Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Confession

This is the image my family tends to project at Christmas.

Sometimes, the reality is more zany and snuggly like this:
But a lot of the time, like this morning, it's more like this:

Minus any hint of a smile on my face.

When Jake threw a pen at Molly this morning in anger, I went all Linda Blair on him. I started screaming and ordered him to his room. When he gave me a shocked, angry, defiant look on his way up the stairs, I even grabbed him by the collar and yelled some more. Nice.

Molly told me later that she got caught in a stream of spit coming out of my mouth as I screamed. After I sent them off to school-- Isn't it nice to start their day on such a positive note? You're welcome, teachers!-- I had time to think about what kind of example I was setting.

My anger at his getting angry was about 100 times more intense than his was, minus the flying object. Any message I was trying to send him about self-control was lost in my own venomous rage.

I was really probably pissed because I hadn't had any caffeine, I was freaked about how much I was going to spend at Costco later ($400 to be exact), and I was feeling pressured to pick the "perfect" family Christmas card photo that captured us in all our adorableness. Hmmm.

I used the teachable moment to apologize, explain the irony of the situation (former English teachers like to get that in when we can), give hugs, and ask for forgiveness. All is back to red-plaid "perfection" in the See household again.

For all of us who have screamed at our kids seconds before pulling into the church parking lot, huffed and puffed around our "too small" houses while lamenting our kids' stubbornness and lack of gratitude, and any others who fall short on a daily basis--

I wish a Christmas of Peace, from the Prince of Peace, who loves us no matter what.


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about the need for 'peace' a lot today..

Last night my house erupted in angry questions and threats after I learned that one family was not allowing their daughters to come to a small Christmas party hosted by my children after one of my daughters lied to someone about why they didnt receive an invitation. Did you follow that? Me neither exactly. But I was able to determine that my good name was part of the lie... that was when the house started shaking.

My youngest daughter survived the process of calling her guests and canceling on account of she is in BIG trouble! Lots of tears, followed by lots of hugs and lots of forgiving. It was incredibly painful for both of us.

We still dont know many people here well ... so I am thankful for your prayer... and hoping that the spirit of Christmas will prevail among our new neighbors and at our now very small party this evening. We'll have party favors left over... so we may go bearing gifts as we ask for grace.

Rebecca said...

It's so hard. I too try and not raise my voice but sometimes it just happens (two boys running around, it's inevitable) and afterwards I feel the same exact way that you describe.

It's funny that you talked about the stress of the perfect photo for the Christmas cards...I just vented about that last night on my blog.

I think the important thing is to realize when you go astray and talk to your children about what is the right way to handle conflict.


Gretchen said...

OUCH this hits close to home. Wednesday, I told Linus to put his shoes on 3 times, which he ignored, until I swatted his butt and sent him off to his room. Then, Peppermint Patty was totally dragging her feet in the hair-combing department, so I got her brush and went all mommy dearest on her tresses. YAnk. Yank. Squeal. Tears. Great - 2 out of my 3 kids are in tears before 7:30 am. I am SURELY up for mother of the year now.

Ash said...

Oh how familiar this scenario is around here.

I get angry because my children cannot control their tempers. The circle of irony is dizzying.

I do not enjoy the ride.

Thanks for the reminder that we are loved, flaws and all!

L said...

On a good day I manage to verbally warn my kids when I am about to shift into psycho-mom-mode. "She's coming!" Sometimes she even sneaks up on me, though.

"His mercies are new every morning!" (I think this may be why I like to go to bed early).

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I often say that I get at my kids and then immediately hug them and tell them how "good" they are, just to stay consistent. With the inconsistency... It's hard. I often miss the mark on discipline because of an overreaction (or an unproductive display of anger).

Love the plaid by way. Those kids are adorable!

Shana said...

Love the photos. Your boy looks so much like your man!

We've all done the mommy dearest thing. It's especially great in the morning, before school, when the kids have a great big audience to go report to!

Yet somehow they seem to survive : )

anymommy said...

You are all so darling. But, yeah, exactly, I react with over the top anger to my kids' failure to control their anger way too often. Then, I lay awake and worry about it. I loved your confession.

Mrs. G. said...

Amen sister.