There was nothing different about the day. Nothing exceptionally stressful. The kids weren’t extra crazy. But I was mean today.
I didn’t snap or yell. I didn’t have my own tantrum. I just felt done. I felt overwhelmed and tired, so tired. I didn’t want a shadow following me around and I wanted some time for myself. But, on this particular day, my husband was working late so I couldn’t have time for myself. I was it. I was all they had.
My daughter walked up to me later that night and whispered the words “sorry, momma.” I looked at her, confused. What could she be sorry for? Her answer made me sad. She said I must have been mad at her for doing something wrong so she was sorry. It broke my heart.
It broke my heart for the most obvious reason, of course, because she assumed she had done something wrong. My horrible mood could only be associated with her poor behavior. At least, in her mind. That’s not fair. It’s not fair for so many reasons. But to start…
Reason 1: My kids deserve better.
They are young and do not always understand that sometimes, people just need space. It is my job to teach them that.
Reason 2: Mom needs space too.
I need my space. Sometimes, even as a mom, it happens. I’m not going to be perfect all the time. But, I need to give myself better balance and time to find breaks so I don’t break.
I know I will have more days like this, where I am a little bit broken. I know I will have days where I need some time alone. But, I also know that as a mom, I have to try to explain this to my kids instead of making them feel like it is their fault. I will not hide it from them. I will not bury those feelings inside. They are real. They exist. But, they are my feelings and not the fault of anyone else to bear.
My children are currently learning how to express and interpret their feelings. It’s part of their development. I guess I was just a little surprised that I too am still learning how to express and interpret my own feelings. Now, I’m learning as mom.
For now, I’ll explain my feelings with the hope that it will make them understand their own. But, for today, this little girl gets some extra cuddle time with me so she knows she hasn’t done anything wrong.