Saturday, January 5, 2008

I'm sorry, so sorry

So let's start with a little recap of the day:

First of all, I'm sick. I have a cold, a sore throat and I'm extra tired. (Just setting the stage/giving myself an excuse).

Early this morning, we had a primary inservice meeting. I am in the primary presidency and we planned it, but we were totally taken by surprise at how strong the Spirit was and how perfectly it went. I went home on a little high.

I then proceeded to take previously-resolved-about oldest daughter on a little birthday present shopping trip alone. It was very nice.

I then came home and with little provocation, completely lost it with my 7 year old. (Mom, you might want to tuck some more money into your Grandchildren Therapy Fund). I don't know what happened. Why, after such a great morning, did I do that? Completely mystified. (Feel awful and lame.)


We proceed to clean the house and I take a nice long nap. Ryan leaves for Priesthood Leadership session of Stake Conference and says, "If you want to come to Grace's (his good friend's daughter in a stake 20 minutes away) baptism, I'll meet you there at 5pm."

Here's the big error of the night...I decided to go.

So I, ON A SATURDAY, BY MYSELF, iron a bunch of church clothes, load kids in the car and head to a baptism. I should have known I was in for trouble when Emma responds to my "We're late" comment by saying, "Good, less baptism we have to sit through."

They were horrible. Crawling all over us, broccoli-smelling (long story), in your face, pretending to go to the bathroom but really just wanting to run up and down the halls loudly, fighting, incapable of whispering horrible. And, I'm sure, completely normal.

Let's just say...the car ride home: not going in any General Conference talks soon. Including, but not limited to:
  • slamming on brakes when child wasn't seat-belted after 2 reminders
  • yelling
  • not-listening chair sentencing
  • dead scared silence

So then I pick up the babysitter and the pizza and proceed to the adult session of conference. Where I feel immersed in guilt for the entire first hour. And resolve to go home and grovel and apologize.

Do your children, when you apologize, say, "Yeah and remember how you..." and then remind you of all the poor parenting you did that you didn't specifically mention? Well, mine do. Luckily, I was sufficiently humbled and in a good place after the meeting and so we just laughed and I promised that if I wasn't a good example of how to handle stress, at least I could be an example of how to apologize and just try again.

So that was my day. What was up with that?


Celia Fae said...

So it sounds like everything was perfect until 5 pm. Can't you give yourself a little break? I mean really, everyone has those moments and we're glad you share yours because otherwise you'd be too perfect.

Yeah, let's go to women's conference. I have a plan.

Meg said...

You know you gave me something to be grateful kids haven't started telling me the other unfortunate things I have done wrong when I'm apologizing YET. But I am sure it is coming!!! In fact, I know it is.

My friend and I often talk about the line and how it's important that our children learn when they cross the line from us. If we don't teach them what it is at home, they will go off to someone else and drive them to insanity... So it's really best if they learn it from us, the moms. At least the therapy will be in our name, right? The one who loves them despite how monkey-like they can act.

Somedays are just about survival. Today you should feel good that you survived and then tomorrow you can brush yourself off and try again.

And, good for you for saying sorry!

Sally said...

First time I've read your blog, and when I read the list of what happened in the car, you got a new reader. I guess misery loves company...I'm just glad to know I'm not alone.

By the way, when I ask my mom how she raised us all without shouting, etc, she says she did shout but we just don't remember it. I am really hoping that's true.

Lauren said...

Oh, Jessica, as always, I truly appreciate your honesty.

As your biggest fan on the east coast, if not the WORLD, I just have to say that I think you are setting a good example for your kids...I really do...they know you aren't perfect, but are certianly not to prideful to apologize.

I'm sorry you have a cold :( it makes things twice as hard when you feel lousy.

I said to my friend just the other day, after a HORRIFIC day with my kids, (and I behaved horribly) Well, I'm out of the running for mother of the year. She replied name was never even on a ballot.

Bridget said...

