Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tantrums aren't just for kids anymore

Little #6 is 4 years old. Out of all my kids, she is the best tantrum thrower I have been blessed with. We experience no less than 3 tantrums from the baby Little daily. Some are short lived and some are dragged out for what feels like an eternity. She throws tantrums for the usual reasons. Not getting to do what she wants to do, having to do something she doesn't want to do, somebody touched her, somebody looked at her, nobody will play with her, somebody wants to play with her, etc., etc., etc.

Basically it comes down to the fact that just about anything will bring on a tantrum from this precious little flower. These past few days I have grown incredibly irritated by her tantrums. It is obvious to me by the amount of times each day she ends up screaming and throwing herself on the floor, that my baby Little is in a bit of a funk. It reminds me of what I'm like when I'm in a funk. How out of sync I feel and how I tend to be lacking in patience and understanding.

Yesterday I was definitely out of sync right along with baby Little. My tantrums look different from hers, however. I don't take my socks and shoes off and throw them. I don't scream. I don't start crying. Wait a minute. Yes, I do start crying and I am screaming up a storm on the inside. (But I do NOT take my socks and shoes off and throw them.) So maybe my tantrums aren't that different after all.

What led up to my tantrum yesterday? I woke up in a foul mood. I even grumbled through my meditation. Then I remembered that it was Tuesday.

Tuesday and Thursday are the days of the week that I volunteer at the Littles' school in the morning. I have grown to really dislike Tuesday and Thursday. I help out in two classes. Both of them math classes. I have always had an aversion to math. So I found it somewhat humorous that I would be asked to help out in the subject that makes me feel the most inadequate. I am no longer amused.

So I decided yesterday that I didn't want to go to school and nobody could MAKE me. I was tired of helping out in classes that made me feel stupid. The math curriculum they use is stupid and I didn't want anything to do with it. Who does math like that? I want to be a free-spirit and my spirit doesn't want to do math. Blah, blah, blah. So you see, I was really set on NOT helping out. And I didn't. I had myself so worked up that I just went in and said that I would not be available this week. I convinced myself that I just needed a week off. Then I would be ready to go back. Will I be?

I left the school in tears. Why was I crying? I had just done what I wanted to do. I had just freed myself from the clutches of 3rd & 4th grade math. Yes, that is what I said. 3rd & 4th grade math makes me feel inadequate and stupid. (I'm laughing now!!)

I know that math classes can not really make me feel inadequate and stupid. I am the only one who can do that. So what is it about these math classes that make me cringe? I can do 3rd & 4th grade math. I just can't do it the way that their curriculum teaches it. So I end up helping the kids do it the way I know how, which confuses them. So they tell me that that is not the "right" way. Then I get confused and want to raise MY hand for help from the teacher.

I guess I don't know why I allow myself to feel inadequate and stupid. I don't know why I am afraid that my kids' teachers will think less of me if I don't know how to "do" this kind of math. All I know is that it has to stop. I have to be ok with not knowing how to do it the "right" way. (Even though it is so NOT the right way)

I'm not really being completely honest here. I think I have an idea as to why I am having these feelings of inadequacy. Over the last month or so I have allowed my house to become chaotic and unorganized again. I have 2 rooms in my basement that are storing all the stuff I haven't gone through yet. I have been avoiding those rooms and it has finally gotten to the point where I can no longer put it off. My Spirit is feeling suffocated again. I don't wake up feeling Light anymore. The heaviness has returned.

So just like a 4 year old who is feeling like things are out of her control, I am feeling like things are spinning out of control and so tantrums are inevitable. I attach a lot of shame on myself when it comes to my cluttering. That shame builds up and it spreads itself out to enclose my entire Spirit.

It's time to stop throwing tantrums and stop making myself feel bad. Time to make a plan and muster up some motivation to just get started. I've been here before and I know that I can get back the Light that is missing. Time to start climbing that mountain so that I can get to the top and look down at all the majestic beauty that awaits me.

Stay tuned...

Just my thoughts.


Angela Sweetland Bass said...

I am soooooo with you on the math. I hate their math. I hate that they send it home with the kids, and I am supposed to figure out how to teach it to them. I dread it like nothing else.

inkywasfat said...

I always heard it that it's the "Terrible 2's." But that's not what I'm experiencing with my little guy. He's 3 and when he screams and throws a tantrum, I often wonder,"What have I done wrong?" Ahhh, I take a breath at your story. I'm not alone.

