I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A secret I am sure we all share. Heck, it’s not technically probably not even a secret, but more of something the smiling, happy, doting, pictures our Facebook feeds seemingly conceal. In fact, it’s a common topic of conversation at playdates among moms. A sentiment that we, at times, want to scream from the rooftops:
“MY KIDS ARE DRIVING ME INSANE!!!!!!”
So this isn’t going to be one of those blog post where I stress about the hardships of being a mom and then end it with, “Oh, but we really love our kids” type of post. No. No it is not. It is going to start with, “Oh, I really love my kids”…… just to get that out of the way. And I do. I love absolutely everything about them. But I apologize in advance because it is going to end with just how not-cute they can sometimes be. Because we’ve all had those days, right? And its okay.
Let’s rewind to yesterday. Yesterday was not a good day. Yesterday was a where’s-my-resume type of day. What is that, you ask? Let me exemplify with an email I wrote to my husband:
Make sense now? Oh, and yes, my husband left his phone on the train (and that wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened…...justsayin.) But I digress. Some days are just not good. I could bore you with the stories about the whining, and the crying, and the clinging, and the messes, and the tantrums, and the fights caused by this:
This freaking sword.
This freaking sword caused so many freaking fights yesterday that I literally threw it in the trash can. Can someone please tell me what the fascination is? Why would you want that when you can have this:
Isn’t it more efficient to have 3 sharp pokey things to jab your brother with than just one?
By 10am I knew I needed to get out of my house before things went from bad to worse. But with 90+ degree weather, humidity out the wah-zoo, and a high chance of rain, the grocery store seemed like my only option to get out and back in time for them (with any luck) to take a nice, loooong nap. I realize that braving the supermarket with three kids under the age of 5 is a task one should only take if fully fueled with patience, agility, speed, and lots of lollipops all of which I was completely drained of after our epic morning. Alas, TJ Maxx was next door, and I promised them a mini Power Ranger if they would be good. I would even take mildly good. Yes, I was that desperate. Bribery at its best, but I never said I was perfect.
And then, like clockwork, it happened. The sweet elderly lady in front of me in the check out line turned around and smiled longingly at my three hooligans panting at the candy display. She looked up at me and said the words that would make me rich if I started charging to hear them,
“I would give anything to have my kids be this young again. Enjoy it while it lasts because it goes by so fast.”
And the icing on the cake, the cashier lady gave them each a sticker for “being so good.”
Are these people delusional? Did they not just see the 5 year old running down the aisle and then Kung Fu chopping the chips at the end-cap, or the three year old clinging to my leg crying for me to hold him, or the one year old wriggling his body out of the seat belt and standing, not sitting, standing…. in the front of the cart trying to swat boxes off the shelves as we walked by. And to their credit, this was being pretty good if you compare it to the sh*t show that was happening in my house an hour prior. Call me crazy, ladies, but I’m not sure that I am going to miss everything about this age. Yes, they are heart throbbingly cute. And funny. And curious. And snuggly. And sometimes my husband and I just have to look at each other and we know exactly what the other one is thinking without a word being said. Those moments that take your heart away. Not your breathe; it’s beyond that. And yes I will miss those moments, but a LOT of the time these “fleeting days” are hard.
And it doesn’t stop there. Dealing with tough behavior is one thing, but dealing with the midnight guilt is even worse. When I finally tuck myself into bed and start reflecting about the day and how horribly bad the kids were…. it quickly dawns on me. It was all my fault. They were acting out because they needed something from me that I wasn’t giving them. Maybe it was attention, maybe it was affection, maybe I wasn’t being patient enough, maybe maybe maybe…. And all you can do is to promise to be better the next day. And that is going to be damn tough on just a few hours sleep.
Yes, sometimes I want to go back to work because I just can’t deal with being home all day anymore. And I am consciously writing this down so that when I am 77 and in the checkout line and am about to tell the young mom behind me to “enjoy every moment”, I’ll at least have the sense to know that she will enjoy most of them, hopefully, but not all of them. Maybe I’ll just tell her how beautiful her kids are instead. Because I’ll remember that some days, despite the amazing gift that children are, plain and simple, it just isn’t always pretty.