Every month I play this game with myself, that the next month will be easier. It must be a coping strategy. It’s time to just embrace and acknowledge that every month is busy when you have three children, a husband, a house, three pets, a job and volunteer work to do. Last weekend was extra busy, and I want to grow and learn from it. If we are always learning and growing, then we can keep evolving into the best possible version of ourselves. Come grow with me.
Ella has been practicing so much for her first high school play. She stayed after school every day to rehearse with the cast. I couldn’t wait to see the final result. She had three shows and her grandparents, friends, Seth and her siblings were going to help to make sure she had her people at every show. Thank you, team. We aren’t supposed to parent alone. Use your village. Us moms can’t be in two or three different places at once.
Ella was going to have three shows and Lillie was going to have two cheerleading competitions. I knew I needed to hold on tight and brace myself for an extremely busy weekend. I was giving myself pep talks and prepping for this over busy weekend.
I helped Ella get ready for her Friday night performance pretty smoothly and got her to school and Lillie to a birthday party. Seth and I went to see the play that night and while Radium girls was very sad, the acting was phenomenal. I am so proud of Ella and the whole cast for pulling off an amazing show. I’m hoping for a less depressing play next year. The good news is the musical is Spongebob, so I will definitely be laughing instead of crying at the musical.
Saturday rolls around and I didn’t seem to put two and two together that Ella needed to be at school at noon and Lillie needed to be at her competition at noon. I ran to the grocery store to get fruit and taco meat for the cast dinner. I ran there and ran home to start cooking the meat. Note to self: In hindsight, buying stuff already ready to bring would have been the smart move when I had other stuff going on. I did not have time to cook. By the time I cooked the meat and helped Ella get ready for her show, I was about done. I walked into Lillie’s room and wasn’t a happy mom. Lillie was sitting in her pajamas talking on the phone and still doing her make-up. We needed to leave soon, and I didn’t like the sight I saw. I made negative assumptions and we both spiraled in a negative upset way. Seth’s way of helping was to come upstairs and tell me not to yell. Does that ever help? If we tell someone not to yell what does that do? It makes them angrier. Where was the empathy and understanding for how hard I had been working and how stressed out I was feeling. He is a wonderful husband but that wasn’t his best moment as he would admit too.
Looking back, I realized that her pajama pants triggered me. I thought she wasn’t ready, and I jumped to a negative assumption. When we both calmed down enough, she told me that she was ready, and she just put her pajamas over her skirt because she was cold. I got triggered for no reason. I would have been a lot less angry if I had asked a question about the pants instead of jumping to being angry with her. I was also upset that she was still doing her make up.
Make up and skin care is interesting with my 11-year-old. My make up and skin care routine can probably be accomplished in five minutes. I am trying to figure out what my daughter is doing because she takes so long to do her make up.
Looking back, I should have told Lillie a specific time that I wanted to be in the car, so she knew how quickly she needed to get ready. It doesn’t always help her focus when she is on the phone getting ready. I know she likes to talk on the phone while she gets ready, but she needs to be ready on time if I am going to allow that to happen next time.
By the time I get Lillie in the car to go to the competition I am all sweaty and stressed. This is that moment where I needed to take a few deep slow breaths and give myself a minute to reset. Racing to the competition and racing her to the line is not the state I want either of us to be in. I need to always take the minute to reset myself as many times as I need to during the day.
Lillie and her team did an amazing job at her competition. We went home for dinner and then off we went to see show number three. I missed show number two, but her wonderful grandparents were there. I also had her friends texting me that they were there. A sincere thank you to every single person who went to the play to see Ella and the rest of the cast. Your support meant so much to Ella!
The rest of Saturday went smoothly, and I collapsed to get some sleep before another crazy day. Seth was very stressed Sunday morning. He kept asking me what I needed as he didn’t want a repeat performance of my getting mad at Lillie. I told him to relax. I only needed to help get Lillie ready so it would go better than Saturday did.
Lillie was in a cranky tired mood. My self-talk was on point. I calmed myself that whole morning trying to be a strong stable calm force for her while I did her hair and helped her get ready. I kept telling myself that she was tired. I kept telling myself that I wanted today to go better than yesterday. I easily could have lost it many times as she was cranky and sassy. Seth kept asking her to be nice to me and was getting firm with her. When Seth asks Lillie to be nice to her hardworking mom that is when I feel most supported. He got it right. I could tell she was near tears. This kid needed to go to bed early! Lesson learned to make sure Lillie gets lots of sleep the night before a competition. It doesn’t matter if she can sleep in. She needs to go to bed at a decent time so that we don’t have to deal with cranky tired sassy Lillie.
I got Lillie to her second competition and her team did amazing again. As I drove home, I started to reflect on the busy weekend. I was thinking about everything I did right. I was thinking about everything I pulled off. I was thinking about how much teamwork Seth, and I had the entire weekend. I knew that I did about ten percent of things wrong. I also knew that I did 90 percent right and I was taking the time to celebrate and appreciate that wonderful full weekend. My family did a good job.
What did we do right:
We supported each other. Max and Lilie went to Ella’s show. Ella went to Lillie’s competition.
Seth and I worked together with good teamwork.
Lillie worked hard with her team and won both competitions.
I got to both competitions on time and found where to go.
We got Ella to all her shows on time.
Ella and the cast put on three wonderful performances, and I made it to two of those. That’s pretty good!
We got Lillie to a birthday party, and we got Ella to two cast parties.
I kept it together most of the time.
I used my supports.
I had good self-talk most of the time.
What can I work on for next time:
Don’t jump to conclusions. Lillie had her pajama pants on over her uniform. She wasn’t still in her pajamas like I thought.
Give Lillie a specific time for leaving (which sometimes helps her).
Tell Seth what is helpful to me when I am upset with Lillie.
Tag Seth in more quickly when I need a moment.
Take the time to reset when I am feeling stressed.
Don’t expect any of us to behave perfectly.
Put Lillie to bed a decent time before competitions.
Leave the room when I am feeling hot headed.
The trigger for me is rushing. When I know that I am rushing that is the warning to start slowing my thinking and my breathing.
It’s always a good thing to reflect on what we can work on and also on what we did right. That way we can repeat what we did right, and we can celebrate it. I will most definitely be working on the ten percent I did wrong.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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