It's been a rough couples of days between Phoebie, my firstborn and I.
On one night, as I was giving out instructions, I caught her rolling her eyes at me. She probably think I didn't notice it, because she knows that I am not a mum who would tolerate such attitude. Long story short (I'll keep this one for another time), after catching her rolling her eyes a few times, I blew my top. She had her crying episode and we had a long pep talk after.
By the time I was done that night, I told husBenKoh that I was exhausted and headed straight off to bed.
Right the next day, just when I thought that Phoebie would have learnt her lesson from that long pep talk the night before, things happened again. I had chosen a place for lunch, and before she even stepped into the place, she muttered, "This is my worst nightmare."
And so this episode began, and long story short (I'll also keep this one for another time), I walked away from lunch when I was done and she had to come running after me.
By the time the lunch episode was done, I felt so drained. I was physically tired from the day-to-day matters, mentally tired from having to discipline her and then pep talk her and explain all the logics and principles behind why we do certain things.
Like I had told Phoebie the night before, being angry is a very exhausting thing to do. Yet, there are some things that I refuse to let slide because I don't want my children to grow up spoilt, ill-mannered and self-entitled.
I had also told Phoebie, that crying is a very tiring thing to do. She had been crying during the eyes-rolling incident, and she cried during the lunch incident. To be honest, I felt like crying too.
As much as I was still fuming about the attitude she had been giving, I knew that if I stayed angry, we would both continue to suffer. I would be an angry mum who would function out of anger, and she would be the guilty daughter, sulking all day.
Was the anger going to be worth it? After all, I had already done all the pep talk and explained everything to her. She had apologised and discussed what she could do to improve.
I decided that hanging on to the anger was just too tiring.
As we settled the lunch incident and fetched my son from school, I looked at Phoebie and asked, "Have you learnt your lesson?"
I knew that we probably had to revisit the same topic somewhere in the near future, but for now, I was too tired to hang on to it.
"Okay," I said, "You know what? We're going to hit the reset button." I knew she didn't know what it meant, so I went on to explain it to her.
"To reset means to start over. So we shall both reset from here. I will stop being angry mama, and be nice mama. You will also reset, start listening to instructions and watch your attitude."
"Okay, let's reset," she said, smiling for the first time (instead of tearing) since she got reprimanded at lunch.
The issued had been addressed, the disciplinary actions had been done, the lessons had been taught. It was time to let go, reset and start over.