My dad called me the other day and said, “I heard you did something stupid?” I thought for a minute as to which “stupid thing” he could be referring to, but my mind just couldn’t settle down on one. “What was that Dad?” I asked. He responded by telling me that my mom had told him that I single-handedly switched the guest room and the baby’s room. Yeah, that was pretty stupid, moving large furniture while 7-months pregnant. But I was driven to get the task completed because I wanted to start getting things ready for baby #4.
My drive to get the task done, however, resulted in achieving a level of exhaustion that most people don’t get to until the end of the week. So here I was on a Monday so tired having to head into a week with a daylight savings time change and my husband leaving on a four-day business trip. The result for our family was the perfect storm to beckon back the return of Monster Mommy.
Monster Mommy (thankfully) only comes out once in a blue moon these days. She hasn’t really made too many appearances since just after Raquel was born, but she visits now again when times get tough around here. She has a very big yell and has been accused of throwing things, punching pillows, and going into the garage to scream.
Before I continue, a word about daylight savings time: what a joke. If there are parents out there that actually have children who adhere to the time change and simply ease right into it without so much as a hiccup in their schedules, I think those parents ought to keep that info to themselves. I’ve got reason to believe that those parents have freakishly weird children because a simple poll of Facebook alone last week (which by no means is a great, accurate place to conduct research) would have resulted in pages of parents in my exact same boat. We became instant members of the 4:30 am wake-up club.
I don’t do tired very well (or sick for that matter) and I think my children, much like animals, can sense weakness. Our week was chalk full of hair pulling, disobedience, and screaming. The later category seemed to be a role largely filled by Monster Mommy. I was quick to anger and I reacted especially at times inappropriate for the circumstance.
For example, my little Georgia got a bad bloody nose one morning before school. But Olivia had locked the bathroom so we could not run in and get the paper tissues to stop the bleeding as quickly as we otherwise could have. The result was a scene that some forensic analysts would have questioned whether or not a bloody nose had occurred or a murder. I was so angry with Olivia that I yelled and then yelled some more over the state of my bathroom rug.
At the end of each day, Monster Mommy was gone, and I would find myself ravaging through the stack of parenting books that adorned my nightstand. I skipped through introductions and thumbed to the indexes with a fury trying to find the exact sections that might help me. “Tantrums: How to Deal With”, “The Keys to Discipline Without Spanking”, “How to Keep Your Sanity” etc.
When my mom showed up on Thursday to help me out a bit, I was wiped out. I remember sitting down at the table to finally get a chance to read an article from my Parenting magazine called, “7 Mistakes Even Smart Parents Make-Fixed!” It was listed as starting on page 93 but as luck would have it my magazine stopped at page 86. So much for getting that holy grail of information. I’ll just add it to the list of things that continue to baffle me about parenting.
I was not proud of how my week was shaping up and when my husband would call me to ask how it was going I was caught between telling him how I was really doing or simply changing the subject. At one point I said it was hard for me to tell him honestly because I didn’t want to make him feel bad by revealing how hard it was to have him gone. But he could tell it in my voice. The next day a dozen red roses showed up at my doorstep. It felt so good to know that my husband had my back, loved me, and in a way, made me feel like he knew I was trying and doing my best despite how hard it was going.
Looking back, my first mistake was moving that furniture and allowing myself to get to a level of tired that made it harder for me to remain positive with my little ones. Not to mention risk my physical health and potentially the baby’s. The week was not all lost as we managed to have a few good moments and a handful of laughs. But those few moments in the week did not amount to enough to pass it off as a great one.
This week I start out with more rest and much more hope that Monster Mommy stays in her cage. There is nothing worse than the look on my kids’ faces when I raise my voice at them. I embrace my humanness and I trust that all parents have their challenges with their kids. I know that many of us work extremely hard to do the best we can. I may not be the perfect mom, goodness knows I am certainly not up for winning any type of award for motherhood just yet, but I am grateful each day I wake up to get an opportunity to try and do better than the day before. It will also help that I have no plans to move large pieces of furniture, I am attending a parenting workshop on Wednesday, and I had eight hours of sleep last night.