It has been a bag of mixed emotions this week. We are two months into to social distancing. EVERYONE is still home. I'm working from home, Daddy is working from home and all 4 of the littles are here. We are spending ALOT of time together and because of that simple fact, parents are bound to lose their shit once in a while. It is for sure happening to me.
I am losing my patience more often. I want to retreat to a space away from the kids as much as possible and an alter ego has started to emerge. It's so funny because growing up I had many examples of moms around me who loved their kids but had little time for patience and didn't think twice about snatching a kid up who was out of line. As I grew up and started having my own kids I knew I wanted to raise them differently. Being patient, kind, compassionate and present as my main parenting style.
Around my third pregnancy, I realized I was growing so weary trying to be "the perfect mom" I didn't realize how "high minded" I had gotten. Looking down on mothers who quickly snapped on their kids or seemed to overreact for the simplest infraction. One day a mom who I really respect told me a story about how she saw a woman in the grocery store aggressively grab her child and yell at her in the middle of the store. This mom so humbly and compassionately stated , "Well you know what, I don't know what kind of day that woman had so who am I to judge." From then on I gave myself more grace and in turn extended that grace to everyone.
This has never been so true now that we are on quarantine. I have created an alter ego named Cherish and Cherish does all the things that "bad moms" do. Cherish throws shoes, sends kids to bed hungry for being too picky and yells ALOT mostly in my head. Cherish runs wild in my head and I let my kids get a taste of her when they are being particularly feisty. I threaten to let Cherish out on them and they often times straighten up. It's hilarious. I now embrace Cherish as a part of me. I am not perfect and sometimes as a mom I lose patience and want to yell. That doesn't make me a bad mom, just human. It has helped me deal with the ups and downs of this unprecedented time at home being able to embrace my flawed nature and sit with it.
I recently read that every soldier on the front lines eventually gets some form of shell shock where their bodies and minds cannot process any more stimulus to create a fight or flight response. When this happens, someone looking in from the outside could easily see this mistakenly as being a coward, Inattentive or non committal. Retreating because they are weak and cannot cut it. But what really is happening is the mind is depleted, overstimulated, drained and burnt out. The only way to mount another fight is to step away. Come off the front lines in order to give yourself the opportunity to rest, regroup and reengage in order to effectively conquer new challenges.
So what I am doing is walking away more often. I go to my room or my closet and sit with Cherish and Samantha. I let Cherish throw things if she needs to, cry if she needs to, yell out in frustration at the kiddos if she needs to and I let Samantha make the rational decisions and make plans for a better tomorrow. It is by stepping away, finding that release, and meditating I am able to come back to the front lines and reengage in order to deal with new challenges we all are faces during these uncertain times.