I had Cally strapped on in the baby bjorn - which she was not enjoying - Buddy was eager to get outside to play with our neighbour Didi and Ella was coming with me for a walk to the market. Everything was fine, right? No.
Buddy opened the door to get his shoes on. Ella followed him out. I called for her to come back in because I didn't have my belongings together. I needed to settle Cally and put her in the wrap I've been borrowing for her so she'd be more comfortable. Joey called from the kitchen that Buddy couldn't be outside alone because of the men working on the building repairs. What I knew was all but one of them had left, and Didi's helper was watching over them, but Joey didn't know this and he wanted Buddy to come inside. At this point, both Buddy and Ella were downstairs so I went down to get them. Cally was still crying. As I'm bringing them up, Buddy is complaining that he has to come in. I keep telling both of them to come in. I could feel my frustration growing at this point. A crying baby, and two little children talking to me at once. By the time we get in, the patience I had earlier had just dried up. Joey and I are shouting about the men working outside. Then Buddy starts to blame me for making them come inside.
Patience dried up completely. I turned to Buddy and yelled.
Good day gone bad.
What I hate the most is the remorse I feel after the fact. Wishing I could take things back. And it always seems like Buddy takes the worst of it. After much pacing, I decided to take a walk by myself. Buddy could see that I was teary, and asked me if I was okay. I took my walk, came back and apologized for losing it with him.
I managed to salvage the day for myself. Though I still feel bad - the guilt takes a while to go away - things are fine. I tend to make things bigger than they are. It's self-inflicted guilt. I know I can't be a perfect mother, but I work hard to be the best mother I can be for my kids. Being a mother is such a huge responsibility - to think about my role in shaping who these little ones become - I guess I'm afraid of getting it wrong and messing them up.
There is more I'd like to write about the challenges of having a six year old boy. And the challenges of having a three year old Ella. But what I realized at the end of last week, after dealing with them by myself, is that their behavior lately comes from the adjustment of having our new baby. And they both really need my attention right now. Especially since my time with them is limited and I always have Cally with me. So I need to make opportunities to give them what they crave. For all our sakes.
Luckily for me, our day ended like this.