Some Days

February 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Giggles, Me | 18 Comments
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Some days, I’m that mom.

The one yelling in the produce aisle. The one refusing to get out the glue sticks because I just can’t handle the mess. The one who gives up and puts on their damn shoes for them because they won’t do it themselves and we have to be there five minutes ago.

Some days, I sing lullabies, tuck blankets, kiss cheeks, and smooth damp, coconut-scented hair on autopilot. Because I’ve been waiting all day to shut that door. To hug the silence instead of my children. To walk through the kitchen without having to hop over toys, refill milk, offer 41 snack suggestions, saute an onion, add three things to the grocery list, sweep up the smashed corn flakes, and wipe the black marker off the table.

Some days, I’m pretty sure I’d get fired from this mothering job if that were an option.

Some days, I wonder where that girl went. The one at the top of her class for 19 years. The one who juggled 23 clubs and concerts and meetings and projects — and was good at it. The one who always looked ahead, always planned on a career, and never imagined wearing the same pair of sweat pants three days in a row. The one with ambition.

Some days, I wash the last sippy cup and collapse into bed, so exhausted that even my fingernails are tired. I dread sleep. Because it’s just a weary stretch of blackness between days that are all the same. Days that end with me pulling used tissues and rejected purple gummy snacks from my pockets. Days with a full laundry basket and an empty heart. Endless, endless days.

And then, in the darkness, the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of scampering sock feet wakes me. The door hinge I keep meaning to WD-40 creaks and the smallest, sweetest voice I’ve ever heard whispers, “Momma, I’m scared.” The power has gone out. And he’s sure he saw that monster, the mean orange one, in the closet again.

I sit up, prepared to shuffle him back to his room and tuck him in — the blue blanket, then the yellow blanket, then the red blanket. The words “There’s no monster, buddy” are already on my tongue. But he climbs in beside me before I can say anything. His brown eyes droop as he pulls the comforter up to his chin. In seconds, he’s asleep. His soft, shaggy blond hair touches the aqua collar of his Batman pajamas.

I lie back down and stare at him. At his eyelashes, long and lush and brown. At his cheeks, still spotted with pink from the cold he’s fighting. At the tiny smile on his face as he dreams about cookies and race cars.

I love this child so much I can feel my heart squeezing the air out of my lungs to make room for it all.

Some days, I know I am lucky.

So very, very lucky.

Do you have days (or nights) like these? Do you ever wonder what happened to the girl you used to be? When mothering gets tedious, how do you remind yourself that it’s worth it?

18 Comments »

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  1. I am with you on every word in this post. Those are great questions at the end. I’ll comment again when I have some answers. I don’t think my younger self is disappointed that I am “just” a mom, but I feel like she is looking at me going, “Come on, Megan, you should be nailing this. You can do this so much better.” Funny I should read this post this morning. I usually don’t give anything up for Lent, but I did this year. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I was thinking through why I was giving something up and whether it was really making me more mindful, etc. and the thought occurred to me that the best Lenten resolution for me would be to try to be a better mom — more patient, more present, more fun. I think I’m a “good mom,” but I’d like to be better and to enjoy it more.

  2. God, sometimes I feel like such a sub-par mother. It makes me feel so ashamed, because what kind of mother wants to escape from her children?

  3. Yes I’ve had those days! A million times, it seems. The one thing different is that since I became a mom so young, I don’t have a comparison between the girl I was with the girl I am now. The only comparing I do is with how I treat my children despite what all the research suggests. Yeah, FAILURE!

    But, when those days come, I remind myself that they are fleeting. One day these kids will be grown up and their won’t be marker on the tables and couches. There won’t be smooshed up crackers in every crevice. One day they will walk out of this house, ready to start college, and I will ask how the time went so fast. That doesn’t mean these days are easy and, hell, I do not wish them back again! Yet when it seems overwhelming, I look forward to bedtime and remind myself that we can start anew in the morning.

  4. Of course. The Dark Days of motherhood are mostly over for me now. I’m in a new phase…the tunnel of rejection. I go months where I cook and drive and get left alone behind ear buds or closed doors. Behind texts to people I can’t see (I don’t peek at their texts). It does get lonely, this motherhood gig.

    But then we go skiing and I watch his face light up just before he says, “Naw,” when I ask to take his picture because he still wants to know I’m watching his every move.