I agree with Celia. You had a great day up until 5pm so remember that too! I am glad to hear other kids give the same kind of responses to mothers' apologies. Sometimes my kids will say "Well, if you're sorry about being mean, why do you keep doing it?" Ouch. That's a dagger in the heart.

Give yourself props. Everyone has bad days. Overall you're coming out way ahead of the game.

julie said...

Oh, I love you!!! Such a perfect post for all us Mom's to read. Kids are the best at pushing buttons. I have never yelled at my family, husband, friends...ever...but I have yelled at my kids. They are a little crazy, and sometimes they make me crazy! I laughed at yous slamming on the brakes part.

When I was having morning sickness my oldest was really acting up. When I reprimanded her she turned to me and said, "Well maybe if you would get off the couch and take care of me like you used to I wouldn't behave this way." She was four. nice...

Anyway, my kids remember when I get mad, but like you said, they also remember that I apologize. And that I make mistakes too, and that I am learning.

You're a great mom.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I like hearing that you're not perfect, Jessica. Because sometimes I think you are. We've all yelled at our kids and I know that I've lost it by something SMALL more times than I'd like to remember. You'll be blessed for going to the baptism... AND for going to the adult session of stake conference. Plus, you have a cold. SO, you're totally excused. There. Isn't that better?

Annie said...

The good news? You did three of your resolutions! Nice to daughter, check. Spiritual experience, check. Nice things for people, check, check (primary teachers, friend's baptism). By my count you're doing great!

My daughter's violin teacher asks her to focus on one thing at a time (rhythm or tone or whatever) and if she does that one thing...even if she stinks at all the other elements...she praises her and celebrates. The teacher always says if you try to do everything all at once you never really progress but if you do one or two things and master them, you're golden. Perfection is so overrated :)

My kids bring up my past errors all the time. I love living my parenting failures, don't you? I think you should just say. "Yup, that happened. But I'm a good mom (always good to get that self marketing in...subliminal suggestions may cut down on therapy, etc.) so I said sorry just like you should do."

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I'm telling you - there's something to it. On the days that I try to do good spiritual things, those are the days that I am the angriest. I don't think it's my fault (it's Satan's). I think there are greater forces at play that make it so painful to do the right thing.

Last month our ward had a temple day where they had a primary activity AT the temple for the kids during the session. Not only were we late, the kids were all whining in the backseat, and I made a wrong turn which put me going the WRONG WAY ON THE FREEWAY. Imagine the spirit I took with me into the temple that day.

Don't beat yourself up. You're doing good. We all know it!

J'net said...

WAIT!!! Most humans on this earth now live with TWO
Saturdays in their weekend!
When did you start living with two SUNDAYS in your weekend???
You are now sainted for just attempting that feat and THINKING for ONE moment the kids would enjoy the longness of reverence!?!?
Let me remind you of two little kids who showed up at our place for our wedding... after a LONG drive from Orem to Sacramento and continued to RUN in circles for TWO hrs. 'cuz they didn't "turn" all day, just drove straight!!!
You have blessings in heaven for not calling in sick for the Primary meeting and calling it a REAL Saturday. How's your Sunday, "day of REST" doing?
Just keep laughing, that's the balm of parenthood!!!
Luv, A. J'net

Lorena said...

Um...remind me not to send those Romney children an invitation to the triple-baptism we will be having in about 2 months...I believe it will be WAY too much baptism for them to sit through!!

Rochelleht said...

So funny. I totally slam on the breaks as well when they don't have seat belts on and that's when I'm in a good mood!

crystal said...

I've TOTALLY done the brake-slamming thing!!!! Phew! I'm so glad someone else has done it too! Couple of things I've picked up from good friends:

1) When my friend Ali has a moment, in the aftermath she says, "I know, I messed up. Look, I'll pay for your therapy!" and moves on. (that's hard for me--I tend to get mired down in guilt for being a jerk)

2) My friend Kara yells. A LOT. And loses her temper (it's always b/c they push us, is it not?). And her 2 oldest are teenagers, and I've noticed that they talk to her. A LOT. So it's not going to scar them enough to drive them away emotionally--which is the important thing, right? (i give myself this pep talk b/c I have days JUST like this)

Being a mom is hard!

crystal said...

