August 1, 2016
It had been a long day. Trying to parent alone while working is tough. The girls started fighting in the backseat of the car while I was trying to work out some ideas in my head. Of course I wanted two tired, little girls to be quiet while I thought. Instead the yelling quickly escalated to fighting each other with elbows and jabs. Then one started crying and the other started screaming. Driving in Atlanta traffic, I lost it and yelled back at them to be quiet. I hate it when I discipline the kids for screaming by screaming. It’s so much harder to parent without fear. It requires a higher level of emotional awareness and energy, and I was on empty.
Once we got home, I was seething from two girls annoying me plus my reaction to the two girls. I just wanted to stay in a negative place and think about how difficult it is being a single parent and what a bad hand I got. Then when we got home, R said “I’m sorry, I was frustrated with M, but I shouldn’t have yelled or hit her.” She took the high road. Instantly, she had released me from my negativity with those words. A moment earlier I had thought my kids are brats and parenting is so hard only for that thought to be instantly replaced with my child is more emotionally mature than I am. I’m still pouting, and she’s ready for forgiveness and to move on. It amazes me how quickly they can transition their emotions.
A few minutes later, we were jumping on the trampoline holding hands and laughing, and it dawned on me that I had just experienced a journey of emotion within such a short time frame, guided by my child. To move from emotion to emotion, it was critical that I let the previous emotion go. She helped me with that. As an adult, we want to hide or hold on to those emotions. We have a bad day or a good day. It’s one emotion for the day, maybe longer. Not three emotions in an hour. It was a reminder to embrace the ride. To turn up the music and roll down the window and enjoy the bumpy road.