It was one of those mornings.
I woke up with a horrible head cold but still had to play the role of mom. I also had to still play the role of employee as I had a mid-morning call I had to be on and a storm of emails I had to respond to.
My patience was drained the minute I woke up as I thought about my pounding head and all I had to do during the day ahead of me.
At four and seven, my kids are somewhat self-sufficient. They followed direction when I told them to get dressed. Then I mustered up the energy to get myself looking somewhat decent for school drop off since I have to physically walk my kids in.
Most days I head to the office super early and my husband takes the morning shift with the kids, so when I get the chance to do it I usually look forward to it. However, on this day, I was not looking forward to doing anything related to being a mom. Or an employee. Or a person.
As my husband headed to work, I talked myself into believing I could handle the rest of the morning. Heck, it was only about 30 minutes until we’d be out the door.
I got this.
And I did. For about 9 seconds. Until my kids started arguing.
Now, that is not a rarity in our house. My kids can be the sweetest team I have ever seen. They can also get so amped up with each other that I think their heads just might start spinning around. The fighting drives me crazy on all days. But on this day in particular as I was already feeling exhausted and stressed, it was far too much for me to handle.
And I lost it.
I am not going to say it’s the first time I have yelled at my kids or the first time I felt like I was about to lose it or did lose it. But it is the first time I lost it to this extreme. My kids were not even fighting that bad. Now, don’t tell them I said that because that is exactly what they told me in their defense. I don’t even know what I yelled but there was a mix in there of a few things including how I had already told them I am sick and I was sick of them and I couldn’t handle this and they were driving me crazy and I was losing it. But all of those things plus much more in a pretty much screaming tone. To me, there is a difference in raising my voice and yelling. There is also a difference from yelling to screaming.
I was definitely screaming.
The more embarrassing part is that this happened twice on that morning. Yes, all within about 30 minutes. As we pulled out of the driveway, my seven year old son told me he forgot his glasses. We had plenty of time to get to school yet in this zero patience mode I was in, I went immediately to screaming again as I threw open his car door and demanded he run inside to get his glasses.
As we got back into the car, guilt set in. I drove to school as my kids sat in silence with tears in their eyes. I honestly had no idea what came over me and it was horrible.
After a few minutes, I told the kids how incredibly sorry I was. I tried to explain as best I could that I needed grace. While I wasn’t excusing their fighting, I certainly wasn’t going to attempt to excuse my screaming at them that way.
I held tight to the steering wheel and I prayed.
I then hit up the Starbucks drive-thru to get them each a butter croissant in an effort to turn the morning around. And what does that better than carbs?
By the time we arrived at school, my kids were in good spirits.
As I headed back home from school drop off, I prayed again. I prayed for patience and forgiveness and strength. It’s amazing those moments when you allow yourself to feel God working. I felt a presence around me that was patient and forgiving and strong. All the things I needed. In that moment, I was reassured that my kids would be just fine, that I would be just fine, and all I could do was breathe and move forward.
Moms, if you’ve lost it before – either one time or many times, you are not alone. Difficult doesn’t even begin to describe our jobs as moms. We can only move forward and remember the presence of God is all around us. Even in the times we are embarrassed for our actions.