There are the days when you’re the greatest mom in the world, and there are those when you’re the screeching harpy from hell. Guess who I was today…
This morning started off a little rough – waking up at zero-dark-thirty to hit the road for my hour long drive to the office, getting there bright and early at 6:30AM for a morning meeting. I was wiped out, but there was no time to waste, so I slammed down some coffee. And boy, did I rally. I was focused, energetic and pretty dang proud of myself. In fact, I powered through what was an incredibly productive and positive day. Heading home, I bopped along to freaky beats. Not even L.A. traffic could bother me. I was riding high.
Then, I walked through my front door, and it all went wrong.
My smile turned into a grimace.
I cranked up the volume and stormed around the house.
My patience, energy and happy mood drained away.
Something started spinning inside me, and it just wouldn’t stop. You know the feeling. The tension that you try to keep in, but it keeps getting bigger until you find yourself snapping at folks for no reason… harping on the kids at dinner. You know you’re wrong, but you just can’t stop it.
What happened? I was tired. The long day finally caught up with me. In the safe zone of my home, I let my defenses down. And when the walls came crashing down, the harpy from hell flew right in and took over.
When we’re at work or with friends, so often, we’re on our best behavior. We find reserves of energy, reach out and moderate our emotions. We speak thoughtfully and gently. After all, those folks only share a part of our lives… and it had better be a good part.
The folks at home know and love us for who we are: the good, the bad and the harpy. They’re the most important people in the world to us. So why do we sometimes treat them like they’re the least? When someone loves you, they invest part of their heart and soul in who you are and how you treat them. They become vulnerable. These are the folks that fill our reserves, who reach out when our arms are too weary… our kids, our spouse, our parents, even our pets. They’re the ones we should speak to with the most care… with the most love.
I love my family. My sons are young, but someday, my husband and I will be gone. They’ll only have each other. At 6 and 4, they bicker loudly and sometimes say things that aren’t that kind. Recently, I’ve found myself saying “do we talk to the people we love like they’re trash?”
Tonight, I did for a little while. I managed to do a reset and rein it in, and while I’m not proud of my behavior earlier tonight, I’m grateful for the reminder. No, we don’t talk to our loved ones like that.
I’m going to apologize and have a time out. I’m going to carry them down the hall, cover their little faces with kisses, read an extra book and tell them how amazing they are – how incredible they are – and how much I adore them. I’m going to ask for their forgiveness, and be damn grateful they give it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, stressed, upset or whatever. Hearts can be hurt, and I don’t intend on breaking the ones of the people I love.