We don’t do timeouts in our house. We do the “self control spot.”
If a child of mine for some bizzare reason sees fit to “loose it” they are escorted to the self control spot. Here they have as much time as they need to calm down, find their self control and actually communicate whatever their grievance was in plain english rather than screaming in tongues. Such as, “Mom, I would like more ketchup not ranch please.”
If said child struggles with finding their self-control they are moved to their room and allowed more time to calm down on their bed.
Somedays every one of the four is in the self control spot. Okay, I don’t actually put the baby there, but I think about it. She’s teething, aka, she has lost any resemblance to my sweet girl and has become a bi-polar hot mess. Every now and then they can calm down in the moment and not need to go to the spot. That’s the best. That’s the ideal reaction turn around time. That is also extremely unrealistic.
The thing is the only person that had to go to self control today was me.
Yes. Me. I put myself in mommy self control spot. I was getting mean. Angry. Unkind. Frustrated. etc… My poor children were becoming casualties of a war that was not theirs to fight. I was instantly frustrated with them when we were walking to school and my daughter no longer wanted to wear her sweater in the 65 degree morning we were having. Some days I’d be like whatever about it, but not today. I’d felt too many eyes already. Heard to many comments about the quantity of small people I was directing. Too much pressure to perform or respond or exist. I snapped and threatened and instantly was pissed. We got home, baby went down for a nap, breakfast was served to the girls, and I microwaved my coffee for the 7th time that morning.
Then I tried to get stuff done. Worst mistake ever. I had actual business to do, phone calls (hugely bad idea with small children around), papers to sign, emails etc. When the baby woke up we headed out to run errands. Cue stop at drive thru starbucks conveniently located by the office I needed to stop at. Praise Jesus for assistants that will walk out to your car so you can sign documents without taking the hot mess girl, the homeless child and the sweet baby out. Accidentally mention we have time to go feed the ducks. It’s like I have no filter on my mouth. I thought it and it came out. Then I realize the girls had no shoes on. How? I don’t even pretend to know. Oh, and Hazel spilled her entire cup of “special water” (aka water in a cup) from starbucks on her pajamas. Yes, she is still in pajamas. Was anyone else? Nope. Just her. She doesn’t care, so I don’t care.
I decide we will go feed the ducks. They have a blast without shoes on and there are plenty of on lookers. They are cute so whatevs.
At that point it was perfect timing to go get Laine from school. CRAP!!! I have no stroller, which means serious damage control. I have a strong feeling I’m the laughing stock of the Kindergarten parents. Or at least I feel that way. I feel the stares and the watching. The look on their faces are priceless. At one point today Cora had walked half way down the paseo for kicks and I didn’t even know it because I was trying to get Hazel away from this old lady’s grandkid who she’s obsessed with. I have that annoying kid who loves other little kids and wants to put their paci’s in their mouths. Turn around and I have no clue where Cora is, play it cool but notice the other parents like, “Look at her. She doesn’t even know where her kids are.” Okay, they didn’t say that but their faces did. The girls get put in time out and Laine gets out. PTL! Time for lunch. Hopefully that will help everyone refuel and get back to being normal. Wrong.
While microwaving those chicken nuggets from costco I hear, “MOM!!!! Hazel PUKED!!!” Fantastic. It’s her new thing. Once a day she pukes. Not a ton, but just enough. And usually all over herself. At this point she was naked. Why? No reason need if you are a toddler, especially if you are Hazel. I get her in her room and realize the baby wipes are in the baby’s room. And she’s sleeping. Even better!! Sneak in and back out without waking the baby. Winning! Get Hazel cleaned up, feed the kids and they start to whine about what we are having for lunch.
At that point all the small moments of frustration mix together with my low self esteem from the day and I literally loose my mind. Harsh words. That’s my thing. Over whelming Anger. Also my thing. I’m good at both. So a mommy time out it is. I just sit in my room. Listening to them talk to each other. Giggle. Discuss nonsense. Basic kids stuff. Nothing about mommy. That’s good.
I let myself go out and continue on with our day. Naps, homework, nursing the baby, etc. Reflecting on the path that gets me to the place of utter melt down status. It’s the feeling of judgement. The feeling of others judging that lead me to believe the lies I tell myself. I’m not good enough. This will never get better. This is too hard. I just can’t anymore. Obviously I don’t know what I’m doing. We all tell ourselves these lies one way or another. For me, and many other moms out there these feelings of defeat can lead to depression. Which for me manifests itself with anger that turns to rage. It sucks. But it is where I’m at some days. The honest truth is that some of the things I tell myself can be true, and that’s where Jesus comes in. If it wasn’t hard I wouldn’t need His help. If I didn’t know what I was doing I wouldn’t need guidance from the Bible. If I it didn’t feel like it will never change I wouldn’t need to put my HOPE in HIM!
My first mistake. Not enough coffee. Absolutely no Jesus this morning. All of the situations today were laughable. They were normal and nothing out of the ordinary. The only difference was my attitude. I am the only one to blame. I am the one to own it and change it. This space has helped immensely and I’m hoping it’s helped others who were too afraid to admit the honest truth of their days. Or their attitude regarding their days. I hope to encourage and remind others that we are not alone.
I am actually hoping to do a completely out of the ordinary crafting post soon!!!! I know I have very few followers and most of them were because I made something crafty a few years ago. I miss it too people. I really want to get back to doing something that is an outlet for my soul. I promise that it will become a priority.
1 thought on “The Self-Control Spot”
Sometimes the hardest person in the world to forgive is ourselves. I know this, I am an expert at it.