I’m just not cut out for this.
Of course you are. You’re just having a bad day.
No. I’m not. It’s every day. I can’t do this anymore. I hate it.
This conversation takes place between my husband and me every couple of months or so, usually with me in tears. I have a day in which everyone’s cranky, noncompliant, bored, or refusing to do anything I suggest. I lose my patience, roll my eyes, avoid interaction, answer them curtly, and yell. A lot.
This is hard for me to admit, although I know so many other moms can relate.
Thursday morning when I got up, I found the bathroom cabinets open (yes, we hid the plungers), and it was decorated in the soft white plushness that is half a roll of toilet paper. Both big girls emerged from Zoe’s room, Rachel carrying the other half of the roll and tearing off square by square, letting it fall daintily to the floor.
I rubbed my still sleepy eyes and ushered her back into the bathroom to pick up the mess. She vehemently refused multiple coaxings and ignored multiple warnings, which sent us both into a tailspin of time out, crying, and frustration. What a way to start a day. Wasn’t it bad enough that I woke up thinking it was Friday?
Breakfast: eggs burned, kids screamed at each other (this starts out as a fun competition and then turns very, very bad), and every step I took fell on rogue crumbs that escape every run of the broom I take. I was done, and it wasn’t even 8am yet.
Christian somehow knows when I need him most. maybe it’s the death look on my face. He stayed home to work, and although he spent most of the day in his office (which is our bedroom, but doesn’t “office” sound professional and systems administratory?), he was able to pop out when he felt that I was about to go on a murderous rampage. Damn, I’m a lucky woman.
Nothing could save me. Everything they did annoyed me from the “Mommy! Mommy! Mooooommmmmyyyyyy!” to the fact that they just take their own damn sweet time in everything — especially going potty. All I wanted them to do was go away so I could suffer in peace without someone sitting on me, pulling on me, or asking for something. When Christian came in to help keep the peace I flew to our room and burst into tears. I didn’t like the mom I was being, but I literally couldn’t pull the calm Leigh Ann out from the Leigh Ann who was reacting irrationally.
The thing is, there really wasn’t anything about that day that was that bad. Some days all of the lines are blurred and I can’t tell — was it really them? Or was it me? Did they really act like complete a-holes? Or was I the a-hole for yelling at them when all they did was spill their bowl of goldfish, but really that was just the icing on the cake comprised of the toilet paper decorations, the burned eggs, the fighting over a stupid Batgirl Little People figurine, the hitting and pushing that I don’t know how to discourage, and the fact that they just don’t want to do ANYTHING but mill around and torture me to a slow, agonizing demise.
When I get in these moods, the walls start closing in on me and I can’t breathe. All of the sudden it’s not just the kids or the bad day. Everything starts jumping out at me: the rogue crumbs on the tile, the dining table (my office, ahem) that no matter how often I try to clear it, toys and papers just keep piling up, the carpet that I haven’t had a chance to vacuum, the random parts of toys that are scattered every which way, the 2 — make that 3 baskets of laundry that have been sitting there so long, I’ve lost track of which is clean and which is dirty.
And all of the sudden it just all becomes too much and I completely lose myself in the OMG LOOK AT EVERYTHING THAT I CAN’T GET DONE BECAUSE I AM CHASING/FEEDING/CONSOLING/BREAKING UP/ENTERTAINING/TRYING TO FLEE FROM THESE KIDS. The more they want or need me, the more I try to escape them.
The past week has been rough. If you know me, I often say I’ve had a rough week. Because I guess all my weeks are kind of rough. But this week? Kicked. My. Ass. I’m on a mission to reverse my way of thinking and change my reactions. I know I’m not doing right by them. They’re four and two. They deserve someone who’s going to be a positive impact on them, not someone whose faces change so often that they don’t know what to expect from one minute to the next. I just hope that I can indeed change and that this isn’t the mom I’m meant to be. Because if I don’t even like me, they sure as hell aren’t going to.