On being a miserable old cow
My husband wrote yesterday about having one of those days that left him feeling like he was wearing a pair of way too tight grumpy pants. He was certainly not a happy camper on the weekend but to be fair, neither was I. He may very well have lived up to his Mr Grumpy t-shirt, however, that is no excuse for me deciding to become a miserable old cow for the day as well…
Let’s set the scene. I had gone out for dinner the night before to celebrate 20 years of friendship with a group of us that had all started work together. We hired a limo, drank champagne and dined at one of the best and fanciest restaurants in town. It was fabulous.
On Sunday morning I awoke too early for my liking with a slight hangover (both physical and mental) and with the worst sinus I have felt in many months. I was not in the healthiest frame of mind, let’s be honest.
I had to go and collect my car (I wisely took a cab home after imbibing a little too much the night before) and then get Delilah to a 5th birthday party at Maccas. Because that is exactly what you really want to do when dealing with the remnants of a hangover plus sinus pain.
The whole tribe had to come along as there was really no other way I could get back to my car. Gilbert was not impressed and had the mother of all meltdowns. His ire increased when we told him he would not be going to Maccas because of his behaviour – not surprisingly his meltdown then went into overdrive.
Apparently the meltdown went on for 2 hours while I was away at the party and Gilbert certainly greeted me with renewed vigour when Delilah and I arrived home. Nathan looked drained and I could understand that after having Gilbert rail at you for hours on end. I’m surprised he was still able to exchange pleasantries at all.
The mood quickly spiralled downward for everyone as the whole house felt on edge. The girls wouldn’t listen to simple instructions while Gilbert could not get over not going to Maccas and how unfair we were and how he was not going to stop until he got what he wanted. He was given numerous time outs, more so for our sake than for his and his complaints went on in various forms for the remainder of the day.
Meanwhile Nathan was clearly not impressed with anything and kept his distance from everyone, while I got stuck into all the household chores. Because, again, chores are exactly what you want to do when you are not feeling at your best, physically or mentally.
As I looked at the pile of washing that needed folding, the cub scout uniform with badges that needed sewing on and the work shirts that required ironing, with various mutterings and complaints occasionally audible in the background, I really, really started to feel upset and ill-used.
Why did I have to do all of this when I felt like death warmed up? Why couldn’t we just be a normal family that enjoyed each other’s company and could go out without drama and complaint? Why did my husband have to be in a bad mood and lock himself away?
Instead of being an adult and asking my husband what was wrong so we could clear the air, I stayed in my room, sewing & re-sewing those freaking badges on, folding and putting away all the clothes clothes and preparing shirts for ironing all the while burning with rage and indignation.
And so I transformed into a miserable old cow. I stomped through the house. I huffed and I puffed as I put clothes away. I silently ruminated on the unfairness of my life. I deliberately avoided Nathan.
But of course I didn’t talk to him about how I was feeling because that’s not what old miserable cows do.
So we spent the afternoon both uneasy with each other, unhappy and taking out our frustrations on everything else around us. My fingers are sore from the many pricks of the sewing needle as I jabbed with anger into the fabric of Matilda’s cub scout uniform. And I have to admit I was not a fun mum yesterday afternoon – I’m sorry to say the poor kids had a pretty rotten day with two unhappy parents through no fault of their own.
There was a slight thaw as the day wore on – dinner needed to be sorted out so communication had to be re-established for a short time. And eventually as a storm broke overhead to dispel the humidity of the day, we both shared in our mutual dissatisfaction and were able to move on.
Things are not perfect and we need to foster more open communication. Reducing the whole passive aggressive approach would also be helpful (a big note to me there).
But the one thing I can suggest if you are also caught in a similar spiral one day?
If you are faced with Mr Grumpy, please don’t fall into the trap of turning into a miserable old cow.
Getting things off my chest and linking up with Jess for #ibot