Yesterday, in the immortal words of Alexander, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I even kinda, sorta wanted to move to Australia. all. by. myself.
I ranted, I raved, I eerily resembled a shrieking banshee, I'm sure. At least in the eyes of my children, anyway. My four year old even had the balls to inform me that I was "being a mean, mean mommy." The brave child and I then decided we were going to start over. I was going to try to be nice and he was going to attempt to be slightly more cooperative. I told him that I was going to do the dishes and he could pick up his room like I had previously been begging him to do and then we could see if we couldn't have a fun afternoon.
He retorted that I was, "still being a mean, mean mommy." I told him even nice mommies make their kids clean their rooms.
Ya know what, though? After about 20 more minutes of bellyaching, he actually picked up his room. A bit after that my 3 year old told me I was wonderful. Then the 21 month old went down for a nap and the older two actually helped me pick up a bit and then watched a movie quietly. If I hadn't seen the change for myself I would've thought that a Stepford Wives-like switch had happened. Instead, in reality, my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day somehow managed to turn into quite a pleasant one.
Now, I know this was more of an anomaly versus everyday life. I know that nine times out of ten I can be the nicest or not so nicest mom ever and my kids will continue on in their previously established moods. However, just this once, I was reminded that the saying, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," goes both ways. That sometimes, when I'm not happy, my children aren't happy...and when I am happy, my children might actually decide to be happy too.
So, while this insight most likely won't cause any huge tidal waves of change in my little corner of the world, I'm hopin' that maybe, just possibly, it might cause a bit of a ripple effect. Maybe the next time I'm having an Alexander-worthy bad day, I can just decide to stop.
stop the yelling.
stop the crying.
stop the threats.
and see if I can't just start the day over.