June 5, 2008

Father Of The Year...Not

I'm a terrible father. Okay, okay, I realize that's not an entirely true statement but it is how I feel right now. And how I've felt for the last week or so. For some strange reason, I've been angry, not at any one thing, person or fact of life (though that Lisa Welchel chick pisses me off) but I've managed a sustained level of pissedoffitude right near the surface that bubbles up easily. Most often in reaction to something the kids do. And, thus, I feel like a terrible father.

Lately, Owen has driven me up the wall with his crying though it's so much less than Mia ever complained when she was his age. And he's teething. There's no reason it should aggravate me as much as it does. The other night, Mia woke up about 45 minutes after I'd fallen asleep. I walked in, pissed off, to find her sitting on the edge of her bad, scream-crying. I'm sure I sounded mean when I asked her several times, in a stern voice, what was wrong then unsympathetically told her to get back in bed and lie down. All she wanted was to sit in my lap and hold on to me. Which is what eventually happened but not before I'd gotten 100 shades of pissy.

I love my kids something fierce. I love Owen and his Harrison Ford smile and newfound giggle. I love Mia, her narration of her every move as if she was reading a story about herself, and her inherent quirkiness. I love everything about them but despite that my tolerance for them seems to be so low. The problem is whenever I cop an attitude, I feel immediately bad about it and I also realize that its not the attitude I want them to see from me. Which, of course, makes me feel as though I've failed in some spectacular way and that they somehow pick up on that and feel unloved which makes me feel even worse thus beginning a downward spiral into self-loathing.

So, today, I kinda feel like the worst father to ever walk the planet. Realistically, I know that's not true but that fact doesn't make me feel much better.

What do you do when you're frustrated beyond belief? What are your tricks? And I'm not alone, right? Please tell me I'm not alone.

Posted by Chris at June 5, 2008 6:31 AM

Aw Chris :-( We all have days like that, I know. I'm afraid I don't have any great answers though - I tend to shut down when I get that frustrated, just ignore the world and hope like hell that things somehow work out. I hope you find a better way.

Posted by: Heather at June 5, 2008 7:08 AM

You're not alone. I know when my son was little I was not always the nicest person at times! Sometimes he would drive me insane and I had alot of patience but sometimes it would just wear out. But I always hoped that he wouldn't remember those times - since he's 17 now and isn't in therapy, I guess he doesn't remember!
Deep cleansing breaths - they work for me.

Posted by: NancyB at June 5, 2008 7:24 AM

I think everyone has days like this. I'm not a mom yet, but I work with kids all day long every day. I definitely have days when I know I should just stay in my office, and away from the students... most especially the young ones. I don't want my pissyness to be visible to them... but of course it sometimes is. Then I feel like the worst-counselor-of-small-people-to-ever-walk-the-planet.
Your kids, like everyone else, know you worship them. :)

Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2008 7:30 AM

Um, no, you are not alone, and sometimes when I catch myself getting snippy far too frequently, I have to check out for a minute, walk away and just decompress. My biggest trigger seems to be middle of the night waking to whininess. Once I'm up, I'm up if I am up, but there's a small teeny tiny chance I can fall back to sleep if I get the problem solved quickly and get back to bed beforeI'm too fully engaged and can't sleep again. So, when you get to a kid's room and you say what's wrong and you get "I don't knooooooooooooooooooooooow..." that's when my patience wears thin.

I have no tricks. I'm not the most laid back person by nature (and by that I mean I am not at all laid back). I work very hard to not be high strung and go-go-go around my kids.

Posted by: Sarah at June 5, 2008 7:32 AM

Guess what - you're human.

I don't have any good answers. I wish I did. All I can come up with is that nothing is forever. I remember saying to somebody (I think it was Beth) that kids won't remember an occasional cross remark even though you will. They'll remember the good times and the love.

Try to relax; the only person who expects you to be superhero is you.