I love Annie's comment about the violin teacher! I'm seriously going to write that down for my own benefit.

Paige said...

One total fall-apart moment shouldn't make you feel so bad. But my biggest question- DO YOU ACTUALLY IRON church clothes? I prefer the shake.

Paige said...

And slamming on the brakes is called a seat belt check. I didn't know it was mean, just safe!

gab said...

Sorry, Lauren...I am the biggest East Coast fan and will not be denied my crown!

Hang in there, Jess. I'll bet today was lots better!!

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...

Your girls weekend is coming soon, just think how happy you'll be to go and how much you deserve it on days like this!

Besides, freak outs make the rest of us feel a little more worthy to know you.

Tammy said...

Jessica, the one thing I love about you is your torrid honesty. You are so honest and speak so freely and we should applaude you for that alone. Most people would just fail to admit these things, but you profess them. You should give yourself ten stars for that alone. Everyone has a bad day, everyone is lame sometimes and for you to realize it and admit it is a huge statement about you. A good one, at that.

brooke romney said...

I'm just so happy to know you are normal. You usually seem like super mom and like you have 5 more hours every day than I do. We still remind my mom of the time she swore like 18 years ago. I guess it just comes with the territory. BTW--loved you card. Totally worth it. You look awesome and your fam is darling.

HILLARY said...

You are actually doing your kids a favor. I think if we don't have fall aprt days, they would feel REALLY bad when they are parents and have fall apart days. They would think they were horrible awful parents because their MOM never lost it...

Thank you for being like the rest of us!

Denae said...

This is the story of my life. Losing it and then telling everyone sorry at the end of the day! I'm glad to know we're the same.

Carie said...

Just returned home from a funeral in Seatlle for the weekend and am catching up on your blog. I have too much to say, so I will email you.

Penny said...

You are seriously awesome. I am impressed that you apologize to your kids so often. That is the one thing that I sometimes forget. You are doing a great job and I learn so much from you. Thanks for being so honest so that we all can feel better about our shortcomings too.

The Hansen Clan said...

I had a frighteningly similar Saturday. It's scary how fast things can change. Thank goodness we get a chance to make it better. Just know that I love and admire you - you are an awesome mom and a terrific example to all of us! Hey, maybe our kids can go to therapy together..

Brigitta said...

Sometimes I find that after having a really spiritual experience then satan tries to zap you with all kinds of crap. So don't worry! Thanks for sharing the things we all do, but don't admit to. hope you had a fun holiday. LOoks like you had an awesome new years eve party. We are coming next time.

AMY said...

I am the queen of apologizing. The way I see it, at least we teach our kids that even adults screw up but at least we made ammends and move on. Good lesson. It's good for your kids to see you grovel once in awhile. I think my kids love me more for it.

andrea said...

seat belt check is a classic and fulfilling parenting move. you sould be commended for regulating their safety! maybe you should review the how-to's of paige's "naughty pinch". or you can steal one of my tactics... check out the post to come later today.

rubberbandgirl said...

The ability to be humble and apologe is still what I admire my mom most for.

Lisa-Marie said...

Agree. Agree. Agree. Agree.

And you're not praying for more patience are you??? That is always what happens to me when I ask for more patience...I'm given ways to practice. I'm not asking anymore!

Pineapple Princess said...

Wow, that sounded so much like me. It usually happens at Gen Conf. time when I feel like giving my children a semi-annual spanking. I wish the yelling were only semi-annual.

Thanks for showing us we are not alone and thanks to everyone who gave great advice and applause. I was waiting for that.

Ilene said...

What does it mean that I didn't even know about the adult session of Stake Conference? I thought they weren't having one because I never heard anything.

Not only a bad parent, but a bad church-goer. BUT our family was on time for Stake Conference the next day so that counts for something. Glad you got something spiritual out of the meeting. Mine was spent wishing I could sit alone without kids. I'm a good mom like that.