Sunday, May 22, 2011

Instant Rage

It's Sunday late morning and rather than sitting peacefully at church like most families in southern Orange County I just flew into a rage.
My toddler ran screaming after me down the hallway as I went to fix something for lunch and it occurred to me that my husband is doing nothing and POOF! Instant rage.
I start yelling about how We Need To Eat ( I wonder would they all just starve if I didn't cook?? I am so annoyed by my husband's lack of initiative around meal times. Totally annoyed) and WHY did he throw all the leftovers into one bowl??? The rice, chicken and brussles sprouts are all a mixed up mushy mess and the kids will NEVER eat them this way. I am irate with my husband. How hard is it to separate the leftovers???

Then Bronson is pulling on my legs and whining some more. I have had it with him too. At two and a half and still nursing I am over my threshold for tolerance. Sometimes it is perfect and fine, a bonding moment in the middle of the night...but now, when I am trying to make lunch, it's just downright annoying. I need to have a life, to not be tugged at, to care for myself and to have some moments of quiet time when I am not being demanded of, whined at, pulled at, crawled on, boogered on, talked back to, tattled to, pleaded to for food, screamed at for attention and actually hit by my toddler when he is mad. Enough is enough!
I holler at my husband for not thinking about Bronson's needs. He is two year old, who has been sitting around all morning with his brothers,awake for nearly five hours now, and simply watching TV, or watching his brothers play DS games or playing XBox is insane. A two year does not have the attention span or interest in those activities like an eight or six year old. So out of total boredom he comes whining after me for some sort of attention and to latch on like a tick on a dog. I have had it.
Plus how much is enough? Is ANYONE monitoring the amount of time the children spend in front of theses electronic boxes? Even though I bought a timer??? Obviously NOT! Obviously I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING!!!!

Pretty soon I am slamming pots on the stove, resentfully cooking this mush of a leftover lunch, grabbing a bowl for myself and heading to the office to eat alone because I can't stand the thought of sitting and digesting food in front of my husband.I eat with a clenched stomach. I hate to admit the mushy mess actually tastes better than my original dish. Damn him. My shame at my rage is setting in and I continue to hide from him and my children and myself. Except I am still with myself. When I sit dowm to write something inspiring about parenting, I feel like a total fraud. I want to blame him now for my lack of ability to write authentically. Not very Zen.

Or actually, exactly Zen...the identity I mean, not the philosophy. I do this. This is what I do. I don't plan my Sunday, or I do but then I am not aware of it or I don't communicate it with my husband with real times and simple requests like " Sweetie, Please take the boys to the park by ten AM". No... and I lay around, watch mindless TV, have breakfast in bed because my husband is cool like that ( see he did do something...) and let my son nurse whenever he wants because he is so ridiculously attached...but until I am just sore and irritated.

Then, when it suddenly seems like we should all be doing something different, suddenly, like one second it's fine to be playing video games and the next second it's been waaaaay too long...suddenly, because that switch has been flicked by Judge Zen in my brain, the sentencing ensues. The gavel comes down and everyone is condemned to a session of yelling, accusing, demanding, commanding, threats and punishments. I exert my control and everyone pays. And I am justified because I ( Capital of capital I's) DO EVERYTHING. And I am overwhelmed and deserve to blow off steam.
It's horrendous. It's a miracle I am still married. It's a miracle my kids love me anyway.

Why share this? Why write out my very un-Zen like ways of parenting that are definitely not inspiring? One, I am committed to being authentic. Two, I am guessing one or two others do this. Someone might relate. Three, I get out of my system, I work it out and get clarity when I share, and get to create something new.
I don't want to be this way and yet in the moment I see no other way to be. I don't think about it, words are just launching themselves out of my mouth like fighter jets, angrily attacking anyone with earshot.
The magic comes when I do think about it and get present, when I face my part of it. When I can see the pattern and see what is missing that I can put in to have our Sundays afternoons work.

Like.... a plan and a specific time for when the boys go to the park or pool with Daddy. Or food prepared ahead of time and a simple request for my husband to reheat it at a certain time. Asking nicely might help. Putting one of the boys in charge of setting the timer for their video game playing might be a start. Setting rules like our friends where they earn a minute of video game playing for every minute of another activity like playing piano, reading or making art. Or how about I actually stick to my own schedule for writing, making art or girl time? I haven't been to the gym or made art in months.

All this requires that I ( that's another Capital of Capital I's) be responsible...which is exactly what I was raging at my husband for not doing and exactly what I wasn't doing either.
So sorry Sweetie. Please stay married to me. I love you and the kids so much.

Zen Honeycutt


  1. You rock Zen! xo emily

  2. An Update: Todd laughed when he read this. Forgave me and totally got me. I am so blessed.
    I am also making my ME Time much more important.