It is Tuesday night. And I love my children. However, I am sitting in a shawerma joint without them. And crying. (FYI, usually when mom's cry, it's due to mommy guilt)
I love my children. But tonight my stress-o-meter was in the dark orange zone. I pulled Hana aside with a look of impending doom in my eyes, and said, "I gotta get outta here. I'm about to lose it. Please, do homework with Timothy and Ada, make them dinner, have Ada get in the shower, and put them to bed?"
I'm not gonna stress if not all those things have happened once I return. Because the point was for me to leave the premises.
I do love them, I promise. But I'm just a human being. I'm just one person, one human, one mortal... ON ZOLOFT NO LESS!
Thing is I know that I need to leave the home before I reach red. Before I reach the screaming/barking/fist-biting point. That is more damaging to them than me evacuating for the evening, which probably isn't really too damaging at all.
What's my stress all about, you ask? Why can't I handle what you handle beautifully every night?
Look, I've been in therapy. I've done rapid eye therapy. I've done free writing. I've done art therapy. I've done PsyChi. I've done craniosacral work. I did lots of prayer before. Used to do regular scripture reading. I'll go on: Paid tithing/went to church/took sacrament/served/didn't drink beer.
Once about 5 years ago, Matt was out of town, as he was often, and the kids were ages 2, 4, 8, and 9 at the time. I'd had a dismal track record with managing emotionally when he was out of town, because I had to deal with the kids on my own. So this particular time, I decided to have a fast.
Fasting in Mormonism is like taking an extra step toward showing the Lord that you're serious. You really really need help with something. So you fast- give up 2 to 3 consecutive meals- to show real commitment to Him in hopes that He will return the favor.
I started my fast on a Sunday morning. When you fast in Mormonism, you start out with a prayer. I felt like a fast would grant me have an exceptionally peaceful day on my own with the kids. I wanted that for them as much as me. I wanted to enjoy them even if Matt was out of town.
That day ended up being one of the worst in my momming history.
We could get into what my emotions were at the end of the day. My confusion. My disappointment. My tears. My anger. My desperation. But I think I'm really just trying to tell you guys that I tried/try. Everything I know how.
Okay, perhaps I'm being dramatic. It's not this bad every night, nor is every night 'bad'.
The current formula that works better than having no formula at all (like earlier in my momhood) is when I have felt my personal tension building up for several days, and then one night I am dangerously close to threat level 'critical', I must remove myself from the situation. Eat some shawerma. Drink some Coke Zero.
And to give Hana her props: I came home, and Ada had been showered. Timothy's math was finished. She had fed them dinner.
I did say thank you. But I am taking suggestions for a grander 'thank you' for last night's rescue.
I am also taking suggestions on effective ways of self-medicating. Pot never worked for me.