A little while ago I had a really crappy day. You know the kind - starts off with a cold coffee and then just gets worse and worse. The main cause was clashing heads with Kalani over everything. Complaining, whinging, answering back, not listening to anything I was saying. He was driving me insane.
I yelled a lot that day. Oh my goodness I yelled a lot *sigh* And I hate when it gets to that stage, because as soon as I start I feel awful, but I just can't stop. That was how it all ended. With me totally losing my shit in the car as we were driving home from the library. I know that Kalani felt bad as well because he (for once) didn't say anything. He just sat and took it. And even as I was roaring at him for being such a selfish child, a little voice was saying 'Stop Stop Stop - He's ONLY 4 - STOOOOP' - but I didn't - I just kept on screaming at him as he sat there.
*sad sad sad*
I felt (and still feel) horrible.
After he went to bed that night I sat down with my laptop and an enormous glass of wine. I caught up on emails, read some articles (nothing even remotely intellectual - 'How to increase your potassium levels' - 'How to look 20 when you're 40' etc.) and then caught up with Facebook. As I was trolling through my news feed, there was a quote/saying that really jumped out at me...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says 'I'll try again tomorrow'"
I think the quote was part of a mental illness awareness campaign or something, and I ignored the bit about courage. The words that really hit me were "I'll try again tomorrow".
So I'd been a shitty parent and had an appalling day. Tomorrow is a new day, and on that day I will try this parenting thing again. I'll try to yell less and to listen more. I'll try more patience and less anger. I'll try to motivate and inspire and show him love, instead of making him afraid of me. I'll try again. And I'll remember that he is only 4, and 4 year old boys don't always (ever!) act like angels.
I took my decision and my shame and went up to Kalani's room, sat on his bed and watched him sleep (he may not act like an angel, but he looks like one when he's sleeping - arms thrown up over his head - abandoning himself to his dreams). I kissed his cheek and promised him that I would try to be a better Mummy tomorrow.
Because in the end, that's all any of us can do with anything in life - just keep trying.
So whatever kind of day you've just had - particularly if it sucked - know that while your slate doesn't necessarily get wiped clean at the end of each day, that you do get redemption of sorts at the start of each day. You get another a chance to try again.