I was in the study over the weekend, when I had an epiphany. To be honest, it brought hot tears to my eyes and nearly made me drop to my knees, both in recognition and in horror.
Here is a post from a few weeks ago from my previous (now defunct) blog:
This morning I arrived at work late frazzled, out of sorts and decidedly cross. Yesterday I had also arrived late, as I was on toddler time: he decided that he wanted more breakfast, after he’d got shoes and rucksack on, when I said we had to leave – he laid down in front of the front door so I couldn’t even open it to get out the house. After negotiating that hurdle, he then splayed his arms and legs like a spider so I couldn’t get him into car, let alone the car seat. He only calmed down after I gave him my banana. By the time we’d got to nursery, they were welcome to him.
Today as I was bending down to help him get his shoes on I sniffed and asked if he’d pooped. ‘No mama’ I checked, not just poop, but poopsplosion. If it had been any other time of day, it would have been a shower. It was a nightmare, including needed new pants and trousers. Instead of leaving early, or even on time, we left the house at time I am normally arriving at work by the time I’d finished cleaning him up.
I hate being late. It is disrespectful. I also hate people being late. If you ask us to arrive at 10am, we are there at 10am. It pi$$es me off no end some people’s laissez-faire attitude to meeting up with others. Standing in my hallway today, gathering my stuff together I screeched banshee style ‘I hate being f-ing late!’ – Peanut looked startled, I said ‘I’m sorry for shouting. I wasn’t shouting at you, I was cross with me’. We hugged and he told me ‘All ok Mama. All ok.’
I am like any other working parent, mornings can get sucked out of me, I can have plenty of time one minute and then after toddler-wrangling we’re pushing the envelope for being late. To combat delays and the need for UN Peace-keeping Negotiation as much as we can, we get Peanut ready ahead of when we need to leave, with ‘Shoes on!’ his cue that we’re heading out the door imminently.
Standing in the study on Sunday afternoon; I can’t even remember what I was doing, but I know I was in front of the bookcase when I realised that my fear and anxiousness about being late stem directly from my parents. And I was acutely aware, that unless I moderate my behaviour, I will perpetuate that with Peanut. Telling him to hurry up, quick quick, come on, getting exasperated with him when he dawdles getting out the car. He is three years old.
That single moment floored me, it shamed me, like most light-bulb moments, it is still sinking in and I know that it will change how I parent. I’m trying so hard not to be a critical person towards my son as he works out his place in the world. He’s currently at the not saying ‘please and thank you’, ‘hello and goodbye’ stage – which is maddening. But he’s such a happy, sunny little boy, I don’t want to constantly be criticising him and bringing him down so that he becomes anxious and harried about his behaviour. Which is why Brene Brown’s work is so important to me.
Please note, this post is about me, not my husband. Like many people, I’m a work in progress. Like many people, I’m doing the best I can, but these little ‘A-ha!’ moments always help, because you realise that you could do better.