I hate confrontations. I worked at a job that was always confrontational and I was in uncomfortable situations and had to stand up to others all the time. I hated it. So when I left, I was relieved. I didn’t have to be that person anymore. But, I was wrong.
When it comes to my children, I won’t back down. But what happens when you’re fighting back and it’s not worth the fight? What happens when your emotions take control and loose you? Now I’m sure it may seem dramatic, I was standing up for our spot for the community pool. It wasn’t that important . . . or was it? To be honest it was to me at that moment. My children had been wanting to swim for over a year. When COVID hit we didn’t know when we’d have the chance to swim again. We had been stuck at home and when the pool finally opened to one family at a time, we needed that normalcy. We needed something fun to look forward to. And yes, the pool isn’t such a big deal to some, but to my 5 year old it was. She was looking forward to something fun, was finally excited, and I wasn’t about to disappoint my baby.
In all honesty I wish the other family would have asked rather than expected it was their turn – (their name wasn’t on the list). Because if they had asked, I probably would have been better and shared the pool. I do understand we are all in it for our kids. But because they demanded it and fought me for it my mama bear instincts ignited. The worst part was while I was fighting back, my partner wasn’t. He didn’t want a scene, he didn’t want to fight with our neighbors. Was he right? Should I have not been so upset? I knew I needed to calm down, but I was so upset and it hurt me when he didn’t help me.
Often times I find that when we are in the heat of the moment it’s so hard to back down. It’s so hard to stop and think about the other persons feelings – or their perspective. You also forget the little eyes that are watching you. We are always teaching even when we aren’t. So I knew how I reacted was wrong, but I didn’t know how to calm down and I needed my partner to help me. But I’m sure he was scared of me because I was so upset.
COVID-19 has brought out so much negativity and that was the last thing I wanted. I just wanted a happy time and my reaction ruined all of it. The other family did leave and we got the pool to ourselves, but I didn’t feel good about it. The only thing I could do was to tell my kids I reacted badly, I was wrong. That it was ok for me to feel upset but that I should have stopped and calmed down so that we could figure out a solution for all of us. I understand how we can quickly turn into mama bear and that’s what I did.
Sometimes we need to realize that the other person might be doing the same thing. I read somewhere that you’re only right if you can look from the other point of view and see it from the other side as right. So if I put myself if their shoes was I still right? Maybe, but I didn’t handle it like the bigger person.
In the end, I found a lesson. That although I did win for my kid’s, I didn’t win. The true lesson would have been to be kind to others and share or work it out. And that would have still made us both win. It’s ok to fail, and the only way to move forward is to tell my kids that although I was right, I still handled it wrong and explain how I should have been better and that we all make mistakes.
It also gave me perspective on how my kids feel when they’re in the moment and get upset. We all need to be easier on ourselves and take a deep breathe. But we also need to stop and see it from their perspective, whether that’s another mama bear or our own children. There is always a learning curve and although we are adults, it’s important for our children to know we aren’t perfect. Saying that out loud makes it easier for all of us to forgive and learn from one another.