Party of Two: Shame and Guilt

The day started great. Not like just any other day. Though, to be fair, most of my days start good. The sun was shining, I was nursing my little girl, the boys weren’t arguing (yet); the works. Life was good.

Long story short: I get home from work in my scorching hot car. But all is well. I pick up my kids from day care, and though I see that the boys in particular are done with this day I march on. Dinner is served, we all calm down and I end up feeling pretty proud of myself. And then enters the hubby. I don’t want to blame him (and yet I do) because it’s not his fault, but I slowly feel the situation slipping away from me since his arrival. And I swear, where there was peace and calm, within ten minutes there is absolute terror and chaos.

I freak out. I yell at the kids, I decide that swimming on this hot day is no longer a privilege thanks to their fighting, everybody’s confused and crying, including mama bear over here. What the hell did just happen? What demon took control of me and turned me into this monster? Where is my mindfulness and motherhood skills in a situation like this?

After all of this come my two great friends: guilt and shame. I feel ashamed for freaking out at my kids for being kids. I am the adult in this relationship, and I should know better. They are just getting started at life, and I already have these expectations of them listening and behaving they way I want them to whilst I at the age of 35 still don’t know what to do. Then I feel guilty because I know better. I know better, and choose to behave otherwise. I’m afraid that my kids will forever remember scary mom and end up hating me. I’m afraid that despite all the kisses, hugs, good night stories and endless puzzles they will remember me only at my worst, and that all the good I do will disappear like whispers in the wind.

I’m learning. So now I have at least come to that stage where I can ask myself: what am I supposed to learn here? And here is what I make of. I can’t expect my kids to learn, if I don’t get better at teaching. Life is one big learning experience. I need to accept that perhaps I am not there for them to learn, but they are here to teach me. Be in the moment – the situation is what it is, and it’s not supposed to be anything else. So stop freaking out.

In all honesty, these skills and I as a person am a work in progress. I know all these things on an intellectual level, but internalising them is a different story altogether. I’m trying. I am honestly doing my best. And still I sometimes lose my shit, and I couldn’t be more embarrassed or feel more guilty. But by acknowledging my work in progress I hope to have taken yet another step. #Lifelesson #workinprogress

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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