  5. We have all had those days. I have done and said things that I swore I would NEVER do or say to my kids, out of anger/exhaustion/frustration…whatever.

    Thank God for grace. And forgiveness.

    Even when they were too little to remember my transgressions, I always apologized for my behavior later. Not a one of us is perfect, and we are WAY harder on ourselves than our kids are.

    My biggest savior on those no-patience/tired-of-mothering days has always been my girlfriends, who always seem to say the right thing. Thank God for girlfriends, also🙂

    Take care, Stacia.

  6. Stacia, you are so not alone. No matter our backgrounds, SAHM, WAHM, etc. I think we all start the day off trying to do the best we can. Sometimes we are at our best; sometimes we are bested by the day. It’s all part of this gig isn’t it? The thing is, we’re here. We try. We love. And hope that in the end, our kids will somehow understand and develop beautifully in spite of us and because of us…

  7. Been there. Lost in the daze right now, but my sleeping children always take my breath away. As does stopping and really hearing them. But oh, it’s so hard!

  8. I get those days, and it’s so hard for me because I’m only 19, I feel like I’m missing out on all the things everyone else is doing. But when my angel smiles at me I know that she is by far more exciting than any club my friends go to.

  9. http://life-from-the-trenches.com/2012/02/20/i-am-not-enough/

    Amy wrote about this very thing, and said it very well. Hang in there, Stacia.

  10. This is so beautiful…and so true. I have these days too.

  11. Thanks for writing this. I’ve actually been going through just this over the last 2 weeks. On Sunday after shouting at my son (after promising I wouldn’t shout that day), I just laid down on my bed and for the first time fantasized running away. It wasn’t serious and it didn’t last long but I allowed the thought to enter my head. Then I collected myself and told him that if he could finish cleaning his room we’d go out for a walk and get frozen yogurt. When we were ready to leave, he said, “I’m gonna get my wallet. I want to do something special for you, Mommy.” You are right -it’s those brief, sweet moments that will remind us how lucky we are. I’ve learned to just let myself feel that I hate mothering when those moments come and not feel bad about those thoughts, and then give myself the rest and space I need to swing back to normal. When we’re calm, our children are likelier to be calm too. Hugs!

  12. The girl with ambition is still there, but that ambition is just shining in a different way right now. Don’t try to tell me that it wasn’t ambitious to pick up your family and move across the world. Because… hello?
    Having a child has shifted my priorities in ways I never imagined. And as she grows up, I’m sure those priorities will shift again.
    You’re an awesome momma. We all have those days.

  13. We all have those days. But, then we have the days that fix everything. And then there are they days when we look and they are grown up…

  14. This is wonderful. I’m so glad Patti shared my link here so I could follow the ping back to read your blog! I absolutely can relate. You’re right — we are so, so lucky. And sometimes I get so lost in the days like the one you described until something stops me in my tracks and I remember how fortunate I am. Thank God for those moments! They make all the other minutes and hours worth it! Looking forward to reading more …

    Amy

  15. Had you read this for the Chicago show on motherhood we’re producing, this piece would have been chosen. In an instant. This was lovely, Stacia. Absolutely lovely.

  16. i aboslutely love this & could not express this any better, especially the ambitious girl part. i have to put “her” in her place at least once a day. i was laying on the rug in the living room reading this. ty walks over, curls up beside me, and drifts off to sleep! sweetness.

  17. I absolutely have had days and nights like these. But not as much as my children have grown older (in 2 weeks my youngest will be 8!) and definitely not as much since I decided to connect with Who I Am. And that’s the matured version of the ambitious girl, still with dreams, still with my own needs and desires. Once I began recognizing this, and began once again loving and respecting ME, finding ways to carve my life into the picture of family life (because in the tedium I realize that *I* wasn’t really there), oh, that’s when the sweetness of being a mother, being privledged to connect with these beautiful people who are my children, became so much more evident….knowing that it’s worth it. (But also considering the alternative of NOT being here and present and available to my children…and knowing that isn’t me….that’s not the mother I choose to be.)

  18. Wow, I really missed reading your blog. I often feel that were I to be given an evaluation on my job performance I would just be fired. It’s overwhelming. And I just try and remind myself that this is what I chose to do, and that I don’t need to be doing anything else, don’t need to feel any “shoulds,” etc.


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