It’s 11pm. It’s been a chaotic week and a half of closing on the house, getting it ready to move into and moving. We were having the sewer line replaced today and the plumbing company plowed into our water main, flooding the basement and leaving us without water until tomorrow. The front yard is currently displaced between the driveway, the road and our neighbors yard. Andrea and Dom are in bed, sound asleep. Noah is quietly ready until he can go (the fuck) to sleep. I am sitting at the dining room table, in the dark, typing. Trying to find a quiet space in my life right now. Looking for a constructive outlet for the bundle of anxiety inside of me from the stress of the day.
We are all exhausted and frustrated. Premenopausal symptoms seem to be putting a vice grip on me at an early age, just like every other woman in my family. Some days I feel like I could bite off, chew up and spit out the head of anyone who crosses my path, other days I feel an immense amount of empathy and have more patience than I ever thought I could contain in my body. Everyone was testing that empathy and patience today, including the plumbers but especially Noah. I have tried SO hard all day to keep in perspective how crazy of a week it’s been and how hypersensitive he is to everything going on around him, just like his mama. It started at some point earlier today after I started falling apart a bit because I was wading through ankle deep water in our basement. He didn’t get to play on the new Minecraft server that he downloaded. I can’t even remember what all happened in between but ultimately he shredded to pieces his highly treasured Playmobil catalog because he was pissed. The mood swings stayed throughout the day and we had a respite from them while he played at a friends house for a few hours. Alas, while getting ready for bed he was triggered again by the sight of said shredded Playmobil catalog and the fact that I threw it away. And this is where it gets ugly.
Our bedtime routine consists of teeth brushing, toilet stops, reading a couple of chapters of a book as a family, lights out and then either all of us or just Noah and I will snuggle. Most nights I fall asleep in his room and get up and move later. Tonight he didn’t WANT the catalog thrown away even though it was in a gazillion pieces. Tonight he WANTED to be angry. He needed to be angry. He might have made some bad choices while angry that resulted in it being too late to read even when I warned him that was going to happen. It kept on. It kept on when he begged and begged and begged and begged for us to read to him even though I stood my ground and said it was too late. It kept on when I told him I needed to go to my room to sleep if he didn’t stop begging for the book. It kept on when I was TRYING to go to my room to sleep. It kept going. And going. And going. Doors were slammed. Voices were raised. I couldn’t get the space I needed and I ultimately had to give Andrea her space so that one of us could recover and get what we needed, so I took him into his room even though he was trying to stand his ground on the dog bed in ours.
At this point he and I were both in tears. I wasn’t getting what I needed and neither was he. I stopped. I let go. I held him. We cried, hugged, breathed and we loved. We talked about what happened and what we all could have done differently. I rubbed his back while he cried some more. He looked me straight in the eyes and apologized. That changed the game for me. That felt SO much better than the apology I tried to get out of him earlier. I curled up around him and surrounded him with my love. The only thing missing was Andrea and I certainly don’t blame her for being sound asleep already in the other room. Trying to know when and where to stand my ground on issues versus when to allow myself to let go and love can be such a struggle for me at times. I don’t want to be told I’m too easy or too soft…or that I “give in” to my child. I stood my ground on what mattered and I let love win the rest. He thanked me for lying there holding him and talking. He was happy to give kisses, snuggles and hugs and say goodnight so that I could go be in peace for a bit. As I type right now, I have noticed that his light is already out and he’s fast asleep. Because I didn’t withhold the most important part: the love. Had I kept trying to be so stubborn this could have gone on all night long. Did he make some bad choices tonight? Indeed he did. And there are consequences for those actions that are being carried out. WHY must I be so stubborn sometimes and feel like I need to win it all just because I’m the parent?? Noah is a WONDERFUL child. He is eight years old. He is hypersensitive to so many things around him. We all act out at times and we all make bad choices. Life isn’t as perfect as it looks on Instagram or Pinterest. Life is REAL. With real struggles and real love. If I could only just ALWAYS remember to choose my struggles carefully and know that sometimes when people, especially kids, act out…we are only asking for love to win.