On a practical note, it sometimes helps to walk away for a few minutes when possible. Sometimes though all you can do is smile through gritted teeth and tough it out.

It will pass.

Posted by: Ann Adams at June 5, 2008 7:33 AM

You are hardly alone. Sometimes I think my children's memories will all be of me being short-tempered and nasty.

On the other hand, sometimes its okay to NOT be all sympathetic all the time. We will raise a generation of whiners and wussies if we are. There is a happy medium, but its a tough find.

Posted by: Debbie at June 5, 2008 8:00 AM

All I can do is echo what has already been said. It happens. To all of us!

Ah. I am SO insightful, no?

I feel so guilty for feeling like I need to get away sometimes. Because she is my life and I love her more than anything. But? Sometimes I just need to get away!!

And that is ok.

Posted by: Jen at June 5, 2008 8:01 AM

Get ready to feel that way a gazillion times as they grow up. Even after they are grown and live on their own the "guilts" will get you at times. I think it's just part of being a parent.
Hope the shingles are better.

Posted by: Maribeth at June 5, 2008 8:04 AM

I don't think a day goes by where I feel like a bad mom. It's just the nature of the job I guess.

Posted by: jodifur at June 5, 2008 8:09 AM

Dude, you are not alone. Sometimes kids can be trying, and when we're not sleeping or getting enough time to unwind or decompress or whatever you want to call it, we get frustrated more easily. It's human nature (the feeling, not the outward exhibition).

As far as dealing with it? I don't know. I sometimes get short with my daughter too, but I try to just stay calm and rational and work through the problem with her (even though 99% of the time rationalizing with a toddler is like trying to put a t-shirt on a jelly fish).

Posted by: SciFi Dad at June 5, 2008 8:18 AM

You are not alone! This is a daily fight I have with myself...and usually my kids too. But I think that being honest with Mia (and even Owen and Beth) is a good start. "Daddy isn't feeling very happy today, and I'm sorry I got angry with you. But since I'm not feeling happy it would help daddy if you could please...." Insert what would help you feel better.

Although they are pretty little and you may not get any immediate reprieve from your frustration, they'll still be hearing a good message that 1)It's okay to have a bad day and 2) It's okay to talk about feelings. It's never too early to try to help your kids voice their needs, and as a dad, you have that same right. And maybe, just maybe, Mia will hear what you're saying and be more understanding than you knew.

Parenting is the toughest job in the world...I'm 100% with you on that one!

Posted by: Tera at June 5, 2008 8:27 AM

You are so not alone. I think the hardest part of being a parent is that once you take on that job, it's forever, 24/7 365 days a year forever. You can't call off sick. You can't decide to change jobs. You are a parent forever now. It sounds like maybe you and Beth could use a night away? I know its hard with a new baby, but I know a few hours of childfree time does wonder for the spirit and makes you remember how much you do appreciate them, quirks and all. Hang in there, you are a wonderful father.

Posted by: Lisa at June 5, 2008 8:31 AM

I hear you man. I don't understand that insane feeling irritation either. It makes me feel like a shit everytime it happens to me. Frankly with your life issues lately (new kid, stressful job, SHINGLES for lords sake) I'd be surprised if you didn't have moments like these.
Try to give yourself a break both physically AND mentally. I know it's hard but the fact that you are concerned makes you a good father not a bad one.

Posted by: tulip at June 5, 2008 8:36 AM

Perfectly normal. Especially when it comes to bedtime. I used to dread bedtime . . . correction, bathtime, because that's when all the drama would begin. I tend to have a short temper and I'm thinking 95% of the shouting I've done at my son has been at bath and bedtime.

What has helped me diffuse the situation (mine and his) has been to try to be funny while I'm shouting at him.

"Hurry up and get out of the bath, you gasseous gorilla!" or "If you get up one more time I'm filling your closet with bees!" Something like that.

