“Mom, why are you so mad?”
Those few words coming out of the mouth of my tiny little girl who just turned 3 — heartbreaking.
I wasn’t even “mad.” It was just another day. She was sitting on the potty and I had gone in to pick up the toy she dropped, for the third time. I must have let out a big sigh, which is what prompted her to ask me that question in her sweet little voice.
I immediately changed my attitude and put her little cheeks in my hands and said, “I’m not mad! Why do you think I’m mad, sweetheart?”
“Because you went like this, ‘Huuuuuuhhhh.’ (her impression of my big sigh). Did I mention she is only 3?
After I had reassured her I wasn’t mad, I left her (still on the potty) and sat back down. I felt horrible. My 3-year-old can already sense my frustration. I thought about why I let out that big sigh. Was it only because it was the third time I had to go into the bathroom to pick up her toy?
The truth is, lately, I’ve been “mad” a lot. I lose my joy often during the day. It comes and goes but mostly goes. It’s a horrible thing to admit. I don’t think I’m depressed. I just think motherhood is hard.
I have two kids. My son is only 5 (and a half). It’s July, the middle of summer vacation and it’s been what seems like forever since I’ve had a break. My husband helps A LOT. He is basically ON as soon as he gets home. But I am still here. I can still hear the screaming and the kids are still climbing all over me.
So why AM I so frustrated? I should be grateful. I have two pretty amazing kids. They are smart, adorable, and mine. Will you think I’m a b*tch if I say it’s because I am just so damn tired of the same sh*t every day? The spilled everything on the floor, the toys everywhere ALL.THE.TIME., the in and out of the car and screaming over WHAT? Not the right snack, not the toy he wanted, the dropped whatever in the car while we’re driving from the amazing place I just took them to. Anyone would start to feel a little less happy when you give and give and give because it is expected of you and it’s your “job.” And you LOVE to give. You LOVE being a mom. You LOVE your kids. But it flushes down the toilet when the littles start with the same crap over and over again. (rant over)
It’s so true, though. It can drive a person insane. But even worse? My kids will start to take after me. I’ve already seen my 5-year-old lose his cool over nothing. The first thing I think is — is he picking this up from me?
So how do I fix this? What can I do to not feel so “mad” and more importantly, make sure my kids don’t pick it up either. I NEVER want my kids to think I’m just a grump moving through the motions to get through the day. And I don’t want to feel that way either.
Well, I’ve done it all. I took a deep breath and counted to four; made sure I had some time to myself; vented to friends about my frustrations with “momhood.” I make sure I take the time to be present with my kids. I’ll get down on the floor and play just like Dad (although I can only last 10 minutes and the last five are torture). Of course, I close the laptop, turn off the phone and just listen to them. They have amazing stories, and I love to hear what they have to say. I’ve done stuff just for me, hired a sitter to make sure I can get all the things done so those “things” don’t interfere with my time with them. It all works. Some days more than others but these are the steps I take to make mom life a bit less stressful.
Bottom line, it’s just hard. And some days I think I am a terrible mom. But I guess that’s just part of motherhood. It ebbs and flows, and we have ups and downs. We never know if we’re doing it “right.” But I know I am blessed with healthy children, and I hug them tight knowing that. And at the end of the day, even when I let out that big sigh, I love being their mom.