Day 4 – Not today…Please God…not on shift day
Today’s Agenda and Goal
- Get the kids off to school without a hitch
- Attend the doctor’s appointment for middle bonus son
- Whoop it up at my Girls Night In Mary Kay party
6:40AM – Just buck up
It came before I was ready…he just left for his shift and although I got a kiss, I didn’t want to let him go. Knowing that I have to get the kids off to school, I decided to just get up and forego the extra 30 minutes of snooze time I normally get.
7:45AM – Not today…Please God…not on shift day
Things were going pretty smooth this morning…and I was almost completely dressed and ready for work. And then…all hell broke loose. And it was so preventable and avoidable…if only I had calmed down. I don’t know what it was…maybe the fact that the kids have been together so much lately, or the fact that I was trying to figure out how I’d make it through the work day and a doctor’s appointment and still find time to get some snacks for my party tonight, or maybe I am just human.
It all started when I set the timers. The kids have been a bit obsessed lately with video games or watching funny YouTube videos, so I decided that I’d set 30 minute timers for each of them. Well, wouldn’t you know that 30 minutes just wasn’t long enough…for any of them. Because every.single.one.of.them proceeded to whine and complain and argue with me about turning their devices off. I hate whining, I hate complaining, but I REALLY hate arguing. Who are these children to argue with a parent??? It drives me insane…and unfortunately, this morning I let it. I was alone and my calm was on shift. So…my switch flipped…and I lost it. There was screaming, yelling, cursing (not by me) and crying.
After telling my middle bonus son to go to his room because I didn’t want to hear his crying, I stormed into my bedroom and finished getting dressed. Thank God I did, because the next thing I heard was the front door slam. I look out…and he’s in the middle of the yard, headed toward the street. I told him to get back inside or I’d have to call the police because I can’t track him down. He said the most vile, hateful thing I’ve ever heard come from his sweet little face…and it set me off. I called my fireman (who had been at work a total of 45 minutes) and told him his son had just ran away and I still had 4 kids in the house and didn’t know what to do. Immediately, I regretted calling him. I heard the frustration in his voice…the disappointment that he couldn’t even go to work without everything going to hell. So, I told the oldest bonus son to stay in the house with the other kids while I went to get his brother. As I turned to walk away, he said, “It’s no wonder he ran away.” I turned around, snatched the cup of coffee out of his hands and screamed, “You know what??? I am so tired of you and the way you treat me. I am tired of you.” His response, calmly, “I’m tired of you too.” Ugh. I’m such an idiot…did I really just scream at my 14 year old bonus son and say those things? What is wrong with me?
I hopped in the van, turned the corner and saw the “runaway” walking down the sidewalk. I knew he wouldn’t get far, but he was upset and angry and I didn’t want him getting hit by a car or anything like that. Plus, I knew what I had to do. I was stupid and completely overreacted. Why couldn’t I use what I learned in Scream Free Parenting? My reaction and acceptance of the gauntlet they threw down set everything in motion and the nuclear explosion happened. I was officially the “evil step mom.” A title I’ve fought so hard not to have and within a matter of minutes…I had totally earned it.
As we pulled in the driveway, I turned around to face him. I saw the anger still…but I also saw the sadness and defeat. I apologized and I told him I love him. And I told him that I completely overreacted, and that I felt like none of the children listen and don’t respect the parents. I told him that we work so hard to provide for them and that we love them so much, but when we are constantly having to battle about everything that we get frustrated. Then we went inside.
I walked into my oldest bonus son’s room…yes, the one I screamed at…and told him how sorry I was and that I overreacted. Then I went to my room, where I promptly fell to my knees with tears streaming down my face. It felt good to cry…I needed to cry…because the alternative doesn’t work. I used to keep my emotions bottled up and I’d let them eat at me all day and I’d beat myself up for failing. It was a toxic way to live and I battled depression on more than one occasion and it has only been with the support of my fireman and the Sisterhood that I’ve been able to control my emotions and dig myself out of the hole I put myself into for punishment.
As I put my shoes on, I heard the front door open. My body tensed up and I started to cry again. You see, I wasn’t afraid…my husband is the gentlest, kindest, sweetest man on earth…I was simply disappointed in myself and ashamed that I let it go there. As I explained what happened, my husband looked at me with concern and when I was done, all he said was, “You are human.” He said exactly what I needed to hear. I’m not sure what happened after that because my emotions left me in a bit of a fog. I do know that I got the kids off to school and headed into work.
9:30AM – Exhausted and defeated
Still reeling from the battle of this morning, I feel myself slipping…I’m falling into this cycle where I overanalyze what happened and the negative thoughts start flooding in. I am defeated and I failed as a bonus mom.
10:40AM – Letting go and letting God take over
Since I haven’t heard from my husband since this morning’s explosion, I start to come down on myself. I am my own worst enemy. I bully myself to the point that I can’t be the best wife, mom or Heather that I should be. It’s terrible and it’s toxic and I need to stop. I hop on Facebook, hoping to find some comfort in my Sisterhood…which I always do. And then, I came across this picture…
…and I let it all go. I will live by the grace of God.
Lunch – Comfort food
Generally, I eat pretty healthy. My company has a lunch program with healthy offerings and I usually make good choices. But, after this morning…I wanted some comfort food. So I did this…
…and I regretted every moment of it.
3:10PM – Where is she?
My middle bonus son had a doctor’s appointment today and I had to take him and meet my FF there since it was in his jurisdiction. His appointment was at 3:30PM and here I am, in her driveway and her car isn’t here…where is she? Doesn’t she know that I have to take HER son to the doctor because she didn’t want the hassle of taking all 3 boys into the waiting room? Stop.thinking.negative.thoughts. I didn’t want to be in a bad mood when he got in the car, so I just took a deep breath…and then she pulled in. Thank you God for helping keep me calm…where were you this morning??
4:30PM – Seriously? An hour…and there’s two people ahead of us
An hour had passed since we checked in at the front desk. Now I know why she didn’t want to bring all the kids. I sent my fireman up to the desk to find out how much longer and they said there were 2 patients ahead of us. WHAT???? How do you triple book yourself or get so far behind? I told him I couldn’t wait any longer so he needs to reschedule. To say I was mad is an understatement…I had taken vacation time to be here…and it was all for nothing.
6:00PM – Finally…a chance to relax
Most shift nights alone are spent eating cereal for dinner, texting my husband, and watching terrible reality shows on tv. But tonight, I did something different. I love helping out other fire wives who have direct sales businesses because it means that maybe their fireman doesn’t have to pick up OT and that they can use that time to strengthen their marriage. So I hosted a Mary Kay party…I had my first one in September and have been addicted to their products since. I had 7 ladies coming over and we planned on drinking, snacking and pampering ourselves. The cosmos were great, the convos were better and our skin never looked better.
10:20PM – No, no, no…how did I miss this?
Wait, don’t I have a husband at the fire house??? I haven’t heard from him in a while…so I check my phone. What? How did I miss his good night text over an hour ago? No, no, no. I have to say it…so I text, “Be safe. I love you.” And guess what…I either woke him up or he hadn’t drifted off yet. He replied and I felt better. I never want to go to sleep without telling him I love him and if God forbid something happens on shift in the middle of the night, I would never forgive myself. Today was a heck of a day…but the sun always comes up and in a few hours, his boots will be in the hall.
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