Two weeks into working full-time, I blew a gasket.
I had a long, wailing meltdown like a 3-year old. It was awful. I was angry, tired, stressed, frustrated and probably a whole lot of other things. Now I feel mostly guilty.
I should have seen it coming. The kids came back to me Friday evening, as they always do after a week with their dad. I was exhausted. We had a simple dinner of pasta, watched a bit of TV, me drinking a little too much wine into the wee hours. The kids retreated to their devices in the preferred corners of the house, I went to bed and futzed around on the internet doing nothing in particular for way too long.
Yesterday, I started the day badly by sleeping in way too late. I did some badly needed housework and my mood perked up. We went out to the thrift store to source some Halloween stuff and spent way too much time poking around. Rushed home to get the kids dinner before I went out to a work function that I really didn’t want to go to. I felt pudgy, and like the outfit I put together was Not Quite Right. It was an overpriced hipster vegan place that I resented spending $75 at. I couldn’t wait to go home, and I was able to make a reasonably early 9:00 escape, only to come home and be unproductive.
Which meant today was doomed to be one big gong show of housework and putting together an IKEA desk that I fucked up with somewhere along the way and will have to disassemble and do again (thank you, undiagnosed visual-spatial LD). I regretted agreeing to go see Gone Girl as I had way too much to do, but I felt like I couldn’t bail. Besides, wasn’t I entitled to a little bit of fun? I’d been wanting to see it as I had just finished the book, and I was not disappointed.
Then rushed off to meet another friend and her son for a birthday dinner out. She picked up my kids for me and we all met at the restaurant. My daughter was pushing my buttons – playing with her phone the whole time until I made her put it away, only to see her sneaking it under the table. I understand her Aspie-ness, yet it is incredibly frustrating to watch her ignore people around her who actually WANT to talk to her.
Dropped the kids off at home, almost 9:00 pm at this point, only to realize I needed stuff for their lunches. Off to the store I went. Fastest grocery shop ever, and I come home to have the son tell me he forgot his backpack (with- guess what? HOMEWORK!) at his dad’s. Off to his dad’s we went, me fuming not so quietly and slipping deeper into pity party territory. He was careful, saying as little as possible.
9:45, we are back home. The daughter casually mentions how much she loves her online friends. I reply something to the effect of, that’s great, but you need to carve out time for other things too, like homework. You wonder why you don’t have real friends? You shut them out with your phone, your laptop. You ignore them.
It all kind of exploded from there.
I am so not proud of myself. I went into my room, and just wailed, for, I don’t know how long. I felt like a failure as a mother. Like an all-round shitty person.
I did what I always do when this happens, which is, fortunately, rarely. I apologized, I made sure I told them that I loved them. I told them that it is not right that when I am overwhelmed I lose it like that. That when I am tired, and feeling burdened, I need to find better ways to deal with it. And again, that I loved them, no matter what, that I get so frustrated because all I am trying to do is make it all right for them.
They are so loving, so forgiving.
I hope I can forgive myself now.