we do every day. He was holding me accountable for losing my temper. We just need to work on keeping that confined to family meals and not sharing it with people we met an hour ago.