A few weeks ago I came home in a foul mood. Tough day at work, nothing went right, but I kept on a brave face whilst at work to everyone I saw as I wanted to keep professional. Once I got in the car to come home I thought about my whole day and the various situations that had raised my blood pressure. I churned everything over in my mind as I drive home. Once I got home I dropped the professional façade and let my emotion out.
My two daughters came running to the door, as always so excited to see me, but I dismissed them. I gave my wife a kiss on the check and muttered how crap my day was. She did her best to keep the girls settled but they were hyped up because dad was home. I snapped at them and told them to be quiet because I was busy…….. Busy……. They don’t understand that word, they don’t know that I had a bad day, they can’t fathom the stress of work… Why should they calm down.
I spent the rest of the evening on my phone sending emails and taking work calls. I yelled at the girls and made them cry, my wife told me off for being narky and this only made me more ticked off. Eventually we made it through a very quiet dinner only broken by me telling the girls off for mucking around at the dinner table. They are 2 and 3….. They are toddlers not saints…. But I didn’t care I wanted a quiet dinner, bugger everyone else.
Bed and bath time erupted into a full blown tantrum from our 3yr old. It was epic!!!!!!!! Like nothing I had ever seen. She completely lost the plot. It took us an hour to calm her down and get her back into bed. As I gave her a cuddle and said good night a massive wave of reality swept over me. This was my fault…… She was lashing out at me. She was excited to see me and I dismissed her, I yelled at her little traits at the dinner table, I scolded her for throwing toys around, I ignored her when she asked me questions. I was an asshole!!!!!
I started to cry…. I held my eldest tight. I gave her a massive cuddle, I said sorry for being naughty and she said to me “ok dad”. I promised her I would play with her tomorrow. She smiled and laid down and cuddled her favourite teddy. I then went into my youngest daughters room and said sorry and gave her a kiss, she was asleep but I didn’t care I needed to do it. I then went out to my wife and apologised. I told her that it was my fault that Brooke had a meltdown. God bless her she tried to make me feel better by saying that it’s ok, it wasn’t that bad etc etc. but it was.
I went and laid down and thought about the evening. It was a disaster. I thought of how I must have looked in my wife’s and daughters eyes and I was ashamed!! I vowed to not allow that to happen again. Why should I be nice to people at work but berate my family? That’s not fair!!!!
I now do my thinking in the car on the way home from work, however the moment the lock hits the key to the front door, I switch off work. My phone goes on silent on my bed side table until the girls are tucked in bed, I great them with big hugs and play and dance with them until dinner and bed. Since then the house has become so much happier, and we have had zero tantrums during shower time. I am ashamed of my previous behaviour, I am man enough to admit it was wrong, and most importantly I act like a dad when I am home, because in this world it is the most important job I have!!!!