This is the story that I was trying to relate to my daughter’s father about not taking things personally when you had to be an authority figure at home, but he wasn’t in the right frame of mind*.
When something goes wrong at home, when a child is naughty etc, you can act in one of two ways:
You can be the kind of police officer who when they spot a driver who has just committed a crime, can either pull them over, yell at them to get out of the car, slam them against the bonnet and rage in what seems to be a justified rant;
or, you can pull the person over, ask for their details, give them a fine and then get on with your night.
When it’s your job to be the police officer you can’t afford to take it personally. Expending all that energy and having to deal with the aftermath of the stress hormones and the upsetedness of the little child with whom your angry is just not sustainable.
You choose the type of enforcement that goes on in your family life. I do my best to be police officer that does her job and moves on. I try not to take it personally even when my child slaps me across the face and laughs and laughs. Whether I succeed or not, this is always my intention.
*Our daughter was getting manic and wanted a bath and someone had to chase after her.