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But we were kind and gentle people; rarely an angry word was exchanged (except perhaps when suffering PMT). We had nothing to be angry about. Life was good.
It took me by surprise that all of the kids have been so good at tantrum throwing. Sometimes they make me laugh, with their text book moves. But their strong will and angry tone as they repeatedly voice their latest must have, has always taken me aback. Where did they learn that? Where does that anger come from?
Today I released my inner-toddler tantrum to produce what can only be described as an adult size tantrum. It felt so damned good as I was throwing children's doonas and clothes from the hallway onto their beds. Shouting about them not listening to me. I raged. Steam was practically coming from my ears.
After the one minute explosion, I felt dreadful. Childish. Stupid. There was silence. I skuttled off to the backyard to hang the washing, taking big cleansing breaths as I did. Tears were welling in my eyes.
Not one of my shining parenting moments.
I apologised and hugged my kids when I came back inside. I told them I behaved like a two year old. Even Mums have bad days, I said. They all breathed out. Phew. She's back, I could hear them think.
I know I shouldn't have lost control. I know I undid a whole lot of lessons about dealing with anger. I am not even entirely sure where it came from.
I love my children dearly. I love being their Mum. But I can get overwhelmed. Dew Drop slammed my car key in the front door this afternoon, bending it in half, rendering it unusable. It cost us about $150 to buy it after he lost the original key when he was just a toddler. I think they call that the straw that broke the camel's back.
My laid back self is now visited sporadically by an angry old cow. She speaks of feeling 'punished'. Of needing space. And quiet. Who is she and how do I keep her happy? Better still, how do I get her to go away because life is a whole lot nicer for all of us without her presence.
Ever had a tantrum in front of your kids?