“You’re just a Mom.” This was exactly what I needed to hear, and I’m not being sarcastic. Let me explain:
So last week was a rough one. I mean, in the grand scheme of life, it was a cake walk, but in the moment, last week was the pits. Kent and I arrived home on Sunday from Vegas in a blizzard, collected our kids from my in-laws and no joke, within 30 seconds of walking in the door, little man Griff vomited all over the kitchen floor. This led to a subpar night of sleep and we one upped Sunday night by taking Griff to the ER Monday night. Double ear infection and a fever. Oy vey. Needless to say, the next several days were spent sleepless, holed up at home trying to get Little G back in action. And this wasn’t the sweet sick where you get more cuddle time as you nurse your child back to health. This was the “somebody is going to be crying or not letting you sleep at all times” kind of sick.
Like I mentioned, G’s little illness came on immediately following our Parents Weekend Out in Vegas. As you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (Sorry, no Inner Party Monster sequel!), but I can assure you, this was terrible timing. Coming back from Vegas is one of those trips where you need a vacation after the vacation. So to say that we were very “ti-ti” would be an understatement. (Ti-ti is the made up word I use when I talk to my kids about being “tired”. Don’t laugh, you know you do stuff like this too.)
Ok, so now you have the picture. We were very tired parents, one of our kids got sick and if he wasn’t crying, our daughter was for whatever reason, and no one seemed to be sleeping when they were supposed to. Oh, and it’s Christmas-time so my to do list was pages long and nothing, not one thing, was being checked off. Not good for this Christmas Nerd. (Picture Will Ferrell in “Elf” and how excited he gets when he hears Santa is coming to town. Yup, that’s me this time of year.)
Come Thursday, this mama was not in a good mood. Griff was doing better (I was happy about this part of course), but I was sleep deprived and the road to Christmas was not going as planned. I had been up with Griff every night, so Kent told me to keep sleeping when G woke up at 5:30 AM. I wanted to start crying I was so happy, but instead, I dozed back off to sleep…for 5 minutes. Kent did take Griff downstairs, but now I had a little someone else in my ear… “Mama, can we watch a show?!” Jade. “What?! No, go back to bed.” She said okay. Phew. 15 minutes later…”Mama, can I get up now?” Oh boy, my blood was starting to boil. She probably went in and out of my room 7 times before I snapped. And I mean, SNAPPED. The best way I can describe my actions without actually seeing myself was that I literally exploded off the bed like a wild animal yelling, “I’m furious!”…or something like that, and stormed into the bathroom. But now I’d really done it, because Jade was no longer asking to go downstairs. She was crumbled in a ball on the floor crying because she was legitimately scared of me. Superstar Mom over here, huh?! Well then I just felt awful.
But wait – let me back up a minute and fill you in on how productive I was on the flight out to Vegas. I read half of a parenting book that my sister gave to me two Mother’s Days ago. She wrote a note in the book telling me it was her favorite parenting book and that she only wished she had read it sooner. So why it took me two years to start it is beyond me, but at least I got to it, right? Anyway, the book “Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids” is about instilling honor in your family life. I found myself dog-earing pages, showing Kent a paragraph here and there, making notes and telling myself that when I get in those moments of pure anger and want to scream, that I’m going to hold back and think about a more effective way to handle the situation. I was going to come back from this little vacay a new and improved mom.
And then I failed…immediately.
So the week was rough, but the worst part was the way I felt by the end of it. I felt like a terrible mom, wife, you name it. I was over-tired, snappy, and crazed wondering how I was ever going to get everything done in time for Christmas. I had thought about writing this post as the week was closing in, and my original title was going to be “A-Hole Parent”, but then my Stepmom came over to watch my kids for a few hours. And I’m so very thankful she did, for a few reasons. One, because I got the break I needed to get out and do some things for ME, but more importantly because she said and did something so simple that made everything better instantaneously.
We were standing in the kitchen and I was telling her what the kids would need while I was away, and then she asked me how I was doing. I told her about the rough week and summed it up by saying, “Basically, I’ve been an a-hole parent, an a-hole wife…the list goes on.” And she just laughed, gave me a hug and with a big smile said, “No, you’re just a mom.” Ahhh, THANK YOU!
She’s so right. As parents, many of us put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect – to do everything right for our precious little ones. But the reality of it is, we do our best. We do our very best to do what we know is right for our family, but that is going to involve slip ups. A raised voice, or a yell (or 10) is going to happen. We are going to have days where we’re in a funk, where we’re mad, where our to do lists don’t get checked off as we had hoped. But that’s ok.
I read a quote the other day and it said:
I just thought, exactly. I’m a good mom. No, I’m a great mom. I love my kids more than words could ever convey and I feel their love back to me so clearly – that right there is the most beautiful thing of all. I’m doing a fantastic job, exploding from the bed like a wild animal and all. I told Jade I was very sorry, explained to her why I was mad and said I’d do a better job controlling myself next time. We hugged, kissed and moved on.
And with that, I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’ll talk to you in 2017 – be safe!
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