Thursday, August 30, 2012

THE DAY I YELLED AT MY DAUGHTER

That day was today.

I am not a yeller by nature.  I usually get more quiet with anger.  I have definitely never screamed at my child.

Until today.

I didn't really know I had it in me.  I hoped I didn't.  There are a million and one excuses.  It's been a long week.  I needed to get things done.  She was whining.  Again.  About nothing.  I was a bit frazzled from life.  I didn't want her to wake up her sister who actually was napping during nap time instead of coming out every 12 minutes with about 2 ounces of urine in her little potty, asking for her chocolate chip or marshmallow prize.

And it escalated.  She began screaming, like she does often because she is three.  I tried to stay calm, because this is not my first screaming rodeo with her doing the screaming.  But, I wanted sister to stay asleep, because she was so tired and so cranky, and I knew a shortened nap would not bode well.

Despite all my attempts, threats and calming words, she was determined to wail, scream and moan.  Then, I heard sister stirring, upset at being woken.  I snapped.  I yelled, "Stop screaming!  Stop it right now!"

The irony is not lost on me.  Or John when I told him about 10 minutes later.

I shut the door to her room, her now in intense, but still screaming, breathless shock.  I sat on the couch and texted John a plea for prayer.  I had lost it, I told him.  Totally lost it.  I felt awful and was in tears, and I knew I needed to apologize to her and ask her forgiveness, which I did about 10 minutes later, giving us both a chance to calm down.

Having the ugliness revealed like this is so unpleasant.  Why is it there?  Why am I always so focused on myself and what I need or think I need?  Why do I not have more of a Christ-like spirit?  I've been a Christian my whole life, so you would think it would have rubbed off a bit more.

Ultimately, why do I ever think I am above these things and silently judge others who respond poorly to their children?

Oh, I have so much to learn and so many ways to be humbled.  Children seem to be excellent for both of those things.  Finding the buttons and jumping on them.

And, there is joy in forgiveness.  In teaching my child how to own up to mistakes.  In seeing how much she loves me and feeling the love I have for her.  God's gifts are rich and true and good.  Even on days when I scream at them.

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The stakes get raised every year of parenting.  It seems to get harder, and there are so many things that I don't know.  So much to guess about.  Things that make me crazy and make me wonder if I can possibly get up and do it again tomorrow.  Moments of this afternoon and tonight I have had my doubts.

But, tomorrow is a new day, and God's mercies are brand new and fresh each morning.  Thank you, Lord.

2 comments:

Linds said...

I've been there. Way more than one time. Praying for you! And thank goodness for God's mercy. Whew.

Mom Spenst said...

Oh Carol, yelling at your kids is the confession of every parent if they are honest. As much as we all love our children, they can at times test every ounce of love,grace and strength you think you have and some you don't have. Those times are such powerful reminders of how much we need those things from the Lord Himself because we don't and never will have on our own that kind of grace and strength. Sending love/prayers.