I completely lost my temper with Clare last night. In my defense, it had been a very long day, two of the kids were sick, Shawn has been gone all week, and, after all the kids had finally been put to bed, Clare did something that ranks about a 7 on my 1-to-10 naughtiness scale (with 10 being “blowing up the house”). However, she is also only 4 years old (and a delayed 4-year old at that) and I am… well, a few years older than that. Plus I am the parent and she is the child. I should be able to control my temper and not fly off the handle like that. I know I am only human, but it still makes me sad that it even happened.
These are the situations when I am muttering inside how much I hate the cards I have been dealt when it comes to Williams syndrome, the developmental delays, the heart defects, the Great Unknown labeled Clare’s Future. Sometimes I just don’t know how to parent Clare. I don’t know where to begin. I want to give up before I have even started. I even uttered the words to Clare tonight that if she did this again, it could hurt her and she could end up in the hospital. Her hospital stay is still so recent that this put her into more hysterical crying. And I admit I knew it would upset her, which is part of the reason why I said it. I am not proud of how I reacted, but I am honest about it. Whenever I feel as if I have been unreasonable in my handling of a situation involving Clare, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of guilt and sadness. Feelings so strong that I do not feel when dealing with Jamie or Simon. I think to myself, how could you treat her like this after all she has gone through? Hasn’t the poor child been through enough? What if this is the night she does not wake up in the morning? How would you feel then?
I know that some of these thoughts and feelings are irrational, but that does not make them go away. In fact, they remind me over and over to think twice, take a deep breath, count to ten, say a prayer, anything to help me handle a difficult situation with Clare. Clare faces enough challenges in her life without having this crazy mother to deal with as well. As I am sure all mothers do, I want Clare to know that I am always here for her. I don’t want her to be afraid of me (which I think she slightly was tonight). I don’t want us to be crying on the bathroom floor.
I did not put Clare back to bed on a bad note, though. (I try never to do that.) We cuddled on the floor, I apologized, she apologized, and she fell asleep at peace. I am not sure if I will, though. I think I will always be second-guessing whether or not I can handle this job. I know it is only through the grace of God and the support of my incredible husband that I have gotten as far as I have.