It was my fault, I over-shot the opportune nap window and he was past tired and unable to sleep. I feel guilty and ashamed with myself for the tantrums I subjected him to this afternoon. And it was my fault he pooped in his room, because I shut him in there. Now wait, before you call child services on me, he was not asking to get out of his room, he was happily playing by himself until he yelled out "Big poop, mama!" at which point I opened the door to learn that he was right, there was indeed a big poop. Right there, on the floor.
I know how trivial it all is in light of the world's problems. I know that I live in privilege that I have not earned. But dammit, I had a hard day. So I gave myself some grace, and let the kid watch much more Go, Diego, Go! than would normally fly around here. I also let myself run late on making dinner so that I could take that over-tired toddler to a playground and go crazy.
I am reading a book titled "Self Esteem" (go ahead, make jokes, I do it every time I pick it up to read it) and I am learning that we all have an "inner critic". That's the voice that says "you are stupid! why did you do that? stop acting like an idiot" etc. I am learning to catch the critic in the act, and to be prepared to disarm that critic by saying more reasonable things in response. Basically the book is teaching me to talk to myself, making me perhaps more crazy than I already am, but I will say this - it's helping. Today when I was all out of patience and kindness and I was crying in my bed, hiding from my kids, my inner critic pounced on me with all sorts of labels and demeaning language. Instead of completely believing the critic, I fought back, and I started to feel better. By 5pm I was enjoying a glass of wine and making dinner, and putting the day behind me.
Are you able to have grace with yourself when you're having a hard day? What helps you cope?