Saturday, January 22, 2011

Confessions of a Former Aspiring Super Mom

Originally posted on my old wordpress blog Feb. 2, 2010.

Have you ever had one of those days when you absolutely blew it with your kids? Lost it on your husband? Threatened to send the dog back to obedience school – or the SPCA? If you said “no” then you can stop reading…and you are probably lying. If you said “yes,” then read on, Friend. We might have a lot in common.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. It didn’t begin that way and most assuredly it didn’t end that way. But the middle…the middle was a certifiable wreck. The morning began quietly enough. The children were happy; the husband slept late. Bacon for breakfast was on the horizon. When Glenn woke up with a sore back from lugging 500 pound radiators and shoveling snow over the past couple of days, he kindly asked for a back rub. Of course I obliged, even though I had been up with the children for three hours by then and was very interested in closing the kitchen for breakfast before I was on the hook again for the noon meal. After I rubbed his back for a solid 30 minutes, Glenn asked, “Do you not like giving massages anymore?” Defensive, because I knew I hadn’t done my best, I replied with a short ”What?” and a snippy “Why?” He said, “Well, it’s just that you don’t seem to enjoy it.” My reply? A very loud ”Maybe I would enjoy it more if you weren’t so ungrateful!!” What ensued was a lot of stomping out the door, flying down the stairs and banging things around while I started frying the bacon. And you better believe I was slamming drawers and flinging cabinets the entire time. And you know what? That bacon that we anxiously awaited wasn’t good at all today. It was tasteless and bland. The toast was dry and the eggs were cold. I had forgotten the essential ingredient - I forgot that I have GOT to sprinkle the food with love . ( And a little no-cal – am I right, ladies?) So, Glenn left for work annoyed. I was still a little mad, not because of the massage incident, but because of a bunch of bottled up emotions that I have trained myself to choke down like you would a McDonald’s sausage biscuit when you’re running late for school.

And then Miriam started up.

“That’s not the book I wanted to read.” “Why does Charlie get to sit closer to you?” “This blanket I am sitting on is not right.” “I want to go out.” “I want to go in.” “This isn’t fun.” All day long.

We were outside shoveling snow with a good-for-little crappy plastic shovel for a couple of hours and I thought I would take a little break to call my mom. As soon as I dialed the number, guess who started jumping and whining and begging for my attention?

“Miriam! I am talking on the phone. Be quiet. Five minutes!” But I was bombarded with more “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I want to go in! I want to stay out! Wahhhhhhhhhh!” I told my mom I would call her back. Scolded my child. Called my mom back. Miriam started in again. “Mom, I am going to have to call you back.” And then…then is when I lost it. I launched into Super Nasty Mom mode, yelled at that poor little girl and scolded a quite unsuspecting Charlie for putting stickers on the furniture. Because we wouldn’t want to damage the FURNITURE, now would we? Nevermind breaking their spirits – It’s the furniture that is important! After sufficiently scaring the children with a memory I hope they don’t carry through to adulthood and then sitting them in front of the television for a round of Horton Hears a Who, I went back outside to pace in the freezing cold snow and called my mom back to gripe about how annoyed I was with “the children.” Then I wondered how annoyed they were with me…? I came back inside the house after awhile and approached the kids cautiously. I apologized. “I am so sorry that I yelled at you. I am sorry that I was so mean. Do you forgive me?” The most amazing thing was that Miriam looked up at me and very casually said, “Oh, sure. You’re fine.” Wow. The innocence and unconditional love of a child can really teach lessons to us adults. Me? I can hold a grudge until the end of tomorrow, but a child can show you the love of God. She knew I was temporarily having a bad day. She knew it had nothing to do with her. And she still offered love, unconditional. Oh my, how I adore being a mom. Not a super mom. Just a regular, old ordinary mom. I can’t tell you how much more I have learned in the last four and a half years than I have learned in my entire life altogether. It is absolutely amazing to ponder.

Fast forward to the rest of the night. The kids were thrilled that I let them eat Cheerios for dinner. (I was thrilled to serve Cheerios for dinner.) Glenn came home in time to help get the kids in bed. We had time to have pleasant, quality conversation as adults. Glenn got another back rub, properly this time, and we all went to bed feeling well loved. It turned out to be good day after all.

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