Bedtime is always quite hectic in our house. During the week my husband doesn’t get home until after bedtime, so it’s my responsiblity to put all three kids down for the night. This is after a day of driving them to and from school, staying at home with the baby, and trying to get some work done in between. Needless to say, at bedtime, my energy level is nearing empty.
The other night after putting all three kids to bed, my two-year-old daughter came downstairs to let me know she needed water. This has been her routine for the past couple of months, she comes out three or four times each night with excuse after excuse of why she can’t sleep. I got her the glass of water and brought her back upstairs and kissed her goodnight. Two minutes later she was downstairs telling me she was hungry. But rather than telling her to go back to her room, I lost it. I started yelling at her that I was tired of her coming out all of the time and that she needed to go back into bed because she was tired and needs the sleep.
It took only seconds for the tears to start streaming down her face. Her loud cries on the stairs were just loud enough for the baby to hear, so he woke up too. It took everything in me not to just go into the bathroom and lock the door until my husband got home. My patience had officially run its course.
I took a couple of deep breaths and immediately felt guilty. She didn’t deserve to be yelled at. Even if she came out a thousand times, she didn’t deserve to be yelled at. The more I think about it, it’s not just a bedtime routine that goes awry that makes me upset, it’s the little things too. It’s when the kids won’t pick up their toys or my girls take too much time in the morning deciding on what they want to wear to school. It’s when they all want me at once and I just need a little bit of space.
I’m not proud of myself. In fact, I’m quite ashamed. I never thought for one second that these little people that I love more than I ever knew that I possibly could, could wear my patience this thin. I don’t want to be this mom. The one that gets upset over minuscule things. The one that yells to the point of making her kids cry.
Being a mom to three kids has proven to be one of the hardest and most stressful things I’ve ever gone through. It’s tested my patience in more ways than one. And sometimes I fail at that test. There are so many struggles that I go through on a daily basis of trying to be the best mom I can be while also trying to be the best for me.
So now I’m on a hunt to find that patience again. To tell myself that they are just kids (and babies) and that they deserve better. I deserve to be better. I can do better.