Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If mama ain't happy...

It's not really the big things that can make motherhood difficult.  It's the onslaught of all the little things throughout the day.  Getting food for everyone...and then again...and again...and again.  Toddler toileting. The inexplicable destruction, like the instinctual need to pull off all the couch cushions every time they walk past.  Handprints on the wall.  Pomegranate seeds smeared into the carpet.  Fighting over the astronaut suit one minute, and then I see it on the ground (abandoned) 5 minutes later.  Clearly, they only care about ownership if the *other one* has it.

Motherhood is the only thing I've experienced that can be so mind-numbingly boring and so chaotic all at the same time.

Today has been the very essence of a rainy day. I woke up with a headache from too little sleep last night, and just wanted to bury under the covers. It was only 6:30...not my prime time of the day...and already, the day had started full speed.  Poop and food and spills and a scuffle over a Spiderman toy.

Maybe it was my headache...maybe it was the rainy day...but the kids seemed particularly annoying.  I trudged my way (irritably) through motherhood until about noon.

We did our few errands in the car and then I met the guy in the TJ's parking lot who bought our meat slicer.  Maybe the chaos of getting back there at exactly 12:00 was causing some strain, because something hit me when I got back in the car after our transaction.

I took a deep breath.  And then another one.  And apologized to everyone for how poorly I was handling my crabbiness today.  I asked them if they had any ideas for when they felt crabby, and we brainstormed about what I could do.

I'd been feeling like the kids were a large part to blame.  That they were too whiny, too clingy, too squirrelly today.  Funny how it seems that way when I have the least amount of tolerance.

But as soon as I had that shift...that conscious decision to stop wallowing in my crabby mood...the children immediately changed. It was like I'd taken a deep breath for the whole family.  Exhaled out everyone's aggression and crabbiness. In shocking ways, like Andrew (completely unprompted) apologizing to Jack.

"That's okay, Andrew," Jack said.  Long pause.  "But for what?"

"For grabbing the Spiderman away from you."  That had been hours earlier. 

I almost started crying in the front seat, from the mother guilt of what I'd done to our day.  Those days when I have nothing to give, those are the days they need all of me and more.  How much of their spats and pent-up stuff comes from me?

From what I'm seeing, almost everything.  Barring food dyes for Andrew and dairy for Jack, that is. ;)  That can muck up our day no matter what.  But for the regular-ol' days, things appear to begin and end with where I'm at that day.

1 comment:

Julie Riegle said...

Oh! I feel your pain! It has been a rough week here and i know the biggest problem is my attitude. Remember Cori's thermostat comment? So true, so true!!