This is my new puppy, Oreo. Cute? Yep. Fun? Totally. And, like all my other kids, she is a ton of work. In particular, it’s the chewing. She chews everyone and everything, then finds more things to chew. Preferably expensive items, if not my toddler, who is hard to keep off the floor and out of her mouth.
So I went to Petco for a solution to the chewing issue. I bought some Bitter Yuck spray, which I went home and sprayed pretty much everywhere. The shoes, the screen door, the leash, the bar stools, the carpet edge….
Less than a minute later, I cringed. What’s that horrible, bitter taste in my mouth? Oh YUCK! Get it out! (Run to the sink. Rinse. Rinse. Rinse). Oh no. It’s still there!
An hour later at lunch? Blech! It’s still there!
Five hours later, at a movie with my hubby? This is just WRONG! …I’d rather have the dog chew up my favorite jeans than taste this stuff all the time! How is it still on me??!
Turns out that wasn’t the most bitter stuff in my mouth! A couple of days after the experience with the evil spray, I rushed through my bedroom, grabbing shoes and a jacket to walk the kids to school. In autopilot mode, I spewed complaints at my husband about the kids fighting downstairs where they were getting ready. As I pulled on my jacket, and opened my mouth to complain a little more, I stopped short.
I flopped on the bed and said, “It must be such a downer to hear me complain every time I enter the room. I just realized I use this air space as my journal… about the kids and all the things that frustrate me!”
It was then that I admitted Bitter Yuck and I weren’t so different. When I complain I leave a bitter impression all around me – with hubby, kids, friends, family – that might even linger around as long as the wretched chew spray does in my house. Definitely NOT what I’m about as a mom, wife and friend.
Can you relate? Life as moms certainly provides ample opportunity to be frustrated and to complain. But how can we get a hold on it so it doesn’t flavor all our relationships?
Forgive ourselves, our husbands, our friends, our kids. It’s the Bitter Yuck-repellent of relationships. It’s not an excuse for people to continue hurting us – that’s another issue entirely. It’s how we release others and allow life to deal with them, while we are free to heal. It’s how we rinse the bitterness from our heart and words, and give life a chance to be a little sweeter.
I threw out the Bitter Yuck spray. And I’m working on the bitter yuck attitude. Know what? We’re all chewing on each other a little less around here!