I'm not sure where to start, much less where to go from there, but part of trying to get out of the sh*tstorm that Mother's Day launched is trying to get myself to write.
I could start by saying that after heavy blog reading (Orange Rhino, Hands Free Mama, and some essays about anger and parenting on Creative with Kids), and watching some of the new videos we ordered from Karyn Purvis, I had three good days in a row. Days where I responded gently and kindly, and helped kids regulate, and followed their lead in play, and caught them being good. I even did a craft, dammit. It didn't work the way it was supposed to, but we had fun making it anyway.
Then I came home today, and my husband was stressed and wanted some TLC, and my daughter kept trying to touch me in her most space invasive ways, and my son was acting up to obtain the remaining shred of my attention, and I kind of lost it.
While I was in the midst of my three good days, I finally got up the courage to call my doctor's office and make an appointment to talk about my mental health. I can't keep going, 'Oh, hey, I got this, I got thi--WHOOPS!"
I can say that too many people wanting my physical touch at the same time was a trigger. I can say that not getting lunch was a problem. (By the time I got dinner on, I was seeing sparkly shapes in the corner of my vision.)
In the midst of my bitchiness, I told my daughter she had to take a nap instead of going to the park, because her voice is hoarse and she has a fever. A kind woman would have left out the "instead of going to the park" part. I wasn't feeling kind.
I know Linden HATES being told to lay down during the day; it's a pretty sure way to trigger at least a minor tantrum from her. In the orphanage they had to nap after lunch, and she bitterly resented it. So that made her yell and kick, which led to more meanness from me, but I calmed down first, and went to, "I know you don't like to nap during the day. That's why you only have to when you're sick. Your body needs some time to rest." I told her I'd set my alarm for 20 minutes, but wouldn't start the time until she was laying down and closing her eyes. She stormed, "If you LEAVE, I'm going to SIT UP!" and I calmly responded, "That's why I'll be right here."
She really is an obedient little girl most of the time, so instead of jumping on the bed or dashing for the door, as Oak would have, she grumpily lay down and played with a stuffed animal for awhile. I reminded her the time would start when she closed her eyes, so she turned her back to me, clearly planning to KEEP HER EYES OPEN while obeying me otherwise.
She was asleep within two minutes.
Five hours later, she's still sleeping.
I tried to get her up for dinner, but she rolled back over and went back to sleep. I've taken her into the bathroom and given her some water, then just tucked her back in. Her skin is still hot. She's sick. She needed to go to bed.
Mean Mama still loses, but it helps a little, knowing she really did need to go to bed. The park (with a splash pad!) would have been a lousy idea.
There's also this. I spent four of those hours with my son. (The Winemaker went out for the evening.) This is rare. Homework time is probably his only guarantee for one-on-one time with me, when I will send Linden away if she tries to horn in. (This may be the secret of why we don't really have the homework battles I know some families have.) He had lost privileges for his new phone*, and needed to do three "jobs" to earn it back. Friday night the kids are normally excused from dinner and dishes duty, but he helped me dry dishes tonight for one job. Then we went outside and cleaned up the branches the Winemaker had trimmed from the magnolia tree today. Oak got to stand in the yard debris bin and squash everything in, which he loved. Job two. Afterwards, I read him some stories while he massaged lotion into my feet. Job three. This is something I've done for him several times, and I must say it was lovely to receive the same gentle care back. With the three jobs done, we put his phone in the charger, and he brushed his teeth so we could watch ALL of The Lion King together. Watching movies is usually a weekend morning event, before the parents get up, so it was another nice treat for us to cozy up in the big chair together and share the experience. He'd say, "I love this part! You'll love it too, Mom." Then I laid down with him so he could get to sleep easily.
Nice Mama wins.
I'm gonna do this.
Still nervous about the doctor appointment.