I could blame it on being tired, but that would be a cop out.
Sunday afternoon. Two kids gone. One on the phone for at least an hour. Their dad lying on the couch watching a movie.
And me, cleaning up the kitchen from the night before, picking up the living room I asked the kids to do before they left. Cleaning the bathroom, putting away the girls' hair care products and makeup and jewelry. Collecting all the junk the kids left laying around. Unloading and loading dishwasher and washing machine.
All the while my beloved offspring did their own thing and their father dozed on the sofa.
You women are feeling my pain, right? You've got this whole scene figured out. You know where we're going, don't you?
I know I should have waited and made the kids clean up when they got home, but there comes a point in every woman's life when they just can't stand the mess, when you can't relax until things are in order. So I did the work, but with every sock and pillow picked up, every dish found in an inappropriate place, every book or electronic device moved from the coffee table, every piece of garbage thrown away, my tension . . . no, let's be honest here, my fuming rose.
Must be nice to make a mess and take off. Must be nice to sit around and do nothing. Must be nice to leave your crap all over the house. Must be nice to eat and leave. Must be nice to have friends over and not pick up after them.
All it took was one question to blow the cooker. Miss Innocent One had no idea what she was in for when she uttered it.
"Are you okay, Mom?"
I launched into a tirade about how I didn't appreciate cleaning up messes I didn't create. Cabinet doors started banging. Chairs were kicked. The kids' stuff got thrown roughly into piles. I snatched the garbage and slammed the back door as hard as I could. And even though it was nearly a hundred degrees with a heat index even higher, I walked out to the trash cans and just kept walking. The steam had to blow. Better to be outside in the natural sauna than inside tallying casualties.
Sigh. Shouldn't I be getting the hang of this by now? Shouldn't I learn how to handle my frustration better? Shouldn't I get better at anticipating this sort of scene and laying down better ground rules for the kids?
Yes. Yes. And yes. But there's this annoying little fact that I'm human. Yuck.
What's a woman to do? I have no excuse for my childish behavior. I feel like an idiot for my lack of self-control. How can I prevent this from happening again?
I probably can't. Great.
But what I can do is own up to my own crap, apologize, and move on because if I dwell in the pit, I KNOW I won't do better. If I agonize about my stupidity I'm focusing on me, not my family. If I beat myself up, I'm stuck there, reliving the scene of the crime, instead of creating a new, more positive memory.
I'd rather expend my energy rebuilding than waste it in shame.
I screwed up yesterday. Big time. But I make another mistake when I wallow in my failure.
. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Apologize, learn from it and move on, friends. Don't let your mind keep you down.