Bad Momma Blues
Today was a bad Momma day. Perhaps it has something to do with the five times I was up last night between two and five in the morning, attending to cries that stemmed from missing stuffed animals and sister sleeping "too loud" in her bed across the room. Perhaps it started with staying up late last night to watch Austin City Limits and drinking a glass or two of wine too many. Perhaps it is because I am human and have days when I am less than grateful and slightly annoyed at everything around me. For whatever the reason, today was a shit show.
I woke up thirsty, exhausted, and with a headache, a combination that sucks enough when you don't have two kids under the age of 4. As I snagged the water I keep by my bed to alleviate one of my three ailments, I realized that some one had depleted the glass for me. How thoughtful of them to refill it so I would have it available on the off chance I might want to hydrate at some point in the night or morning...oh wait, my mistake, it's empty.
By now the girls are singing/screaming the song "Let It Go" at the top of their tiny, yet freakishly efficient lungs. Thank you Disney. Even after spending various chunks of time awake and whining last night, they are up early (like six in the mother f---ing morning) and ready to reek havoc on this fine, spring Sunday. I grab a couple Advil to help with my headache but, oh wait, I still have no frickin water to drink them down with. At this point the girls have started screaming and banging on the door, so I have no choice but to forgo my need to hydrate and medicate, and let them loose.
Coffee. I need coffee. I neglect to say good morning to the kids, much less change their pee filled diaper and pull-up. I watch their soggy butts scamper through the living room and try not to wince as they screech at decibels that make dogs whimper. I'm perched on the toilet when, not even ten seconds later I hear toy dishes and tea cups being dropped and thrown around the kitchen. They JUST got downstairs and they are already trashing the place! For the love!
Wait, why don't I smell coffee? My husband's only job in the morning beyond getting himself ready for work, is to make the coffee! ...But last night he was moonlighting and he hasn't come home yet. Damn it. I know it's not a huge deal to make it myself, but as nice as it is to have it ready and waiting for me on a normal morning, it is practically necessary on mornings like these. Still not having acknowledged the children, who have moved on to trashing the playroom, I drag myself to the sink to fill the coffee pot, pull the coffee from the pantry, grab a filter, slap it all together, and FINALLY hit brew. A couple minutes later I pour the steaming java into the biggest mug I own only to discover I'm out of creamer. Damn it.
Fast forward through the fight over going or not going to church, the kids want to go for the free chocolate muffins after the service whereas I want to stay home and hide in a closet. Jump past the argument over how cookies are not breakfast food and we do not feed our little sister dead flies, and we will soon get to my shining moments as an asshole parent. Daddy comes home bearing chocolate donuts and bear hugs, and instantly becoming the best parent ever. Might as well have given them the cookies they so longed for just twenty minutes earlier. The kids get kisses and I get the look of, "wow, this place is trashed." Yeah dipshit, I know. Blame your offspring.
Somehow, through the help of Netflix, various processed snacks, a full pot of coffee, and sheer will, we make it to nap time. Dad is exhausted from working all night ("me too" I think) and he goes down at the same time as the girls. I know they are tired from being awake half the night and so early this morning, but they are goofing off and not going to sleep. Every giggle is amplified over the speaker of the monitor and the sound vexes my ears. Each tiny footstep betrays its' owner, signaling they are out of their bed and nowhere near sleep. After ten minutes of this ridiculousness, something in me snaps. I know it's bad when I turn off the monitor before I go to check on the girls, that signifies a level of crazy I don't want my husband to hear.
#1. I fling the door open and it smacks right into my three year old who is standing in it's path. Tears immediately spring to her eyes but I think to myself, "well if she were in her bed like she is SUPPOSED to be that wouldn't have happened." #2 My other daughter has filled her bed with every stuffed animal she could get her barely two year old hands on. I take each one, some ripped right from her tiny fingers, and whip them out into the hall. Cue the second set of tears. #3 I grab the smaller of the two in my arms and shout in her face that "It's time to SLEEP!" The tears fall even harder as I drop her in her bed and toss her blanket over her, ignoring her pleas for a kiss. Even when I'm a monster she still wants a kiss, go figure. #4 I stomp over to the older daughter and half shout, half growl in her face that "You need to go to sleep NOW!" Really, I sound like a feral animal and I can hardly blame her for the fresh sobs that escape her as she whispers "I'm Sorry" through her tears.
I wish I could say that in that moment, I saw the error of my ways and I did a complete one eighty. I wish I could say that I scooped each little one up in my arms and kissed them until their crying stopped. I wish I could say that. But I can't. Because I tore out of that room just as unhinged as I came into it. The girls cried themselves to sleep that day.
The rest of the day went better, I mean there was nowhere to go but up from there so of course it went better. But that's not the point. The point is that I am not a bad parent. I don't love my children any less on my bad days than I do on my good days. And I have mostly and mainly good days, even some great days. Days that are filled with organic foods, and arts and crafts, and outdoor adventures, and snuggles, and kisses, and songs, and storybooks. But as much as I love my girls and want to always set a good example, I am an imperfect person. I am human. I make mistakes. I could get down on myself when I have these bad Momma days, and on occasion I do. But after the kids have been put to bed for the night, be it a good day or a bad day, I take a moment to think how I can improve the next day. Because I cannot take back the day that has passed, but I can try for a better tomorrow.