Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a day

Today was not my finest mama hour.

My phone was in front of my face for far too much of the day. 

My patience wore dangerously thin inwardly on more occasions than I can count, and, unfortunately, it did the same outwardly at least a dozen times.

I raised my voice.  I rolled my eyes.  I sighed dramatically. I refused to read the book about Mouse making Valentines for all his friends for an eighth time. 

And, yes, she refused to take even the tiniest of naps...and, yes, she rejected every bit of food I placed in front of her, declaring it "hot" even as it came straight out of the fridge...and, yes, her own meltdowns were dramatic and numerous, punctuated by infuriating bursts of laughter whenever I attempted a firm scolding. 

But she is 17 months old and I am 365 months old... One of us knows better. And that one-of-us is taller than 32 inches. 

{To be fair to myself, I shouldn't forget the endless laps around the living room in the parent-powered Cozy Coupe or the diaper-only dance party on the couch, or the cheery Crayon scribblings. After all, those first seven readings of Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse count for something.}

But, at my lowest point, I screamed as loud as a I could for a good 3 One-Mississippi seconds. Just to keep from fracturing into a thousand insignificant pieces.  I didn't remove myself to the pantry, or cover my mouth with a dish towel.  I just turned my back on that sweet, stubborn girl in the high chair and let 'er rip. 

When I turned back around, I half expected her to break into a wide hear her giggle, bright as a bell, at the sheer ridiculousness that was Mama. 

Instead, I saw her tiny face crumble -- confused, and probably more than a bit afraid.  I've never done something like that in her presence. And I've never felt like such a monster.  

Of course, by the most pragmatic standards, the day was not a total failure.  Everyone is still breathing and healthy and relatively clean. Bellies are full {or at least had the opportunity to become full...and by means of food warmed or not warmed to the appropriate temperatures, I might add} and, hopefully, psyches are not scarred for life.  

Tearfully apologetic bear hugs were doled out and bedtime stories were read with great gusto {multiple times} and enthusiastic kisses were given and received. 

I thought about the {mis}adventures of the day as I watched the nightly news broadcasts' recaps of England's royal baby's first public appearance.  William and Kate, holding their yet-to-be-named baby boy -- just as lovely as always, and yet, tired, nervous -- Kate's post-partum belly assuring us all she's not just a robot with amazing hair {so glad she rocked it!} and the carseat foible demonstrating even future kings and queens make parenting missteps.

I remembered not only the intoxicating  newborn smells and adorable grunts and snuggly chest-naps of those first days and weeks home with L, but also those nights when I'd count the seconds until E got home so someone else could hold the {very beloved} shrieking banshee while I - pushed to the limit of frustration - crawled into the shower with a 1/3 of a bottle of wine in a solo cup where no one could hear me cry. 

I wondered if, outside the prying eyes of the Daily Mail, Kate will have these moments... I knew instantly she will. 

{I just hope someone tells her about the solo cup in the shower.}

Parenting: The Great Equalizer

I could have done better today, yes.  And, with a little extra grace for my child and myself, I have high hopes for tomorrow.

A little extra grace... I think we're all due for some. 


  1. Love this... so true. I, too, appreciated that Kate showed off the post-partum belly (along with the gorgeous, perfectly coiffed hair.)

  2. So glad my child is not the only one who declares everything is hot when it clearly is not. A range of emotions is good for all of us. I refuse to let my child think I poop rainbows. We all have bad days and that's okay. Thank goodness Kate showed that post baby bump. It made my mom bangs smile.

  3. Wonderful heartfelt post! "Mama said there'd be days like this..."
    Nothing compares to the high highs and low lows that motherhood can bring. Grace is always there for the both of you as this will probably not be the last time you have a "moment".

  4. Love it. You are not alone. We've all been there. And I kept thinking about Kate, too. She'll be there. Grace for all the mamas!

  5. Oh boy. Please come to BHB tomorrow when I scream and cry in the shower about an 8 year old step daughter. Totally needed this.

  6. Best post I've read in a long time. Thanks for sharing and for the honesty! (mental note....stock up on solo cups before baby #2!)