Makes him laugh anyway, so that helps sometimes.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at June 5, 2008 8:38 AM

Not alone! Elliot just recently got over the first round of teething (9 months old, 8 teeth!) and there was about 2 months where he was so whiny that there were days that I knew I loved him but didn't like him one single bit. I was quickly reaching the end of my rope. Unfortunately, I usually held it in then yelled at my husband later but we finally came to a point where we took turns holding the teether and getting out of the house alone. This really helped! Many an evening did I wander around Borders just to be away from the whining.

Posted by: claire at June 5, 2008 8:40 AM

You are SO not alone. I have a terrible temper and very low patience. Especially when it comes to my daughter. While it pisses me off that I'm like that, I've made no real attempt to change it. I think it's because I'm not sure HOW to change it.

I would have reacted the same way to Mia that night. That's the worst time for me. If my girl wakes up shortly after I've gone to bed, I'm am ALL kinds of pissed off. Usually she just wants a glass of water and she goes right back to sleep. While in my head I'm thinking "Get your OWN fucking water", I usually just say "HERE! Now, GO TO SLEEP!"

I have no tricks for you! Sorry. But, if you learn some, please share!

Posted by: js at June 5, 2008 8:46 AM

Try getting a little more sleep at night - I know it's hard to find time, but I've often noticed the less sleep I've gotten the more crabby I am with the kids.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 5, 2008 8:48 AM

Sounds like you might need a break. I was getting to that stage a week ago, but Button went to stay with her grandparents just in time, and the break has given me a whole new lease on life (and parenting). Totally refreshing.
A few days would have been plenty, but she's there until next week and I'm already missing her terribly and can't wait for her to come back.
So perhaps your or Beth's parents could take kid duty for a few days?

Posted by: Amy at June 5, 2008 8:58 AM

You're not a bad father. You're human.
And honestly, one of the best lessons you can teach your kids is that even when you're grumpy, you still love them.
Hang in there - you'll get through this funk.
When I get like this, I lock myself in the bedroom, bathroom, wherever I can be alone for a few minutes and read, etc.

Posted by: Traci at June 5, 2008 9:17 AM

It happens to everyone. You know what I do? I grow the fuck up. Everytime. I stop and say, Aaron, time to grow up, stop being an asshole, and give these kids what they need.

No other way to say it. If you don't want to be a jerk to your kids, don't be a jerk to them. It sounds unsympathetic but it's not. It happens to me too. And I say, Aaron, grow the fuck up. I am the parent, they are the kids, I can control my behavior, they can't. There ain't no other way to cut the tomato. And when I do that, then when Jack is crying over something that I think is stupid -- like being told, ok, we're done brushing our teeth now, so let's get on with our day -- instead of being a jerk and saying "come ON, kid, move it" I say "Jack, I know you are upset. I'm sorry this upsets you. Would you like a bannana?" Makes a world of difference -- to me, and probably certainly to him as well. It's tough, but it's a responsibility. I can't make my sons bear the brunt of my emotional failings. It's not their problem; it's my problem, and as a man it's my responsbility to grow the fuck up.

Posted by: Aaron at June 5, 2008 9:18 AM

As the daughter of a slightly grumpy, easily annoyed father, I can tell you this. She will not remember the times you were slightly short with her, or even the times you yelled a little bit.
She will remember the times when you let her put ton of hats on you, or dress you up, or in my case, the time my dad actually ate the play dough cookie I made so he wouldn't hurt my feelings.

You're doing fine. :)

Posted by: Cassandra at June 5, 2008 9:19 AM

I'm not one to recommend medication quickly, but this reminds me of my husband. He is on something now and feels so much better. I have to wonder with the feelings of being ticked off more easily than usual and the shingles that you might need something, even temporarily, that would settle you down inside and make you feel more like you used to feel. After all you've got a lot on your plate...new house, baby, toddler, high anxiety type job...

Of course I should just mind my own business too.

