Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mood Swings

We all have them, don't we? I mean, isn't that women are known for? And obviously there are physical reasons for them. It's not just a psychological phenomenon. I hate having my feelings dismissed as a mood swing, even when I know that's actually what it is.
Guys just can't deal with the moods, can they? Although, they have their own as well. But we'll not get into that here. Since I have so many boys in my family, I do try to keep my mood swings to a minimum. Even my youngest boys seem uncomfortable and/or tolerant of my moods. I hate both responses because they have moods as well, but whatever. I said I wouldn't get into that, didn't I.
The reason I'm blogging on this is because I've had a few mood swings lately. I was talking to my oldest son, trying to impart a little wisdom into his good-looking--albeit occasionally thick--head. He was listening with a patient air of tolerance that infuriated me. I refuse to be patronized or tolerated, especially by my own children. I got angry, finished my diatribe with a sharp comment and returned to making dinner.
Unable to read emotions very well, my fourteen year old asked me if he could make something else for himself for dinner. Whatever we were having that day was not his favorite, and he just wanted to make some mac n' cheese so he would have something he actually liked on his plate. But to ask at that moment was a rejection of everything I had been working on for most of the past hour. (Not that I'm over-reacting at all!). I snapped at him that, if he didn't like what I cooked, find a restaurant somewhere. Then I headed upstairs to cry in peace.
Now, I don't cry in front of my boys as a rule. Not because it's not a valid emotional outlet. And I don't want them to think that boys never cry. No, my problem is, I don't want to use tears to manipulate them. I just don't want them trained that way. But this time, the tears came before I was in the privacy of my room. I had a good cry, mopped up and went back downstairs. Everything was very quiet. Furtive, sideways glances were shot in my direction followed by bright, phony smiles.
"Hi, Mom."
"Love you, Mom."
"Can I get you something, Mom?"
"You look beautiful, Mom."
See what I mean? Apparently a natural male tendency is to say or do anything in order to make the tears disappear. I don't want them to feel that they have to compliment me if they know I've been crying. I don't want them groveling. At least, not for that reason. : ) Everyone walked on eggshells for awhile until it was clear that Mom was herself again. Then, no one remembers what set me off in the first place. No one except me. Whatever I was trying to get through to my sons--don't be patronizing to women; don't criticize what someone cooks for dinner--is completely written off as a "mood swing". They don't seem to grasp that I actually had some valid points they needed to think about.
But I know these points will come again. And hopefully, I'll deal better with it then. Hopefully I won't be in the middle of a "mood swing".

P.S. I'm sorry this post is so much later today. I guess you could chalk it up to a mood swing. : )

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