Do you ever have one of those days?
You know the one? You’re flying solo doing the parenting feeling high and mighty that today you’ve got it right and then karma hands you the smack down and the whole day turns into a disaster. I had one of those days yesterday.
It started off pretty well. Honey dropped Lovey off and camp on his way into work for a couple of hours. Kitten and I were hanging out in the yard until I decided that we’d head to the park before running a few quick errands. The park was great and we even saw some friends. Kitten was doing pretty well at the store too aside from wanting to help me push the cart while I carried her. She fell asleep in the car on the way home so I was able to get a few things done around the house. I woke her up and we both ate lunch before we rushed on the door to get her sister. This is where things started to go south.
Honey was only supposed to be at work for a few hours so when he didn’t come home I assumed that he’d decided to stay later and would be going straight to his 2 o’clock appointment. In fact, he had left work at 12:30 and sent me a text saying he’d pick up Lovey on the way home. Except that I didn’t get the message until I was putting Kitten in the car and texted back that I was already on my way. I arrived at camp after Honey and parked next to him. I then proceeded to bark at him about the fact that I didn’t get his text and we don’t have cell service in the house and why didn’t he call the land line and I thought he was going to be home at 11 and I’ve been solo parenting for two days and you have jury duty tomorrow so that’s three days. Yeah, I kinda lost it. I took Kitten with me on one more quick errand then came home.
I was still fuming for no apparent reason other than things didn’t work out that way I wanted them to. Honey left for his appointment and I was home with the girls. They wanted to play in the sprinkler so I got bathing suits and towels and swim diapers and sunscreen and we headed outside. They played nicely for about 15 minutes and then Kitten decided that she would stop listening to any and all directions. I told her not to step on the sprinkler, she did. I told her not to spray water in her sister’s face, she did. I told her to come talk to me, she said no and walked away. I told her if she couldn’t make good choices I’d turn the sprinkler off, she said fine. So I turned it off. Meanwhile, Kitten was also creating a mess in her reusable cloth swim diaper the likes of which I never hope to see again. We all came inside and I attempted to clean her up. Insert squirmy, disobedient toddler. It wasn’t pretty. It was only 2:30. Honey would still be gone another hour, which seemed like an eternity.
At this point I hit mommy rock bottom. I was still unreasonably angry, I was tired, Kitten was being 2 at me. I had it. I did the only thing I knew to do in that moment; I turned on a movie. Thank god for Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue. We watched it until Honey came home at which point I told him I was going for a pedicure. I really did feel like in that moment if I stayed in the house for one minute more I would spontaneously combust.
Here’s the thing: I want to be clear; Honey had nothing to do with my bad mood. He is an incredibly supportive and very equal partner in every sense. Unfortunately he ended up being the punching bag for my negative feelings. Since we moved into the new house we’ve both been working non-stop to get it into tip-top shape. We are both tired and ready for a break. Honey got a last-minute opportunity to go to the Red Sox game on Friday and he had a great time and got a chance to relax, but for me, the need for time to relax never came.
As moms, I think this is something we all struggle with. There is always something that we need to do or a place to go or someone to take care of. When do we take care of ourselves? Usually it comes when we’ve reached our breaking point and we are yelling at our spouse in the community center parking lot because he was trying to be helpful. I needed that hour to myself in the pedicure chair a whole lot more than I realized. Why do we have to get to our breaking point before we take care of ourselves? I think it’s because we are moms and are programmed to put others first. Which means time and time again we put ourselves last; it needs to stop. The flight attendant tells you to put on your air mask before your assist others for a reason. Without taking care of yourself you can’t take care of others. You can’t be your best self or your best mommy self. I need to remember how desperate I felt in my mommy break down and vow to work hard on insuring that I am never there again. I’m not sure how to make that happen or what it will look like, but as they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step.