I had a really sh*t morning.
DS would not go to sleep. After closing the shutters (to make a dark and restful room) and reading a story (to relax him and prepare him for sleep) and nursing him in bed (further relaxation and sleep preparation) he was jumping on the bed and threw a complete wobbly when I switched the light off. Which ended with him slapping me in the face.
I did not handle that at all well.
I lost it.
I jumped off the bed and shouted something at him, slammed the door, and in the process broke the door handle. I had to break through the shutters to get back into the bedroom.
All of this of course was not conducive to sleep. I was still shaking with rage when I got back into bed with him, calling my husband for support. And to my absolute horror, shouted at my son again when he showed no signs of going to sleep.
I am mortified that I shouted at him twice, that he was locked in a room for about 20 seconds and that I have such a poor control over my responses to frustration.
And yet it is bigger than that. It always is.
No one likes to be slapped in the face, even if it is by a toddler, and you know they don’t know better.
Being slapped in the face on a day where I am questioning the wisdom of my staying home to be with my child for both our good, his and mine, was perhaps a bit more of a challenge than I was up to.
I hate it that I have lost respect in the eyes of people around me. Staying home and preparing healthful food and creating a warm and loving home environment seems to be regarded as menial work – for the brainless and those with no ambition. I used to think I was intelligent and that I had ambition. Perhaps I need to accept that that is not so.
I really miss the days where I got positive feedback for a job well done. Where a grandparent would introduce me by giving the name of the hospital I worked at and my accomplishments with learning a new language and building a life for myself in a foreign country. I no longer have that. I am ‘just a mum, who cooks, cleans and tidies up after a toddler’. Anybody can do that. Nothing special about it at all.
I try to make myself feel better about my choices, by reading up on food preparation and food in general. Making choices that makes sense to me for social and physical health. I work hard to clean our home with ecological cleaners, to model cleaning for my son, and to keep a safer environment for him. And to not be polluting the earth. I have begun to avidly read labels on pretty much everything I buy, as I decode the names and what they could mean for our health.
I devour chat threads on health and healing, on how nutrition is the basis for good health. I want what I am doing to count, to matter – and I want to be recognised for my outstanding choices and effort.
And yet, I know that there is an equally passionate mother, making totally different choices than I am. I touched on this in a previous post on vaccines. People make very different choices. I just haven’t yet made peace with my choice within the variety of choices available.
Last night my professor FIL felt the need to share his wisdom by commenting on our mistake of not letting DS find himself in the world alone by leaving him to fall asleep without his mother or father. Why? Apparently we are making a mistake to not leave DS alone in the evenings while we go out to dinner, movies, theatre, whatever. That we leave DS during the day to have our fun, while still being with him at night is, well, obviously pathological.
Apart from not being recognised as a competent and intelligent, I actually enjoy being at home. But the not being recognised part does my head in. I hate being thought of as inferior (aha…. I believe I have touched the core of the issue, and hence my outrageous outburst earlier today). I think my choice can say a lot about me and who I am. I just wish it didn’t say to some people, that I lack ambition, intelligence or competence.