It’s been one of those days where everything is just a little bit south of OK. The girls have been yelling non-stop, the coffee ran out, the dogs are barking, the laundry is backed up, my husband is moody, the cat puked on my socks and if I hear “MOM!” just one more time…..
As the frustration builds inside me, I’m struggling to control it – to control myself. Everything is setting me off, from simple requests to the high pitched squeal of play emanating from the upstairs bedroom. I don’t want to feel this way. It drains me and it’s not fair, to them or to me. But honestly? I’m cooked and well done. My patience has left the building and the only ‘mom’ I have remaining in me is the ‘momster…’
How many times have you been there?
Lately, it seems that I have been finding the end of my rope much sooner than I should. There have been some days during this never ending Summer that noon finds me hiding in the bathroom, desperate for a break or just a breath. I’m tired and my gratitude for this truly amazing and blessed life I have is slim. What does that say about me? If I can’t seem to appreciate the wealth of joy that surrounds me… what does that make me?
Human. It makes me flawed and wonderfully human. When I first stepped onto this uncertain path of motherhood, I believed that feelings of negativity or entrapment meant that I wasn’t made for this life. That I wasn’t mother enough. But that is not true. Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later and I have learned a few things. Oh, I have much more to learn, but the lessons that have drifted my way are now engraved on my soul.
I may say this to my kids occasionally, but I say it to myself daily. Though I may portray a somewhat easy going face to the world, it is a facade that hides the high strung nature and self recriminations that swamp me. I tend to second guess myself and doubt the choices I make, especially when it comes to my girls. I feel the pressure to be ‘just right’. Not too permissive while not too authoritarian. Is giving in to that second piece of candy letting them ‘run over me?’ Or did I damage them for life by losing my temper over the 20th request to clean their room?
But you know what? None of the things I think to myself are unique – we have ALL been there. As Mother’s, it almost feels like a job requirement to stress about this parenting thing. Calm down. You’re doing great. While it really is an incredibly important job, one bad day does not break a life. (Please let me throw in a caveat here; that bad day involves losing your temper or letting them watch TV all day, or staying up too late, sleeping in too long, or any numerous other things that experts advise against… it does NOT include abuse or anything truly harmful. Now back to your originally scheduled programming…)
So… I reiterate to myself and to you, Calm Down. Bedtime is coming, the day will ease and the sun will rise on a new chance to start over tomorrow.
The bathroom is my ‘go-to’ hiding place. The area where I can shut the door and close out the noise. Stepping away from the frustration and just step back. I’m doing that today – in fact, I just came out of the my little hidey-hole, a bit ore recharged and inspired to pen this dialogue. Fun fact; there is a mirror in the bathroom. That mirror has become so important in my parenting journey, for it’s that person in the mirror that tells me,
“Hey Mom…. you’re doing great.”
Try it. Go into the bathroom, shut the door and look at that woman in the mirror. Really look at her – look at that wonderful mother staring back at you and tell her, “You’re doing great.” Because you are.
I realize that this post is similar to many other parenting posts that abound in the Blogosphere, though far less down to earth than this one by Scary Mommy, or as eloquent as the words in this Finding Joy post.… but it is no less sincere.