Last week I had one of those days. You know. We all have them. The bad ones. The ones we don’t like to acknowledge because, well, they suck. Personally, I’d rather pretend that those days never happen, and that my life is nothing but sunshine and rainbows and well behaved children.
But, really, what good does that do? So, last week I had a day that included: a toddler meltdown over _______ (fill in the blank: breakfast not being cupcakes, having to have a poopy diaper changed, the dog looking at him, his baby sister existing, not being at the farm), way too much yelling from me, a teething and non-napping baby, too much work to do and no time to do it in, a brief crying jag in the closet while eating my toddler’s potty training M&Ms by the handful, entirely too much TV time, dinner from the freezer section, and a picked fight over nothing with my unsuspecting husband.
Please tell me that you’ve had these days, too.
I got bogged down in it. I felt weepy and guilty and ashamed for days, mentally rehashing everything I’d done wrong, how I was a bad mother.
Then I decided that enough was enough. Feeling that way was pointless and unproductive and, quite frankly, stupid.
Sometimes it feels like we shouldn’t brag about what we do well, because it might make someone else feel badly, or it might sound like we refuse to acknowledge our shortcomings. Well, I have plenty of those, too. I will never have a craft go viral on Pinterest. I will spend far too much time un-teaching my son certain four letter words that tend to slip out at inopportune times. I get bored playing cars again and again and again. My learning to crawl baby will always have dog hair stuck to her jammy little hands.
(Sometimes a little screen-time is what keeps me sane)
But so what. I am NOT a bad mother. I am a good mother. If I never get excited about glue sticks and glitter, I am still a good mother. And there are plenty of things I rock at.
I make a damn good cupcake. I can make my kids laugh in less than 5 seconds. I taught Xander to say “collaborate and listen” whenever I say “stop.” (Well, he’s out of practice on this one.) I’m a good listener. I always act surprised when Xander “scares” me. I know every curve of Luna’s face, and what her milky breath feels like against my neck after she falls asleep. I can turn picking up toys into a game. I know that Xander’s favorite color is purple, that he loves diggers and chocolate, and that he wants to be a robot when he grows up. I know that Luna loves having her neck kissed and would rather watch Xander dance than just about anything else in the world. I know that she likes to sit facing me, not out, and that sometimes when she’s crying all she really needs is to sit with me in a dark and quiet room until she’s calm again. I always have a surprise treat on hand, and I’m never without a secret stash of stickers.
So, sure, maybe my idea of a home-made party decoration is something I ordered off of Etsy (hey, I didn’t say which home it was made in), and no one would ever want to eat off my floors (which, really, is a gross phrase when you think about it). I may let the iPad babysit now and then, and I may lose my temper and raise my voice when I’m at the end of my rope. But being a mom doesn’t mean I’m not human. And being human doesn’t mean I’m any less of a mom.
(Someone please help me pull the dog hair off the baby’s tongue.)
Hilarious and so very true. Love the pic of baby eating the floor. Who needs yo vacuum when you’ve got a baby that hovers?
My kids are 13 and 14 now and we still have days like this. In fact, every morning is like this. Dog hair everywhere, chaos reigns supreme!
I loved this Emily! Yes we all have those days, whether we freely admit it or not. Thanks for the beautiful reminder today!
Thanks, Nissa. I have to remind myself daily, almost. Ha!
Love this Emily! So good, there are so many ways to be a good parent, many of which are just about being present and knowing our kids. And, “collaborate and listen”!! So funny, V.I. would be proud!
Thanks! I think the VI quoting is one of my parenting bests, personally.