Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh no, this tantrum is all mine!

I had a tantrum! An all out hands down 3 year old type tantrum. I had the tantrum that has been inside me all of my life waiting to get out. This tantrum was totally unacceptable from the "got it together mama", but I had it anyway. It began when Nicky started having a tantrum and throwing things. There I was - the good mom- on the floor with hundreds of puzzle pieces - from Nicky's puzzles - attempting to sort them and see what puzzles could be salvaged. It was probably a stupid thing to do, it was frustrating and I was getting a headache and I was angry with myself for letting them get so out of control. As I sat there trying to sort the mess, Nicky came up to me and told me his plan for the day "Library, Wendy, Clinic, Zoo". I replied (as I often do) "Yes Wendy, Yes Clinic, No Zoo, No Library" and he fell out! A full blown tantrum with screaming, throwing, kicking, hitting and even tears. At that moment I decided tantrums are not just for kids. I wanted to have one all my own, so I did.

He screamed, I screamed. He began repeating himself over and over and so did I. He said "Yes Zoo, Yes Library", I said "NO ZOO, NO LIBRARY - BECAUSE MOMMY HAS TO CLEAN UP. That's what mommy has to do all the time. Nobody else cleans up. Nobody else is trying to fix all these puzzles, nobody else is going to cook breakfast". Nicky stared at me and kept screaming. I stared at Nicky and I kept whining. He picked up puzzle pieces and threw them, I picked up puzzle pieces and threw them. A little voice in my head said "this is ridiculous are you done yet? A little voice responded back NO". I sat on the floor like a three year old, I complained, I felt sorry for myself, I yelled, I cried, I threw things, I pouted, I had a massive pity party. Nicky had bored of me after about 15 minutes and left the room. My daughter heard me from another room and I could hear her go upstairs into her room and close the door. After about 30 minutes I stopped and looked around - as if to check and see if I was in trouble - and I noticed I felt GREAT! I stood up and I began to laugh. I laughed a genuine belly laugh. I laughed at myself and I thought, thank god no one recorded that.

Next I went looking for my daughter with the knowledge that she was listening and had absolutely no idea what to do. I simply shared that Mommy had just had a major 3 year old tantrum and it felt great. I told her best of all, now that I had gotten it out of me, I felt fantastic! She replied with a small smile on her face "I heard you. At first I thought I would come and see if I could help, but I decided it was not a good idea you would probably yell at me." I laughed and said "good thinking". We both giggled and she said "I'm glad you're better now". I think she really appreciated my confession and getting to see that even Mommy breaks down sometime, and things are still okay.

I just loved the fact that I have reached a point in my life, where if I want to do something I can do it. I can acknowledge that it's hard and not feel like a failure. I can acknowledge that I don't like things and it's okay not to like them, it doesn't mean I'm not good enough. I can have feelings and it doesn't mean I'm a bad mom. I'm learning being a good mom does not mean I don't make mistakes and it sure as heck doesn't mean I have to be perfect. I'm not perfect and I want my daughter to know that being "perfect" is impossible, because we are human and being human is okay.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Donna.
    Thank you for this post and your blog. I loved this post. I recognize much from my own life.

    I have made a link to this post from my blog. I too have a blog about my life - I live alone with my 4 year old boy who has autism. He sees his father very often. He is highfunktioning (do you say that in english?) within the autism-spectrum.

    We live in Denmark, Copenhagen and my blog is writting in danish. So I am sorry that I can't invite you to read it :o) But you can visit it here:

    (the name means: "the vulnerability test". My son has autism - it makes me stronger and more vulnerable)

    But again - thank you for writing this blog.

    Best wishes from us i Denmark,
    Gitte (that's my name) and Max (that's my son)