I am such a lucky lady. I have wonderful children whom I adore, a loving husband that can turn even my cruddiest days into happy ones, the most supporting family (from which I was born into AND which I married into,) and I have loyal, loving friends that I can rely on when things start turning sour.
Why then, do I find it necessary here lately to stress myself out to the point of tears??
This afternoon I was talking to my husband on Skype and you would have thought the world had ended. We had been home for about thirty minutes and Jack had managed to crumble crackers all through the front room of the house, wedge crackers in between the cracks in the boards of our entertainment center (his new favorite game,) remove every single DVD from the media cabinet (a close second in the "favorite games" department,) break the leg and antler off of glass reindeer ornament from Nathan's childhood, and Sammi offered him a sugar cookie which he then commenced to crumble and scatter all underneath the Christmas tree and into the tree skirt. In desperate frustration my eyes teared up, I buried my face into my hands, and I let out a muffled "Grrrrrrrr!!!"
(Might I say, this was not the picture perfect family moment I was hoping to create in front of my husband.)
Jack looked up at me and in a similar growling tone said, "Mommy! Roooar!" I wish I could play back his voice for you here. In essence, he was telling me that I sounded like a monster. And that's indeed what I have turned myself into lately.
Meet Monster Mommy--
She is a crazed cleaning machine who snaps at the slightest cracker crumble, juice drip, or muddy footprint. She will cuddle you one instant, and bark at you in the next when you become squirmy and accidently elbow her in the gut. Forbid you cry or fuss at Monster Mommy--she will yell out the dreaded line "Stop being a fuss-butt or I will give you a real reason to cry!" She expects you to be responsible for your things and will not let you cry over a missing or forgotten item--even though she has lost a single pair of sunglasses three times in the same day herself. Monster Mommy will only ask you to do something twice. Asking three times warrants punishment (even though you are only four years old and probably honestly did not hear me the first two times.) Sometimes, Monster Mommy will count to three as a warning, but the numbers come with no "Mississippi's" in between...sometimes they come with no pause of any sort. "123--get your fuss-butt over here and get your spanking!" Monster Mommy yells way more than any mommy should. (Normal Mommy has really been working on comabting Monster Mommy's yelling habit, but every now and then Monster Mommy wins out--usually right before a "123" episode.) Monster Mommy tears up, puts her head into her hands, and says "Grrr" a whole lot.
How do I turn back into Normal Mommy again? How do I let go of this "perfect" notion of how I think things ought to be and just roll with the punches and learn to bend? Suggestions? Anyone?!?!
Today, after witnessing my meltdown and hearing my son roar at me, my wonderful husband offered me advice I am going to take seriously and that I thought I would share with you. Sometimes, you are put in a situation where there can be no such thing as perfect and we have to settle for "good enough."
Can't keep the house spotless? Keep it clean enough.
Can't get the four year old to sit down in front of the computer to talk to Daddy even though she has spent the last thirty minutes crying about forgetting to take her Daddy Doll to dance class? Let her five second conversation with him be enough.
Can't get every single thing you wanted to do checked off your to-do list during naptime? Do what you absolutely need to do and save the rest for another day.
Do whatever it is that you need to do so that you can keep a little bit of your sanity without being growled at by your 20-month-old in the process. And then realize that sometimes, some days will be so crappy that "good enough" is not even going to happen--and that's normal too. And we will all be better off if I can get through those days with as little "grrrr-ing" as possible.