I am a grouch. A big one. Since I was awakened by my six-month-old alarm clock this morning, I have been nothing but grumpy and on the verge of emotional collapse. I am not exactly sure why as it would make perfect sense if my friend, Dottie, was about to pay her monthly visit or I had a restless night of little sleep – neither is the case. I am just a big grump…I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and have been acting like Cybil since 7:30 this morning. I am cheery and calm one moment then I launch into crankiness over the smallest of things the next and I am certain I have done long-term psychological damage to my children. Missy Moo commented that she thought I was a little grouchy (understatement) and of course, I felt horrible so I apologized for mommy’s lack of patience and told her I would work on changing my heart. This being the language I use with her, she understood completely and told me she would forgive me and, gasp, that she loved me very much. Of course this made me think of the loyalty our dog, Ellie, exhibits even when she is treated not so nicely – it seems when I am at my ugliest self, Missy Moo can sense it and will say “I love you, Mommy” which makes me feel worse for just having launched into hysterics because she did not pick up her fish game – for the hundreth time that day. Bubba Boo is at that oh so difficult age of wanting to play with only things that are dangerous or could make a gigantic mess (yes, in a house full of toys) so I feel as though I am constantly saying “no” to him. I have read a million positive parenting books about how to redirect him or use positive language (as in instead of saying “No feet on the table” you would say “your feet belong on your chair”) but quite frankly, I don’t see it working any better and by 5 p.m. I am done. So basically what I do is play policeman all day and rotate the little things I find throughout the house to their rightful spot and today, I just wanted a day off. Don’t get me wrong – I love my children and my husband more than anything. I literally would give my life for any of them. But for some reason, today I felt like I just wanted to get in my car and drive. For a long time. I am certain that no one told me this mommy gig was so difficult but of course, if we all shared this with childless women, our population would end promptly because let’s face it, there are some not-so-glamourous days. When I was working full-time when Missy Moo was six months old until she was 14 months old, I was distraught over the fact that I could not be with her all of the time. I envisioned play dates and lunch dates with friends who had children of similar ages as Missy Moo. I dreamed of mornings at KinderMusic and Gymboree and of taking long walks along the Monon Trail after we had practiced our alphabet and played with Play-Dough. Of course, there are many days in which this stuff does happen but I never envisioned the days/moments of utter hysteria when you think you just might die if you have to pretend that the “dancing girlfriends” are really here with us right now (these are Missy Moo’s imaginary friends. Long story.) Being a stay-at-home mommy is all I have ever wanted to be and I am the happiest I have ever been in my life at this moment right now – so why on earth am I such a crankpot? I have so many blessings and know that many would look at my life and say “Oh puhleeeeeeeze, get a grip”. I must say that I have to agree with them but then I also must say that I am human. So as I sit here and have a glass of Chardonnay and eat peantut M&M’s, I liken it much to the tantrums Missy Moo and Bubba Boo throw out – sometimes mommy’s have to throw tantrums, too. It is often not pretty and the guilt that comes afterwards is enough to think I should hand my children over to someone else to raise but it happens. I am not proud of it nor would I have ever thought, when I was childless and when I only had one child, that I would have days that I just wanted out, but this is the reality. Blessed I am and know it – human I am and can’t help it. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank God.
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