Posted by: daisy at June 5, 2008 9:21 AM

oh boy are you not alone!!! I am the worse mother at least once a month. Kids have to drive you nuts thats how they survive otherwise we might forget to feed them or something. LOL! Just do not be too hard on yourself. No one is the perfect father or mother, but they know you love them and that is all that really matters. This time will pass and you will be back to the old cactus. Good luck!

Posted by: linda at June 5, 2008 9:22 AM

You are soooooo not alone! I can be so snappy sometimes. Like when, after question #4,652 from Mila about some obscure subject and what she should do about it, I will snap back with "Just do whatever you want, I don't care". I am sooo going to be to blame when she dyes her hair purple and gets her face pierced (not nose, or eyebrow, just face, have you seen those?)

Chris, when you are feeling like the scum of the daddy earth (which?you soooo aren't), just smile and remmember that you aren't Joe Jackson.

Posted by: Mymilabean at June 5, 2008 9:29 AM

Just relax. Play that guitar, even if you don't have the time. Children can be very wearing, and sometimes patience isn't there to handle their fussing.

And I'm sure you're a wonderful father. Remember, I read your blog.

Posted by: cassie-b at June 5, 2008 9:36 AM

Your kids are at a tough age. I look back when my kids were that age and cringe at some of the episodes we had. Lots of tears from all of us. But, I'm finding as they get older, you actually get the chance to relax and you're better able to build the relationship you want with them and the one they will remember. Don't be too hard on yourself--just the fact that you worry about this stuff proves you're a good dad.

Posted by: Susan at June 5, 2008 9:40 AM

Just another voice in the chorus of "you are not alone, and you are not a bad father." I often feel like you and Beth are much better parents than I am, and I've had a lot more practice! I lose my temper way more than I'd like to, and I find myself just apologizing after the fact, and explaining to the kids that "Mommy's feeling are kind of running away with her, so she needs to take a little time out so she can act like she can be with people" (which is similar to what I tell them they need to do when they are having a tantrum.)

Posted by: MamaKaren at June 5, 2008 9:42 AM

Oh Chris. As you can see from every comment you have received so far, you are not alone. We all have moments like this. I think the fact that you realize you are doing this is a good thing. You are so obviously not a terrible father. This parenting thing is hard! Way harder than anyone ever tells you it will be. Just keep plugging along, doing the best that you can. But every parent has been where you are, you are not alone.

Posted by: April at June 5, 2008 10:09 AM

You are absolutely not alone. I can't count how many times I've been exactly there and walked myself into the bathroom closed the door to just count to ten and call my self unfit in the mirror. When second child came along, I had to let some things go. He's five now and finally I'm working some things that I like back into my life. Like reading books that don't have pictures. I'm constantly amazed every week how much you accomplish. If the list were halved I'd still be amazed. Not saying you do too much, either. Just that I come here and read every day because I think you two are good parents. My worst year, I started running. And my schedule meant I could only go after dark, which I'm a chicken so that's major. But nothing like several miles of hard labor and whatever playlist you need to work it out. Hang in there, man. Nobody doubts how much you love your family.

Posted by: OS at June 5, 2008 10:31 AM

Not alone, definitely not alone. Both my husband and I have our moments. For me being 8 months pregnant has pretty much put my already low patience level on permanently short low. It sucks and I feel the way you do sometimes. I also try to keep in mind that kids cannot be brought up thinking we are happy and joyful all the time because that would be an outright lie. Because there will be people in their lives including their parents who feel sad, angry, tired, etc. In the same vein you are not permanently like this, just temporarily, right?! So as much as you see the sour moments, she probably sees more of the smiles and hardly remembers those other moments. Just keep on truckin'! You are doing an awesome job!!!

Posted by: Christina at June 5, 2008 10:42 AM

you are soo not alone. Honestly, I am glad to hear that you arent cheerful and perfect with the kids all the time. I was starting to think I was alone with my low tolerance levels.

