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.

miserable old cow

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

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30 Responses

  1. Very good advice- I sometimes get into a similar funk then wonder why I’ve put myself through it!
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted..Political Heartburn

  2. I hear you, this is something that I’m working on, but you have a lot of things to deal with. Maybe you need a punching bag! HUGS x
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..Why I’d ignore you if we crossed paths! 

  3. We all have those days and it’s so hard not to let it spiral into a ‘the whole world is against me’ kind of a feeling. Interesting that the pressure is released in synchrony with the weather. Low and high pressure systems definitely affect how we feel.

    • Kirsty says:

      I think we underestimate how much weather and seasons can affect our moods. I know people who have issues with the changing of the seasons – i think there is definitely a link there x

  4. Kathy says:

    I can be mean and miserable too and talk myself into a foul mood, we probably all can. Sounds like a lousy day and you should probably cut yourself some slack.
    Kathy recently posted..I can speak clearly now the sky is blue

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Kathy – it was gone as soon as it came. I hope it stays away for a long time to come – not a good day at all!

  5. Oh you are a normal family. I have no doubt similar situations are played out many times in households across the world. For sure in mine, but you are right, if only we could clear the air sooner it would be so much brighter!
    JFGibson (@jfgbsonwriter) recently posted..Blogging: 5 crucial things to remember

    • Kirsty says:

      Good to know that this is a somewhat normal scenario but I do hope I can move through this episodes a little more efficiently in future. Life’s too short to waste being grumpy with your family and with the world, after all!

  6. This sounds like my house on Sunday night… After a great weekend Sunday nights are full of tired people, unhappy people because of the impeding week ahead everyonecseems grumpy
    Natalie @ our parallel comnection recently posted..6 tips for mums raising boys

    • Kirsty says:

      I think that was definitely part of the problem Natalie – Sundays are a dirty day around here too, especially the afternoons and evenings. No fun at all…

  7. Robyn says:

    Gosh that sounds like a very familiar scene. Happens all to often in our house too. I friend of mine and her husband have a code word they use in situations like this to help open communications. Not a bad idea really. Hugs xx
    Robyn recently posted..Budget update #1 ’5 tips for managing a family budget’

    • Kirsty says:

      The code word idea is great – we should definitely think about that in more detail, especially if it could halt the spiral of miserable cow-ness and grumpy pant-ness around here!

  8. kim says:

    Wow – i reckon occasionally we can’t help being grumpy old cows and perhaps we should revel in our moments of just being human – reacting / responding to our other half’s moods, kids having meltdowns … to me it’s a perfectly justifiable way to be – and it makes us look even more graceful then, when we decide to be the normal beautiful women we are x
    kim recently posted..The most beautiful toy stores in Paris

    • Kirsty says:

      I love this comment Kim – thanks for making me feel more like the normal, beautiful woman that I think I normally am!!!!

  9. Don’t worry, we all have days like that. Although, I do find being in a bad mood gives me great energy for cleaning! Maybe I should get angry more often?!

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT X
    Janet @ Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Patient Confidentiality – for Animals?!

  10. Emily says:

    Good advice. Usually, the anger builds up until it significantly overshadows the original transgression. Then when you finally talk about it you feel silly because you can’t believe you’ve been acting like this! But it’s not silly. I go into grumpy old cow mode all the time. I hear you. x
    Emily recently posted..All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (book review)

    • Kirsty says:

      Glad to hear I’m not the only miserable old cow around here at times. I hate myself when I get into those moods and they usually are over the most trivial and easily resolved things but that’s human nature for you!

  11. Ahh it’s good to get it off your chest isn’t it. We’ve been in the grumps around here a bit lately too. One of us always folds before too long though and we never go to sleep on an argument. I’m a big fan of keeping the communication channels open and talking through feelings. Hope the rest of the week goes easier for you 🙂
    Renee Wilson recently posted..On the street where you live

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Renee. We sorted it all out before the end of the day so we weren’t at odds for all that long. Considering we will have been married for 15 years this year we are bound to have those moments when we are not deliriously happy. The week has been good so far – fingers crossed it remains positive for the rest of the week!

  12. I frequently suffer from MAD Cow disease. Mother’s Attitude Disorder and it is often coupled with bad mood of my hubby. Apparently we are so in sync as a team we even suffer the shits at the same time. But seriously, it is so hard to hold each other up all the time and living in a pressure cooker is never fun. The silver lining is that 9/10 times everything you eat from the pressure cooker is delicious. Hang in there and I like the comment above about a code word between partners. Go gently. Mel xx
    Melanie Greenhalgh recently posted..The Day I Birthed a Frog

    • Kirsty says:

      I love your take on this Mel – you are right, most of what comes out of the pressure cooker is awesome! Funny how we all seem to be in sync with our other halves…

  13. Lisa says:

    Yep you are a normal family Kirsty. We have started changing things when it happens to us, because it really does ruin the whole day and I have started going to my hubby earlier to clear the air. I have also started giving our kids jobs to do around the house for behaviour issues eg. cleaning windows, vacuuming the bedrooms, cleaning the playroom etc because like you, the mum has to pick up the slack boo hoo. Not sure if that would work with Gilbert though, timeouts only work for our 3 year old now so child labour it is! Goodluck with it all-you are not alone xx
    Lisa recently posted..8 Years of Marriage

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Lisa. I am trying to get he kids to do more around the house. Gilbert makes his bed now and keeps his room tidy. He can also now find his clothes in the morning (and get dressed without melting down!) which is a big step forward and has taken some of the load off me. I will definitely be opening up the lines of communication better in future – I need to get over myself and get things sorted before the day is ruined for all of us!

  14. I hear you! Everyone has a bad day every now and then, and it’s always worse when it ends up affecting the whole family. Some great advice in the end, but it’s often hard when you’re in the moment feeling unappreciated. Hope the rest of your week is better!
    Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum recently posted..10 minutes for me

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Erika. It’s been a lot better so far and hopefully I now know how to better cope the next time a trying day comes around.

  15. You are totally normal and I iften keep in my emotions when I’m frustrated and I take it out on the cleaning task at hand! You are right that talking about our emotions helps. Hoping you don’t have too many days like that! X
    Bec @ The Plumbette recently posted..Magdalene turned 2

  16. Glen Main says:

    Sometimes we can’t help it when we just have those days when everything isn’t going right and you just wanna curl up and shut the world off. Thanks for that advice, it will surely help if we keep that in mind and just stay positive that the storm will just pass.

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