Some Days, I Don’t Have My Shit Together

by Bill Brenner on February 10, 2011

A lot of people read this blog because I always try to put a silver lining on tough stuff. But some days I fail to live up to the image. Yesterday was one of those days, when I let a 7-year-old get the better of me.

Mood music:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX8n5IiSB-8&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

You see, Duncan is like me in that too much winter messes with his mental balance. He’ll get goofy, sad and every emotion in between at the drop of a hat. And he has a terrible time focusing.

We’re not sure what it’s about, but since it happens every year between December and March, it’s not a stretch to conclude there’s a winter-related cause.

Like father, like son.

Yesterday he was unfocused when he needed to be getting his homework done. He had a Cub Scouts meeting early and that put some added pressure on us. When he does his homework, you really need to stand over him. But I always struggle with this, because the OCD pushes me to do seven things at once, especially on a tight schedule.

So Duncan kept fooling around and doing his homework in an excruciatingly slow manner.

So my voice started to get a little louder every few minutes. And Duncan still stayed all over the place.

So then I really snapped at him.

I didn’t hit him. We don’t believe in hitting our kids. But I yelled. A lot.

I nixed his going to the Scouts meeting. That was appropriate, since he still had too much homework left and that comes before the fun stuff.

To some or most of you all this may read like a typical afternoon with children. Kids get a little out of control and the parent in the room has to open the can of whoop-ass.

But to me, it was a loss of control. Worse, I feel like I should be A LOT more patient with the boy, since he’s under the same spell I’m under.

Whatever it was, I didn’t feel good about it.

I am thankful for a few things, though:

–We’re getting Duncan evaluated by a medical professional to see if he has any disorders. Whatever the verdict, we’ll get some direction on how to help him along.

–Duncan is a sweet boy, and it’s impossible to stay mad at him for long. Especially when he gives you a big hug and apologizes for being difficult.

–Erin was a calming presence, reminding me that this is a particularly bad winter and everyone is on a short fuse because of it. 

–At the end of the day, I kissed my wife as she was leaving for a school board meeting, I tucked Duncan into bed and got some one-on-one time with Sean.

–There isn’t the thick, stinking cloud of rage hanging in the air. Love wins out over anger.

Because of all these things, this family is going to be just fine, thanks.

Even if I can’t always get my shit together.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy February 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

Bill,
believe it or not…i totally get where you are coming from. our house has lots of love and we also never hit our children. when it comes to dealing with Mark i can usually have the patience of saint most days.
yet with Melissa, when she starts to whine or act selfish, manipulative,etc, i can only take so much then i have to walk away or i will snap or yell at her.
Chris has the same problem with Mark and a wonderful family therapist who visited our home to observe (at our request) explained why. Melissa acts JUST LIKE I DID and this triggers the hell out of me to see this mirror reflection.
Mark triggers Chris due to the same reasons.
our children can be a mirror image sometimes and the mirror doesn’t always show our best moments. our reactions are normal and as long as it is only on occasion that this happens, its okay to just apologise when you cool off and let it go….our children are amazingly resilience and forgiving..they tend to live in the day…and think of when they grow up they will have the funny story to tell their friends of what you look like when in a sputtering rage..LOL
and its wonderful, a true gift that shows God is watching over ya that you have Erin there to support you…use this gift that she is offering and most of all forgive yourself for these off moments…they are over and few compared to your daily care and love you offer your children.
love,
nancy

Laura Coy November 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

Sometimes you lose it…as a parent, it’s the one thing we don’t ever want to do, but it actually happens. We don’t always have the resolve to walk away and we don’t always have a back up person right there to take over when we really need a time-out. I remember the first time I swore in front of my child out of anger. I got home from work, and she was not there. After some figuring out what happened, she got on a friend’s school bus, and went to her home, instead of ours without asking. I got so worked up in the “looking” phase that by the time I got to her I was losing it. I know you can imagine what it is like to realize your kid is missing….even for a short while, even if it was her decision. I blew up when she was saying goodbye to her friend, she had no idea how upset I was, and she was taking it rather easy, saying, “oh, I’ll call you later”, and out came “oh, the #@%$^&* you will!” out of my mouth. I think I was just as shocked as she was, because I didn’t even know I was going to say it. Needless to say, I was rather upset. After saying that I think she realized it too. I was furious, and scared, and furious because I was scared. We are all going to make mistakes. I think the one thing I did right when I made them with my kids, was apologize. If we expect it from them, when they screw up, then its the least we can do when we screw up. I love my kids, they are grown now, but once in awhile, I still have to apologize…okay, maybe even more now….it’s really hard to let go.
Laura

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