  7. Love your utter honesty. Everyone has days like that!

  8. I've been there; I've felt terrible later. But, I try not to beat myself up too much, focus on the good, and resolve once again not to lose my shit next time. I so understand what you were feeling.

  9. I teared up reading this as I too did this yesterday. It was exactly what I needed to read today. From one momma to the other-thanks for your honesty.

  10. Such a beautifully written and blisteringly honest post. I also teared up (at a meeting that I drug my three-month old little lady too no less). I will probably print it and hang it on my wall as a reminder of all that is grand and not-so-grand about being a mom!

  11. I am so glad someone else was pleased to see that she had the normal post partum tummy. Thrilling, and made me like her that much more. Superficiality? Serving it up right here.

    We all have those days though. Myself? I have been far too lax on the Sesame Street watching, as evidenced by my child picking up the remote and having a full on fit if Mel-mo is not turned on. Ahhh, my dreams of screen free until 2.

    1. L has watched Finding Nemo a total of 3 times in her life and anytime anyone gets near a television, she asks for "Momo." If the TV turns on and it's not an animated Pixar fish... "momo? momo?"

      It is terrifying.

  12. Amen sister!

    These days weave in and out..perhaps more so moments..thankfully they don't last. It can be so fliiping hard, though. hard.

    I, too, am glad sported her postpartum belly. She will look, feel and act like all of us at some point another!


  13. Thanks for this honest post that brought me to warm tears in my eyes. Thank you for not being that blogger that has the perfect child, the perfect marriage and cleanest house. You have no idea how much your honesty is appreciated.

  14. I've had that exact same screaming moment following by a shocked and tearful toddler staring back at me. I know that bad lowest low feeling. 17 months is hard, the only thing that kept me from having the same day as you, substituting Where is Baby's Pumpkin for Mouse's Valentine, was a random much needed morning nap. Tomorrow will be better and full of cuteness!

  15. Ah yes. One of THOSE days.

    Feels good to share and admit defeat at times, no? And wine helps, and tomorrow is another day, blah blah blah. But sometimes it's just really really hard!

  16. Such a great post, Kate. You are a great mama and your honesty is much appreciated. I have to say I also loved that Duchess Kate rocked the post-partum bump, because people need to realize that shit is totally normal.

  17. Thank you for your honesty!! I love blogs like yours where you tell it to us straight - the good/amazing/wonderful, the bad, and the ugly. That is life. I don't have kids yet, but I know that when I do, there will be equally incredible highs and lows. I want to hear about all of it before I do! And I am totally with you on Kate, I was thrilled and relieved to see the post baby baby bump. Way to rock it.

  18. Our babies are one week apart, and I can SO relate! The other night I said, "well then you're going to have to just go to bed hungry I guess!". At which time my husband took over, thank God, and was able to feed our child without resistance. (Shame on me for being annoyed about that.) HA.
    I appreciate your honesty.

  19. tears. it's just all so... true. thanks for sharing with us and being so honest. you are an amazing mom (i can tell) and we ALL have these days (often). HUGS FRIEND!

  20. I literally laughed out loud when you said she declared her food hot when it came from the 'fridge. Thank you for being so blatantly honest and putting it all out there. It's nice to know that I'm not alone/or crazy :-)

  21. You're a fantastic mother.

    And here's something I found to be true. Children feel most safe when they have explored your behavior boundaries as well as their own, and found that although Mom gets way madder than they knew, nothing bad really happens.

    For the lucky kids, that is.

  22. Thanks for this post.
    I'm in the blurry midst of the newborn stage and last night with our precious 7 week old was filled with more tears than usual - from baby and myself. At one point I placed her in her crib, walked away, and found myself yelling expletives. This was immediately followed by overwhelming guilt... nice to know it happens to us all.

  23. God, yes. Days like this happen. Soldier on!

  24. Meant to comment on this sooner but... Thank you for your honesty. Makes all of the rest of us mamas feel normal!!! Beautifully written too. You're a great mama!


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