Sunday, September 14, 2014

I Fought The Week and The Week Won

This moment, right now, is the moment I have been waiting for all week.

All week.

The moment when I complete all the things I had been working on during the week and I can finally sit back, let out the deep breath I seemed to have subconsciously been holding in, and relax.

This week, we volunteered to have Jeffrey's family over for dinner.  The same week I had a training meeting for Primary.  And due to scheduling problems, they ended up being at basically the same time.

Go figure.

All week long I stressed about getting my house clean.  Because it is important to me.  I know that no one would have cared if my house was messy, but I cared very much.  And so I cleaned, and stressed and became a nightmare to live with.

Monday I got sick.

Thursday I had a complete melt-down.  It wasn't pretty. Wednesday Faye and I had worked hard to get her room clean.  When that was done, I went down to help Keith with his room.  It had been sorely neglected since we moved in.  I had never made time to go down and help him organize it and make it look like a real room.  It was a lot of work and I happily was able to get rid of a lot of toys (yay!), and finally, after working nearly all day on his room, and then the family room, I went upstairs to go to bed around 1:00 am. 

 I peeked in on Faye, and my heart dropped.  Her room was a mess again.  All of the toys she owned were yet again all over her floor.  All of her clothes were out of her closet, off the hangers, out of the drawers and were carpeting her floor.  After the hours I had just spent cleaning, trying to organize our house, it hurt to see all that hard work ignored and gone.  And so, I did the only thing that made sense in my mind.  I quietly went into her room and began cleaning it.  I put all of her toys into their boxes, and moved all of those boxes into my room.  I feel like such a mean mom, but what else can I do to teach that girl?!

And so, Thursday morning came, and Faye woke up, noticed all her toys were gone and didn't care.  

This is her not caring, and practicing for an apple juice stand.
After breakfast we went into her room and I sat on her bed, telling her I wasn't going to clean up her clothes for her, she needed to do it.  And we made a game out of it.  I was washing her walls while she was folding and hanging up her clothes.  Except I finished washing the walls and she had only put away 3 things.  So I sat on the ground with her and talked her through it.  Except she began kicking her feet and yelling that she didn't want to do it.  So I calmly talked to her about how we often have to do things we don't want to do, and the benefits of having a clean room.  We talked about how she needs to learn these skills so that when she is in college or even a mom, she will be able to live in a house that is clean, and when we live in clean areas, we are naturally more happy.  Except she began to yell even more, and kick the floor even harder, and the baby had just gone down for her nap, and we have an anti-yelling rule in our house.  The consequence of said rule is toothpaste on the tongue.

I sighed, looked at Faye sadly and reminded her of the consequence and told her I was sad she chose to yell, now she needed the consequence to her action.  I took her into the bathroom where she yelled even louder and then clamped her mouth shut tight so I couldn't put any toothpaste on her tongue.  I hugged her close, but held the toothpaste at the ready, because a consequence is a consequence, and when we break rules, we have to accept the consequence.  Finally, she opened her mouth, and I got some toothpaste in.  She spit it out immediately, and then went into her bedroom and began spitting on the floor.

That is not okay.

That is where I lost it.

Which is not okay, either.

All the love and tactics left my brain.  I grabbed her arm, lifted her up and set her across my knees and spanked her.

I spanked my little girl and it broke my heart.

I had vowed that I would never spank my kids, especially out of anger.  I was spanked growing up and it only taught me to be more sneaky and resentful.  It didn't work on me, and I didn't want to do that to my kids.  I didn't ever want them to be afraid of me hurting them.  But in that moment, my anger was in complete control and I spanked her bum 4 times.  Not hard enough to really hurt, but hard enough that she would know I meant business.  She squirmed away, yelling and screaming at me the whole time.

I looked at her red wet face.  Her freckles standing out like angry little soldiers on her nose.  Her bright eyes were full of life and defiance, and her hair was a complete mess, curl tendrils stuck to her cheeks where they were tear wet.  I saw her with such clarity, and her littleness and vulnerability were so prevalent.  I looked at her glaring at me, yelling at me, and I was so ashamed at  what I had done.  I could not believe I had spanked her out off anger.  I was disgusted that anger had such complete control of me that in that moment, I succumbed and broke a promise I had given myself when I was a kid.  I looked at her and I broke down.  I began to cry.  I began to weep.  I buried my face in her blankets and my sobs shook my body racked with guilt and self loathing over what I had done.

Funny enough, as soon as I began to cry, Faye immediately stopped her tantrum and began to comfort me.  She put her hand on my shoulder and told me it was okay, she loved me, and I didn't need to cry.  She told me it sounded like I was laughing and that I have a funny cry, but I should stop.  She said that she will help me so that I don't have to feel sad, so that I don't have to feel like a maid, and she would tell her brother and her dad to help me because I shouldn't have to feel like the only one who cleaned. Faye then jumped down from her bed and began folding her clothes and putting them away, dialoguing to me the whole time how she was helping and I didn't need to worry about it anymore, because she would always be my little helper, and she was good at making the boys listen to her, so I didn't need to worry anymore.

What a sweet and kind hearted girl that one is.

I apologized profusely to her, telling her how sorry I was and that I shouldn't have spanked her, and we cuddled and talked and folded clothes until her room was once again clean.

Shortly after that I went into the bathroom to shower, but ended up on my knees praying, begging for forgiveness for spanking my daughter.  Which prayer turned into more crying and praying, and just being overwhelmed.

I think I cried myself out on Thursday.  By the time Jeffrey got home from work I was just done.  I went to my bed and lay there for a few hours, sleeping off and on.

I am still so ashamed that I spanked Faye, but I know both she and Heavenly Father have forgiven me, and I guess I will always have that memory to help me not lose it and spank my kids again.

Whew!  Just writing about that day was to re-live it, and to re-live it is exhausting!

Long story short, I eventually got most of my house clean, and I got some of my stuff put together for primary, and I survived.  The hard stuff is over, and my week is done.  I am so happy to be able to go to sleep tonight and put an end to this week.

And I have nothing planned for next week, for which I am very excited!

2 comments:

Lisa said...

You are such a sweet mother. I can't seven begin to count the number of times I've spanked Sara... I wish I had the patience to stop it, but normally when it happens it's a clear sign that My depression is kicking in. Hugs and loves to you!

Susan Anderson said...

Sounds like you handled this just right, Amy. And that's what counts.

=)