Posted by: alfredsmom at June 5, 2008 10:53 AM


1. Let me tell you the definition of a Bad Father:
A guy who abandons his kids and couldn't care less.

Did you so that? No, I don't think so. Perspective, ok?

2. The fact that you are writing this post means that you are conscious enough to be a good father.

3. Any parent that says they don't get fuck-all irritated with their kids sometimes is lying.

Especially when it comes to sleep. I also get downright pissy with Daya when it comes to interrupted sleep. Good behaviour on my part? No. But we just do our best. And we aren't perfect, nor meant to be.

Posted by: jessica at June 5, 2008 11:34 AM


Breathing. VERY slowly. And maybe closing my eyes for a second. And always making sure to apologize. Why shouldn't our kids see that we can have a bad attitude and do something not so nice as long as we show that we can also turn it around and take responsibility for it? I think parents should be humans, not robots.

Posted by: heels at June 5, 2008 11:45 AM

So very much not alone. I am a snappy person and I hate it. I am very rarely mad at the person I'm snapping at and it's something I'm struggling to fix. It's hard...I have no pointers, other than to try and actively remember that you aren't necessary upset with the kids and to take a deep breath before interacting.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at June 5, 2008 12:28 PM

Dude, you and Beth need a little weekend getaway (if you know what I meann)!

Posted by: Kelly M. at June 5, 2008 12:30 PM

Hey, if you were terrible, you wouldn't probably care or be aware. Right?

When I catch myself doing that I try the follwing depending on the circumstances:

1. I give myself a time-out. (Read: lock self in bathroom. Also read: not as effective since toddler learned to turn doorknobs. FUCK.)
2. I sip captain and coke. Not a lot, just enough so the screeching or whatever seems less harsh.
3. I stop what I was trying to do and completely immerse myself in doing fun kid stuff.

Good luck.

Posted by: sunshine at June 5, 2008 12:39 PM

You're not alone - I get really snappy, especially when I'm really low on sleep. What sets me off is that whiny clinginess, cause when I'm irritable I don't really like being touched. Not a good mama trait!

I just do what I have to do to avoid taking stuff out on my toddler. Sometimes I'll put in a video and let the tv babysit him while I decompress for a bit. What works the best is to stop and give myself a little pep talk. I focus on the wonderful smell of my child's hair, and think about just how much I'll miss him when he's all grown up and independent, and that usually gives me enough of an attitude adjustment.

Posted by: Heather at June 5, 2008 12:50 PM

yep, I'm with the rest of the group. We all fall into the I'm-a-bad-parent-pool from time to time. At least you recognize your feelings & want to lighten up. Just do what I do "mommy's having a time out kids". LOL!

Posted by: Holly at June 5, 2008 1:12 PM

ps. a little tequila during quiet time helps too ;)

Posted by: Holly at June 5, 2008 1:13 PM

sounds like you are human. Don't over-analyze a bad stretch. Tomorrow is another day and another state-of-mind.

Posted by: Chris at June 5, 2008 2:02 PM

Good god, no! You are definitely not alone. I lose my patience with my step-kids quite often and I always feel like an evil stepmother afterwards.

I haven't found the key to letting my frustrations go (before they reach critical mass), but I find that closing my eyes and taking a deep breath really does help.

We're human. Everybody has bad days for patience. Cut yourself some slack. You are a good father! It's evident in every post you write - even this one!

Posted by: Lani at June 5, 2008 2:06 PM

I think you are hearing a lot of this, but yes, we all feel this way, and we all react in frustration, at times. It happens. Human nature.

Little Dude has been a bit out of sorts lately, as we just added something new to his routine (daycare - something we've managed to avoid up until now, but we hit a wall and can find no other viable option).