I wouldn't feel bad at letting go of the helping thing. Even if you had everything in order, would you still want to do the math? I think it's okay to help others in ways that work with who we are. We shouldn't have to slog through it.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Angela - Yes, it is so frustrating. If they ask for help, I show them how I do it.

Stacey - I struggle with what I should do about the volunteering. Somedays its not so bad. For now I'll stick with it and just allow myself to play hooky occasionally. If I start slogging most days I'll reconsider.

mermaid said...

I find the inadequacies, the tantrums, the honesty all quite beautiful. Can you hold yourself in a big compassionate hug? This, too is hard.

I also hate math. I smile at your post, because that will be me one day in my daughter's fourth or fifth grade class cursing at all the numbers. Algebra? Barf!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Mermaid - I think I need to learn how to hug myself compassionately. I don't struggle to do it for others,but for myself it doesn't come naturally. Thank you for the insight. And I feel the same way about Algebra.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh my gosh, Jill, I laughed but also sighed as I read your post. And then I smiled at the end as you discovered the reason behind your funked out feelings.
First of all, the way they teach math nowadays IS stupid! (Ha! That's where I laughed aloud.) It didn't make sense to me when kids I know showed it to me awhile back. Then again, like you, math was never my strong suit. Hasn't stopped me yet, though!

As for your spirit feeling heavy again because of clutter, my gosh I recognize that ... recognition! (For lack of originality here) Whenever I'm out of sync with that core part of myself, and not doing the things that sing sweetly in my soul, my outer life reflects it: tension, sadness, listlessness, boredom. Those are always signs to me that I need to return to center.

I have a feeling your moods will be on the rise again in a beautiful wave, and that's all they are: waves that come and go. I'm learning to enjoy my own ups and downs for the carnival experience they provide. It's all good.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Megan - I am definitely not doing the things that sing sweetly in my soul. (I love how you said that) You're right. My mood is on the rise again and its because I am letting my soul hum a tune or two.

suZen said...

I have a huge beef with the entire educational system - don't get me going - but suffice to say we must stay confident in our own schooling of yesteryear and not be intimidated by the "modern" methods!

As for tantrums, I've sure had em too - years ago when the littles were here - monkey see, monkey do? I felt so lousy after having one I decided they just weren't worth it. Jumping jacks or a brisk walk do nicely - and remembering this too shall pass!

shiny mamaof6 said...

SuZen - You are so right about being confident with our schooling of yesteryear. I would love to hear what you (or the Monkey ;)) have to say about the educational system.

I have also walked away from physical tantrums with the Littles. Now they are mostly inner tantrums, where all anyone ever sees is me crying like a baby.

Joy said...

Oh dear, I completely identify with all of it! Lots of different emotions going on. I will say that when my children were at tantrum stage, I would give myself a time out. Whenever I got to the part where an action made me speechless--which happens--I would say okay Mommy is taking a time out, and I would give myself 10 minutes in my room. I do that in life today--whenever something renders me absolutely speechless I take a breath and a time out--10 minutes, a day, whatever is necessary to regroup and face the challenge correctly.
As for organization--my little boat accumulates clutter quickly, and I find when I am out of sorts doing a load of laundry, or working through a paper pile works wonders. Although in my life, literally as I release in one area i gain in another so I wait for the surprise reward:)
Much peace...imagine how different the tantrums will be as the litels get older!!!!

mermaid said...

Your thoughts are very honest and beautiful. I know I always felt deficient in the presence of my mother-in-law and my and sisters-in-law. They cook well, and are very dutiful homemakers and fulltime workers outside the home. I work part-time, and still don't cook.

I'm so glad you are learning to love your true self. It helps when the love and sense of enoughness are from within rather than from some outside source.

Nina P. said...

Ah the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. (wasn't that a game a few years back? oh no now I date myself) Kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for. Your daughter may be feeling your stress and tension and it get's twisted out in tantrums.Then again, she's how old???(going through growing pains herself) We all cope with life's' twists and turns differently. Maybe asking the teacher to show you the "new way" will help with your math frustrations. I do know I'd have a hard time if someone were to ask me for help with math. It has changed. (OK so now I'm sounding like my mother).
It's hard to fix something we don't even realize is broken. Awareness is the first step. My name is Nina and I am a procrastinator. There I said it... For me, when I start having little meltdowns, I have to look around and see what I'm putting off and why. Fear of failure? of Success? or just plain laziness on getting started... Any or all could be my reason(s).
May you find comfort in knowing you are not alone. One day at a time, one moment at a time.... we can do it. We can make it through this roller coaster called life. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P