Today was not one of my better days. I felt low-energy, saddened, and grumpy. I tried to finish making Christmas/Solstice presents, pay the bills, cook nourishing food, gear up for a holiday road-trip next weekend, etc. Even though I was already feeling stressed, I agreed to play a game of Memory when my girls begged me to.
After all of the cards were finally laid out, the little monkeys were all-kinds-of distracted. "Do you still want to play this?" "Yeah!" "OK, let's do it then." I was sitting on the floor, they're noisy and still running around, and I just lost it. I yelled something about them wasting my time and my patience. Little Ayla came up to me, in her 2 year old wisdom, said, "Mama, I don't like the way you're talking to me." I softened considerably and apologized simply. I love that she feels comfortable to say this to me. While my mood wasn't gone, it was contained.
I thought I needed some time to myself, so I went into my bedroom when the girls got interested in a game of Kirby's Epic Yarn on the Wii. Within minutes, Camille joined me, so we started watching Drive Thru History America, a DVD from the library that we're both interested in, while I continued to work on making presents. In five more minutes, Sylvia and Ayla joined us and started being a little wild. I could feel my tension and irritation rising again. I felt like yelling and/or running away, but instead I half-laid on them and made a joke about having really uncomfortable, wiggly pillows. Ten minutes later, all three girls were climbing on me, kissing on me, being my pillows and blankets, and giggling like crazy. My grumpiness had at last dissolved in our laughter.
I have found many times that what we ALL need is more connection, not less. I will have so much more opportunity in my life for me-time as my children grow, but right now, I am so grateful to them. I am grateful that they can see my stress and sadness, call me out, soften me up, and help me laugh, even when I am resistant.
Don't be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world. Light your candle and step forward.