It has been a trying week, to say the least... Lots of clinging to me when we are at home or out and about, lots of temper-tantrums (he's venting his own frustration at the change in routine), and to top it off, I'm trying to look at different career options to see if there is another way to balance all of this, while the Hubby feels a lot of guilt that he doesn't make more money and we aren't where we planned to be right now.

We have a household filled with frustrations. All we can do is try our best.

It is okay if your children see that frustration to some extent, and to see that daddy gets in a bad mood. It helps them prepare for other relationships later when they realize you still love them even if you are in a bad mood.

We all have bad days. Yet, somehow, we all still love each other and pull together when needed. Your children are learning that. It is a good lesson. Truly.

Posted by: RC at June 5, 2008 2:22 PM

I too suffer from the same pissy, crabby what the holy hell moments too. I think we all do.

then I think we all, as parents end up feeling the same parent guilt.

No worries.

Posted by: crookedeyebrow at June 5, 2008 3:25 PM

Two kids = whole new game. Frustration comes much easier when you're gang-whined. Cut yourself some slack, yo.

I have no golden nugget of advice. I tend to start eating toes and tummy's when I want to kill my kids, and that always brings me back down to earth. Whining? Irritating. Crying in the middle of the night? Makes me see red. Squeals of laughter? KRYPTONITE.

Posted by: Mr Lady at June 5, 2008 3:43 PM

oh lord you are so not alone. This is so me. And I have 5 kids the eldest of which is 11. Nope, I havn't cracked this one either. Tho things are easy if i'm well and getting enough sleep.

Posted by: mamacrow at June 5, 2008 4:10 PM

We ALL have days, (weeks) like that. Then you feel horrible and life goes on and you get another chance tomorrow to screw it up. Give yourself a break, two little ones can be rough. I know that when I wallow into a self pity/loathing state because I have been a little less than nice, it just makes me behave worse. Bad days just happen to EVERYONE. I go jogging or to yoga, that usually eats away some of the frustration. Sometimes I will drag out my daughters coloring book and color for awhile, surprise, that works.

Posted by: Shannon at June 5, 2008 5:19 PM

I apologize. Quite often and sincerely.

And when I'm having a REALLY bad day? I take a Xanax. My anxiety rears its ugly head in the form of a short temper and anger. And nothing sets off my anxiety more than something I can't control. Like, oh, a whiney kid, for instance. When I have more than 5 really bad days? I go see my counselor for a tune-up.

Posted by: Mindy at June 5, 2008 6:53 PM

I am too sick to read all the comments so I am not sure if someone already said this. Excuse me if they did...it would be much worse if you didn't give a flip how you treated them. You know it is a problem and so you know as soon as you can you will fix the problem.

Posted by: Arwen at June 5, 2008 7:33 PM

This is actually one of my worries for when I have kids. I get snappy when I get overtired, and I also tend to cry when I get frustrated. I'm sure that's confusing for kids.

On the other hand, getting snappy when faced with crying babies and screaming children is a pretty natural response. I think stopping when you realize what you're doing and handing out some love just like you are doing is a smart way to go.

Posted by: bad penguin at June 5, 2008 8:18 PM

Oh my internet friend, you are FAR from alone. I am a career working mommy. I am exhausted at the end of the day. I try to excel in all areas of my life! However, my Superwoman cape is getting pretty tattered.

I count to 10 - some days 100. My fav is singing under my breath: "I am slowly going crazy, switch, crazy going slowly am I, switch". My kiddies now know, oh oh, mommy is singing her song again...better shape up or ship out! Funny, they sometimes hear me and sing along - the end result?! Us all laughing and getting over the initial incident.

Some days spilt milk makes me want to huddle in a corner and cry. Other days I clean it up without even flinching.

You.Are.Human *AND* an amazing Dad! Chin up!

Posted by: Amber at June 5, 2008 10:09 PM

Soooo not alone. I don't have kids, but it doesn't keep me from taking out my bad attitude on people, namely the hubby (thank goodness he puts up with it). But very few things make me feel worse than taking his head off for something that was really all my fault.

