I start most of my days as a working mom out fairly strong. Especially the weekdays. The kids and I have a routine, and it works. I'm not saying that it doesn't involve some yelling and crying sometimes to get out the door, but it's manageable. Many times, however, the day's edges begin to fray as the day progresses. By 5 pm I'm pretty ready for that glass of wine that feels like a "Power Up" to get me through the rest of the evening until the kids are, adorably, asleep.
Unfortunately, yesterday was a day that went began to fray too early to wait around for 5pm. I needed help from the moment I woke up. I try to practice daily gratitude, but today, I tried to muscle it from the moment I woke up.
Does anybody feel me?
It started about 4:15 with a daughter walking into my room barking like a seal from the Shedd. Who gets croup in the summer? Steaming up the bathroom was super-popular with the sleepy 3-year-old, but she had been less than receptive to the idea of sticking her head in the freezer. So from 4:15-4:30am, we sat and sweat together.
From my chest I heard, "Mommy, this is girl time. No boys"
No, apparently not, since no one else was up and listening to her breathe like an 80-year-old and wondering when we have to make the call to go to the ER.
Good news: No trip to the ER. She fell asleep for 3 more hours.
Bad news: I did not.
Once everyone was up, and the first cup of coffee was ineffective as water, I assumed the second cup would fix it all. And it did. I was awake... and on edge. Perfect for a smooth send off to camp.
As I made my son's lunch in the requested paper bag for a field trip, I started to put his name on it and a little special note to him on the bottom corner. Well! You would have thought that I had dyed the bag pink. Real tears came up in his eyes, and the convo went like this:
Him: "Only put my name on it."
Me: "But I'm just putting something on there so you know I'm thinking about you all day."
Him: "I know you are, you don't have to write it."
In my combination state of tired and jacked up, I was unable to be the grown-up. The truth is that my tired-ass feelings were hurt and so were his. On a regular day, I might have sighed, pulled out a fresh bag and complied with his request, as I am the parent, and he is the child. Sadly for him, I'm not in that place, but I do agree to put a sticker over the note, which isn't perfect, but he reluctantly takes it.
In my state, though, I'm clearly not just going to let this roll like water off my back. I will most likely pull out my crazy later and bring it up again. He probably needs to learn how this works anyway.
To his future wife: You're welcome.
Finally, after much car bickering between tired, sick daughter and crabby, 6-year-old son who is apparently embarrassed by his mother already, we got to camp relatively unscathed.
As we get out of the car, my son and I hug it out. As we embrace, I glance at my car to see a tire that looks like a flat in the cartoons.
Sweet moment over.
After his drop-off, daughter and I hobble into the nearest gas station (luckily around the corner) to fill said tire with air. After finding a previous plug in the tire that appears to be squeezing out of the hole like me in a pair of Spanx at the end of a night, I hurry over to my "car guy". He informs me that not only is a new tire is essential, but in fact, I need all four replaced, of course, because the car is 10 years old.
I make a plan to get new tires the next day and double check with him that the sad plug will hold until then. Yep. I should be good. But we know that's not the day I'm having.
I get not five minutes away and the tire bursts as only it could in the movies. I hear the air quickly escape from it's container into the air and the car tilts to the side as I slow down and pull to the curb. I turn to look at my daughter and she says, "Why'd you stop, Mama?"
What I wanted to say: "Oh, I just thought we'd slow down and look at this community garden."
What I actually said: "We have a friggin' flat!" (This is where you can nominate me for mother of the year)
On top of all of that, a woman who was having trouble getting by my car took the time to roll down her window. To help, you think? Let's see:
Her: "You can't park there!"
Me: "Seriously, you don't see I have a flat tire?"
Her: "Oh, I didn't know. You should put your hazards on."
Me: (yelling as she drives away) "The hazards are on, but thanks for the super advice."
The good news: I wasn't on the highway, and we were both safe in a car that had the ability to provide air conditioning while we waited. ...and I didn't throw pry bar I had in the trunk at the woman.
The bad news: My daughter had to pee. Bad.
The rest of the day followed suit:
- I dropped everything I got my hands on.
- I tried to get some work done, but hit walls at every turn.
- Went to do two simple errands and both stores were closed for random reasons.
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
Finally, as the coup de grace, the last words my son says to me as he drifts off to sleep are, "Can I please just have my name on the bag next time?"
Breathing deeply in my wine, I knew that there had been many ways this day could have gone severely wrong that would have been more life altering. It had simply been a day that I couldn't get enough positive momentum to turn it around.
This day needed more than a glass of wine. It needed a shower to metaphorically wash it off.
And a glass of wine.
And then I did what I should have done 16 hours prior. I went to sleep.
The most effective kind of reset out there.
Anyone have days they'd like to share?
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