When Mum has a meltdown, you know it’s been that kind of day.
It started badly, with tears, tantrums and grumps, and I lost my cool after being shouted at by one child and stropped at by the 9.5 year old going on tweenager… (Have I mentioned she’s just like me? I’m kind of dreading actual adolescence actually!) and I’ll cheerfully admit I waved them off with slightly more relief than normal, at the school gate!
I was pretty grumpy, and tried to pull myself together in time for pick up, and was hoping the post school afternoon would be better.
Nope, two grumpy children. We are ALL tired. The end of term seems just out out of reach and frankly we are done and need a holiday!
A dispute over pocket money, dinner choices, and general fed upedness meant we left late for dance classes and I was in such a flap, I had a fight with the cash machine in the bank and made us even later. My 9. 5 year old proclaimed loudly that I was embarrassing, and the boy started to melt down again because he wanted to go the library and we didn’t have time. I consoled him and calmed him down but we were all still a bit frazzled and on edge.
Then, he did something, in an attempt to make me laugh. He licked me. He knows it winds me up but we normally laugh make a silly game of it. He will pretend to be a dog and lick my hand or my face.
Today, I was not in the mood. I’m tired, I’m touched out and I didn’t want to play. I failed to see the humour in his attempt to break the bad mood.
I lost my cool. I stamped my feet. I yelled at both of them, and I was cross! They looked at me, crestfallen and my small son started to cry.
We walked (OK, I stomped, they followed behind sheepishly) down the road in silence, with all three of us with tears in our eyes.
We got to the corner, and I stopped myself.
“Right, girl, who is the adult here? Who turned 40 yesterday and really, should be handling things better? Who needs to pull this back and stop it getting worse? You do!”
So, I pulled them close. I apologised, I told them I was tired, it hadn’t been a good day, that I knew they were tired and fed up and that I was sorry I had yelled. We stood hugging on the corner of a busy street, looking ridiculous, even more late for ballet class, but my 9.5 year old whispered “thank you for saying sorry mum, it’s ok now” and I knew it was.
I wish I could say the day ended with roses, smiles and sunshine. It didn’t. We were all still tired and a bit edgy, and there were a few more mini meltdowns and touchy moments before we got home and closed the door on the day, but I managed not to meltdown again, so I guess there’s that.
Because mum’s aren’t perfect, sometimes we meltdown and sometimes we mess up.