Just remember, this too shall pass.

Posted by: Mandy Lou at June 5, 2008 11:10 PM

There is not a parent alive that doesn't get frustrated or blow it with their kids. We all do it because we are human. The very fact that you are bothered by your behavior towards your daughter shows that in fact you are a good father...because you care...you care enough to be bothered by it and enough to write about it.

Being human is hard when your a parent because you want to do everything right and perfectly by your kids but the bottome line is, we parents are human and we make mistakes...every day. It's what we do with those mistakes that makes the most difference.

When I blow it with my kids, whatever that may be, such as being less patient then I should, yelling at them...ect...as soon as I recognize that I'm being a shithead, I stop and get to their level and tell them I am sorry.

When I catch myself acting like this on a frequent basis, I see this as a sign that I need to slow down...stop, catch my breathe and take a look at whats going on with me that I'm taking it out on those I love. Just remember kids don't need perfect parents, they need real parents that love them perfectly!

Posted by: Lori at June 6, 2008 12:50 AM

Have you ever given your daughter a spanking on Father's Day? No?

Then I win.

Posted by: Phil at June 6, 2008 10:57 AM

Hey Chris,

I'm not a parent, but I truly envy Mia and Owen the love you shower upon them as a father and the involvement you have in their lives. You're doing the best that you can, and from what I can tell, it's pretty terrific. And it's great that you can be honest enough with yourself to know when your attitude isn't the greatest.

Nobody's perfect. Not even Mia and Owen. Someday they might be tempted to go through the same shame spiral. So forgive yourself and don't beat yourself up any more. Kids need role models for healthy self-acceptance, and it will mean a lot to them to see you accept your mistakes and yet keep trying. :)

Posted by: Cynthia at June 6, 2008 11:01 AM

I've been fortunate in that the crying kids do doesn't bother me much. Maybe that's one reason I get along with them so well and can take care of others' kids, be it sunday school daycare or babysitting/whatnot.

But other things DO frustrate me and I used to bowl to eliminate the pent up frustrations.

I haven't bowled in 8 years, so I'm ready for my outburst.

Posted by: whall at June 6, 2008 1:31 PM

You are so not alone. I agree with Tera (somewhere up there) I think once I figured out I could just be honest with them and apologize it goes from being a totally crappy moment, to one that at least, lets them know that you're human and you make mistakes and it's better to admit them and seek reconciliation than pretend everything is fine.

Posted by: Jess at June 6, 2008 11:13 PM

You are so not alone. I agree with Tera (somewhere up there) I think once I figured out I could just be honest with them and apologize it goes from being a totally crappy moment, to one that at least, lets them know that you're human and you make mistakes and it's better to admit them and seek reconciliation than pretend everything is fine.

I'll bet the bad episodes stand out in your mind while they remember mostly the good times (of which it's obvious from your blog that there are many)

Posted by: Jess at June 6, 2008 11:14 PM

I'm only just checking in on this one. I know I'm also suffering an accumulation of stress that has pushed my patience level to almost zero. I find exercie helps and so does a little time to myself when I can get it. I don't know how possible any of that is for you. But you should press those grandparents into sevice and get a night out if you can.

Your kids know how much you love them. Just keep doing it.

Posted by: Annie at June 6, 2008 11:49 PM

Oh dude... it is part of life with 2 I'm afraid because I pull myself back from there at least once a week. I love them in a way only parents know, but everyone has a breaking point. I think, in the end, it's impossible to be selfless 100% of the time. Unfortunately, little kids are selfish 100% of the time. That doesn't compute.

I sometimes take that moment to envision myself being a screaming dad, and visualizing the reaction. That usually pulls back my anger/frustration enough to make the right decision in real life.

Good luck.

Posted by: Brad at June 10, 2008 10:56 AM