I look at the sleeping faces of my boys, so innocent and sweet in their dreams.
And I realize how young they still are and how entitled they are to their mistakes. Knowing they don’t do things intentionally to push my buttons. That it’s the exuberence of youth that spills over and makes the noise and messes that I have such little patience for as the day is winding down.
And yet I still yell.
For them to stop, be quiet, leave each other alone, leave me alone.
It’s not any one thing they’ve done. It’s the culmination of everything from the entire day or maybe days upon days that each feel a year long until it adds up to just too much.
And so I lose my patience.
I yell. I say things that could break their feelings, as my youngest says when he’s been hurt by someone.
I don’t want to.
I want to remember to count to 10 before I open my mouth.
To take a deep breath.
To lower my voice and watch my tone.
Because they are only little kids.
Little kids who aren’t to blame for their mom being tired and out of patience.
And in the quiet of the dark house, I promise myself that I’ll do better the next day.
When I start to mentally beat myself up for I try to remind myself of what I’d managed to do right that day. The hugs and smiles, the words of encouragement, the countless times I say I love you. Does it all balance out?
Or does only the way the day ends count?
I sigh and wonder if I’m the only mom who wishes she had more patience, who needs to work on holding her tongue. Who makes these same promises over and over. Who knows that sometimes, she really does do better the next day and other times, she’s right back where she started, gazing down at sleeping faces with an apology in her eyes.
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