Cos chances are you don’t have kids. And you probably have sleepy lie ins after a restful night’s sleep. And get a whole of ‘you’ time. When you’re ill you get to rest and recuperate as per the doctor’s instructions. Weekends are yours and yours alone. To party and socialise. Or get through those books you’ve been dying to read.
I’m assuming this is your life. Of course I could be way off but given your comment on how you’d never smack your children (that you don’t have) really upset me. It’s so easy to make judgements when you’re not in a specific situation and believe me, before Emma and Ben came along I was going to be the perfect mom. I would never raise my voice, let alone my hand, to my kids. I would reason and listen and give positive reinforcement and the final resort would be a well explained time out. And then we’d hug and cuddle and say “I love you” and everything would be ‘waltons family’ perfect again.
Sadly that’s not always the case. Like this weekend. Mark was away. I had been down with a tummy bug. Ben and Emma were at each other’s throats. Constantly. But they had some time away from each other, Emma going with her bestie to the zoo for ‘howloween ‘ and Ben trick or treating with his pal. I had to work Saturday afternoon, into the evening, fetching Ben just after 8pm and Emma was dropped off, exhausted, a short time after that.
I fell asleep in my bed but was woken up with Ben crying for me. Off I went downstairs (my hug pillow under my arm ((that’s a different blog post altogether))), snuggled into my crack between the two beds and dozed off. Until I was woken up by Emma. She had picked up the tummy bug and had had a bit of an accident in her bed. After changing sheets and cleaning her up, we attempted another go at that elusive thing called ‘sleep’. But it wasn’t happening for me. Emma moaned and groaned through the night, running off to the the loo regularly, me in close pursuit to make sure she was ok.
At 6am Ben announced “it’s morning”! And that was the start of the day. After maybe a total of 3 hours sleep in total for me, in two days, because of the tummy bug I still wasn’t over. And in my mind I just knew what kind of a day it was going to be. Ben is busy. All. The. Time. If he isn’t trying to mow the lawn with the (real) lawnmower, he’s climbing our gate to see if the electric fence is working. If he’s not doing that, he’s ‘fixing’ things, like hammering nails that aren’t meant to be in a wall into the wall or sticking screwdrivers into plug holes. Ben, like most boys, is a full time job on his own.
Emma and I were just too tired and sick for a ‘Benday’ and so I arranged with his bestie’s mom to collect him, just to give us some time to rest (thank you again Tammy). Which we did. Emma woke up feeling much better. Me not so much. But off we went to fetch him. And then we got home and all hell broke loose. The dogs had gotten into their food supply, which was lying all over the kitchen floor. They had also knocked the bin over, and there was garbage everywhere. Emma immediately started helping pick up the dog food while I looked for a brush and dirt pan. But Ben had wanted to start cleaning first. And so he threw one of his fits. Throwing even more dog food around. Trying to hit at Emma with the brush. I picked him up and put him on the couch. And he hit at me. (I’m so embarrassed as I type this out and relive it . After all I was supposed to be that ‘together’ mom). I put him, kicking, screaming, biting, punching, spitting, in his room, on his bed and told him he needed to stay there until he calmed down. Which, of course he didn’t.
I snapped. I took by his hands and screamed “STOP! Just stop!” He ripped his hands away and scratched me down my arm. And I smacked his hand. Hard enough to give him a shock. Hard enough to quite him down. Hard enough for me to feel f*cking awful.
After a few minutes I sat with him and I apologized. And I explained that it’s ok to get cross and it’s ok to lose your temper but is not ok to behave like that. He said sorry. I said sorry again. We hugged. And exchanged sloppy kisses. But I felt like shit. And then I read a Facebook status by another non-mom about how smacking kids is not ok. And I went to bed feeling shittier, promising that tomorrow I would do better. Because I was that non-mom that was NEVER EVER going to raise my voice or hand to my children.