I'm quite stabby at the moment. I blame hormones. You should agree with me.
Right, now we have that sorted, let's get on with this blog post.
You might have noticed my stabbyness? Did I mention it was hormones? I have two teenage boys, who, at any given time can add greatly to this stabbyness. Especially in the mornings when they are getting "organised" to go to work. Organised in the sense of they have no idea what the word means. But they try. Did I mention I'm a bit stabby right now?
The last couple of days have been quite the disaster in the mornings. At the moment I'm not working full time and am "available" in the mornings. In my mind I am unavailable, but to my teenagers, the mere fact I am present means I am available. This adds to my stabbyness no end.
Two days ago, after I ironed a number of shirts, pants etc in a mammoth effort to find the "right" outfit. For. My. 18. Year. Old. Son. We eventually got out of the house. Drove to the bottom of the street. He forgot something. I turn around. Stabby factor rises.
We leave again and get to the bus stop.
Yes, I drive him to the bus stop because I am home and seemingly available. If I wasn't there he would walk. Yes I know. You don't need to say it.
Son: "Mum, is your bag in the car"
Me: "No, I'm only driving you to the bus stop. I don't need a handbag for that!"
Son: "Oh, um, you won't like this but I need some money for the bus".
Me: "So you can't get to work unless I give you some money?"
Stabby factor rising significantly here.
Son: "Um no. Sorry mum."
Me, through gritted teeth: "Get. Back. In. The. Car."
We go home, get my bag and head back to the bus stop.
Son: "I'm going to be late now."
Me: "And this is my problem because?"
Son: "I didn't say it was your fault. I was just saying."
Me: "Will it be a problem for you?"
Son: "A bit."
Me: "Fine I'll drive you then."
So we drive, into the city and over to Southbank. At this stage my new car is still a novelty so driving is a good thing, otherwise there would have been many, many words said in anger during that trip. Some were thought, but the pleasure of driving my car helped suppress them.
Next day arrives. Mr 18 and I do the shirt/trousers/outfit dance. Mr almost 20 comes downstairs.
Mr 20: "Mum I forgot to tell you last night that I will need you to drive me to Samford this morning."
Me: "Right." Said icily. Crank the stabby factor up to one thousand and fifty billion.
Mr 18: "Mum I need some money."
Me: *Insert whatever the hell you like here* - it wasn't pretty.
Fast forward to last night. Mr 18 comes home from work at 8.30 pm (he works a really long day). He tells me how he spent 2 hours consoling a young guy who he works with. He told me about this boy's life and the traumatic things he's seen and his dysfunctional family life. He told me how his mum yelled at him this morning telling him how she was sick of giving him money and couldn't wait until he left home and she didn't have to be responsible for him any more. I felt so sad for that poor boy, just as my boy had.
Then my mind went back to that morning and believe I may have said words similar. I felt instantly sick to the stomach. I asked Mr 18 if he felt like he wasn't wanted and he assured me that wasn't the case. I still felt bad.
I kept thinking how many terrible things we say to our kids in the heat of the moment, when we are stabby, and was about to begin beating myself up, like I usually do. Then I thought beyond the words to the bigger picture.
My boys have a stable home life. They have a loving mother, mostly! They have a supportive step father. They have a safe place to come home to and they are always wanted, provided they don't make me too stabby. Regardless of how stabby I am they do know that there is nothing I won't support them through and they know that I will be there no matter what. I think this is the key.
We can't be perfect parents all the time, in fact I don't believe we can ever be perfect parents. What we can be is loving and supportive and accepting. We can still be stabby and snarky and have bad days where we sound like a shrill fish wife. Just like our kids can have meltdowns and say things that cut through our hearts like a knife. We are all just venting. We are behaving badly because we can. We don't have to be on our best behaviour all the time at home. We are only human.
Sometimes I say sorry for being stabby - particularly if I've been irrationally stabby. But in the instances described above - there is not a sorry to be seen! My boys still love me and still feel loved and at the end of it all that's all that matters.
As I always say, it's about the love. There must always be love. Though it doesn't hurt to throw in a bit of stabby to keep everyone on their toes!