Today, I woke up with every intention of rocking motherhood like the modern day superhero I am. I had planned on being cheerful, fun, and creative. I had planned on being one of those moms – the ones who make smiley face pancakes, builds a fort out of sheets, and reads books on end. Instead, I was that mom, the one you see at the grocery store who is completely disheveled and screaming at her kids. The one you can’t even make eye contact with, for fear of being melted on the spot with the laser beams shooting out of her eye sockets.
Yeah…that was me.
Today, I was a terrible mom. I shouted at my toddler over things like throwing food on the floor, standing on the kitchen table, and using his baby brother like a human chair; and while I would usually applaud his resourcefulness, suffocating your sibling is strictly frowned upon in our house. I got frustrated when he decided to climb the stairs at a glacial pace, while I stood waiting behind him with a baby on my hip, his sippy cup in my hand, and a teddy bear tucked under my arm. I rolled my eyes when he insisted on “helping” with the laundry, and went screaming down the hallway, leaving a trail of clean clothes in his careless path.
Today, I was a terrible mom. I got upset when my six month old had a blowout after I had dressed him in clean clothes…for the third time. I was bothered when he refused to do anything but cry unless he was being held; and I got completely overwhelmed at his lack of interest in napping.
Today, I was a terrible mom. I didn’t want to color in books, build castles out of legos, or race cars across the floor. I just wanted to take a nap, pay the bills in silence, and drink my coffee while it was still hot.
What turned me into this terrible mommy monster you might ask?
One word: Rejection.
This morning at breakfast, I opened an email from an editor who I had been waiting excitedly to hear from – only to find it was another rejection. Today, I was a terrible mom, because I decided to let my circumstances determine my attitude towards my children and alter my outlook on the day ahead of me.
Today, as I was preparing dinner, I looked across the room and saw my two sons laying on the floor, sharing toys, and squealing in delight. They couldn’t have cared less about me moping around, or that I was feeling completely devastated at my lack of progression in my new found passion. They, instead, were the definition of happiness. They didn't let my poor attitude keep them from enjoying their day. They didn't allow me, telling them no, to effect their outlook. They were too busy learning, exploring, and loving every second.
Today, I was a terrible mom. As I sat down at the kitchen table after putting our babes to bed, I began to replay the day's events. Mid-thought, I broke down in tears – completely ashamed of the way I had treated those adorable tiny humans of mine. It wasn’t their fault that my day hadn’t gone as planned. They were just living their lives, wishing the tent-making, cookie-baking mom had reported for duty.
I wish I had a reset button – a way for me to do the day over. Instead of losing my patience, I would have cheered my son on as he attempted climbing the stairs like a big boy. Instead of being bothered by our baby's fussiness, I would have taken the time to soak in all the sweet, squishy snuggles I could get – savoring the moment, and realizing that one day he will be too cool to cuddle with his mama.
Today, I wish I could have set myself down and said, “Listen broad, take a chill pill, refill your coffee cup and MOVE ON! Your day is way too precious to waste being in an awful mood. Quit being so hard on yourself, play with your kids, and try again tomorrow.”
Today, I have decided, I will not let my circumstances define the type of mother I am. Today, I have decided, to learn from my errors and to do my best to model a behavior that I hope my children will look up to, instead of dislike being around.
So here is to my fellow mommy monsters. In case someone forgot to tell you: you're not a bad mom, you just had a bad day. Whatever is getting you down, shake it off – meaning, channel your inner Taylor Swift. You really are a modern day super hero!
In fact, when I actually take the time to sit down and look at my day, maybe, just maybe, today I was not a terrible mom. Maybe, just maybe, it was not such a terrible day.