Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Under Pressure

I probably fret way too much about that lasting damage I do to my children. I wonder what kind of people they will date or sustain long-term relationships with based on the type of behavior Will and I exhibit. I also wonder what kind of parents they will be or partners they will be. I probably place more importance on myself in shaping their complete character than is warranted. Still, I feel immensely guilty this evening due to a nasty episode earlier. What happened? Well, I want to lay it all out there. Give you all the excuses such as being home over a week without working and the children being tired. Bottom line, I crossed it. There's no excuse. It's understandable, yes. Millions of mothers and fathers can relate. But I said something that I can't take back. I did something that I can't take back. And I hate it. I'm so angry at myself.

S is more verbal, so that's why I attacked her verbally. After a terrible evening with S which culminated in her spilling water on her homework, I called her an idiot. I immediately said, you're not and I shouldn't have said that, but I'm at the end of my rope here. I made amends before dinner and we ate. Then as dinner was ending, G started throwing food. After she picked it up and sat back down she did it again. I took her out of her seat intending to put her in time-out away from the table as per our bad manners policy, but the fit she began throwing infuriated me and I smacked her butt. God I hate spanking my kids. I've done it with both of them before and it's always out of frustration and anger and I hate myself every time it happens. Fortunately it's a rarity and not a daily thing. Immediately I hugged G and told her let's calm down now, I'm sorry.

I'm always sorry. It doesn't take it back. I still remember my mother smacking me across the face for back talking her one time too many. She was at the stove cooking dinner and I was about 9. I immediately saw the pain in her face and ran away crying and I know she cried too. We made up. We had dinner. I didn't hate her. S doesn't hate me. I told her how I couldn't take back what I said and I'm a human and humans make mistakes. Truthfully, when she ran to her room crying after the name-calling she was more upset about getting in trouble at school for ruining her homework than she was about getting yelled at by me! I related her mistake to my mistake and she understood that her teachers wouldn't be upset with her.

And the underlying problem is living in uncertainty. Will has one more semester...there are no jobs here. We want to move where there's more opportunity. We need health benefits for our family. It's a lot and this economy shit makes it so much worse. We're living under pressure. And now the kids are feeling it, too.

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