I officially lost it.
Yes. Yelling. Things I said that I really wish I could take back. Yes. In front of the children.
I don’t want to admit this to anyone. It’s embarrassing. It feels dark. It feels shameful. I really wish it hadn’t happened.
But I can’t help but think I’m not the only mom losing it about right now. I can’t help but feel I’m not the only one sandwiched between these beautiful children (who are about to crawl out of their skin they’re so sick of being cooped up) and elderly parents (who remain shut-in per my orders).
The string of underlying angst is more than all of us can bear. Not only are we coming apart in our homes - homes that have become gyms, schools, restauarants, and salons - we walk out side, terrified to get too close to a neighbor and literally jumping back at the grocery story if you round the corner and nearly run into someone.
How and where is the peace of mind?
It’s just doesn’t seem to be “out there” right now. Not in our culture. And collectively, we are weary. We are tired. Exhausted. We see no end in sight.
Everyone is grieving something. Whether it’s a precious human being, or a job, or a sport, or a teacher, or a friend, or a place - and no one’s grief is greater than anyone else’s. It may seem trite to mourn not being able to see a friend or not being able to retire as soon as you’d hoped when someone you know just lost their father or mother or sister to this wretched virus. But your grief is just as real.
Anyway, back to the meltdown. It was over Snapchat. OF ALL THE THINGS! It’s usually always something small and insignificant though when you’re dealing with heaviness, right?
My daughter is too young for it, but she’s close in age to the time we allowed our son to have it. She begged and begged. We broke down and said “yes,” and there was an immediate breaking-of-the-rules. So I did what every great mother in the history of good mothers did and LOST MY SH*%!!
I took back Snapchat moments after I’d given it (which I should’ve never relented and allowed in the first place). I screamed all kinds of things, then got very upset and down over my outburst. And since there’s no leaving the house, the children were privy to it all.
This morning, I “pleaded the coronavirus,” when we gathered to discuss the series of unfortunate events. I apologized and tried my very best to point out my parenting failure and mistakes and use it as a learning opportunity - to say that none of us is perfect, these are uncertain times, and, while it’s not okay to react as I did, we can all do our best to understand that we will ALL probably have at least one fall-apart before it’s all over with.
When I called to confess and cry to my aunt (I trust her with my entire life, by the way), the first thing she said was, “Where is your gratitude, sweetie? Where is your grace?” I burst into tears. My gratitude and grace had disappeared. Went away with all the peace of mind that’s gone too. But in that same moment, I realized that peace of mind is within. So is the gratitude.. so is the grace. I’ve spent this day counting up every single thing I could be grateful for. And in every moment I began to beat myself up (with the WORST of self-talk) over what had happened, I just stopped and said the word “grace.” G-R-A-C-E. Courteous goodwill. Divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration.
So, right now, I offer to you what she offered to me. Gratitude and grace. Drop the level of expectation right now. Let go of what was. Be thankful for what is, even if it’s just the air you breathe in this very moment. Allow yourself peace of mind. Give yourself grace for where you are right now. Because you’re right where you’re supposed to be. We all are.