It’s 3:15 PM. My kids are napping. I just took a shower and brushed my teeth for the first time today and am currently eating a Hot Pocket for lunch. Wait, did I eat breakfast today? It’s been a rough one. Today was another one of those days.
Already on edge from not feeling well for a few days, I woke up feeling pretty irritable. I have both girls home with me all day two days per week. My life is 100% harder on those two days. All was going
well fine until just before lunchtime. It was then that the quiet morning of laying around in our pj’s and watching way too much Curious George was replaced by fighting, crying, and screaming (theirs, not mine… not yet). Then it was lunchtime. My spoiled 2.5- year-old had to have the same spread as her sister but refused to eat any of it. Normally I would find some bad parenting workaround to get her to eat but not today. Today was the day she was going to listen, dangit. I am not the one today.
After time outs and tears, I ate part of her lunch (Hey, I guess I had breakfast after all) and forcefully threw the rest away. The kid wouldn’t budge and it was time to head upstairs to get my 4.5-year-old down for her nap. Thank God she still naps. She, of course, didn’t want to obey and so it was her turn to fuss and cry. I was way over it by this point.
I yelled. Again.
I screamed. Again.
I lost my crap. Again.
I literally hate myself when I do these things. It’s like a rage comes over me and I know how I’m supposed to act but I can’t seem to turn it off. I tell myself in the moment to stop but I can’t. I used to not see that ugly side of me when I worked full-time. But now I see it at least once a week and it’s always on the days both girls are home.
I’m not cut out for this.
I can’t hack it.
This is too much for me.
Surely, my gifts are best utilized in an office, not at home.
I’m way better with spreadsheets and org charts than I am with toys and tantrums.
Once the battle was over (I won) and my oldest was in her bed, I just stared at her sweet face. Sorry. So sorry for losing my temper again. So sorry for potentially breaking her little spirit with my impatience. So sorry for failing to be what she needs.
We prayed. I hugged her tight, kissed her head, and told her I love her. I do. I really, really do. Why can’t I be a better mom to her?
The little one and I headed downstairs. It was her turn for bed. I was still frustrated with her. Frustrated that she didn’t eat. Frustrated that she makes me rock her to sleep (which is totally my fault). Frustrated that her favorite words right now are “I do it” even though it means she’s learning and growing.
While we rocked, I scrolled through job postings. I thought about what life would be like if I headed back to the corporate world so quickly; it’s only been two months. Maybe I made a mistake by leaving. This is too hard.
I felt like a failure.
Today I failed. That’s just the truth.
I scrolled for a few minutes and I daydreamed. But then I closed the app.
Not today, Satan.
My sweet girl fell asleep on my chest and the house fell quiet. My spirit calmed. My anger and frustration lifted.
And I prayed.
It’s been a long time since I’ve really, truly prayed. But I’ve realized that my flesh is weak. So weak. I’ve always known that to be true but this at-home-mom thing has really shown me a side of myself I didn’t want to see. And I need God to help me through that.
My girls need me.
Right here where I am.
And I need them.
I’m sure I’ll look at job postings again. I’m sure I’ll long for the days when people actually did what I asked them to.
I’m sure I’ll fail again.
But I’m also sure that God chose me to be my girls’ mom. He chose me for them and them for me. God opened the doors to make this life change happen and for me to be here.
Here is exactly where I’m supposed to be.