I’m going to share with you about the day I lost it as a parent. First, let me tell you why I feel it is some important for me to share.
I was talking to a fellow mom a few days ago and she made the following statement. “It just seems like you have it together.” STOP right there. The key word here is SEEMS. I’ve talked before in a post titled Let’s Get Real about the dangers of social media. But it’s not just with social media. No matter how close you are to a friend, you are always getting a snapshot into their life. Unless you are living together you never see the entire picture. We have to stop comparing our “blooper reel to others’ highlight reel”.
A picture is worth a thousand words so let me show you two pictures from today.
Oh look she always keeps a clean house.
You are only seeing one room.
So now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you about a day that…
I totally lost it!
My kids were around 7 months old, 2 years old and 4 years old. I had just pulled out of the driveway on my way to dance practice for my 4 year old daughter. The trip was about an hour and yes I was alone with all three of them. I was leaving a disaster of a house. Dirty dishes in the sink, toys in every room and crumbs on the floor. I felt like a mess. I should have stayed within the safety of my own home but I needed to get out of the house and plus I was paying for this dance class. So off we went. I needed a few essentials from the grocery store so I foolishly decided I would dart in and out on my way to practice.
I pull into Wal-Mart (mistake #1) and my son immediately starts asking if he can buy a toy today. “If you are good in the store, I will buy you one little toy.” Mistake #2. I park, get a buggy and start filling with kids. We make it in the store with shoes on, happy baby and successfully unload the buggy of kids and re-fill it with groceries. On our way to checkout we make a pit stop at the toy section as promised. We head straight for the Thomas the Train section. Mistake #3. My son (2 year old) was obsessed and I do not use that word lightly with Thomas the Train.
I gently remind the kids that they can have one small toy. My daughter thankfully chooses a $5 doll accessory and patiently waits while her brother peruses the trains. He is so excited as he finds exactly what he wants. $60!! You can’t have that one buddy. It has to be small. How about one of these trains? Look this one talks! My failed attempt at distraction. No! I want this one.
Now we are beginning to cut it close on time. I just drove an hour with 3 kids, 4 and under, so we will NOT be late to dance class. “You need to pick one of these trains now or you won’t be able to get anything.” With that statement, chaos ensued. Thankfully I was an hour away so I’m sure no one knew me.
After throwing himself on the floor and screaming loud enough to draw a crowd, I abort the mission and develop a new plan. Get the heck out of there! I was not enjoying all of the disapproving looks, raised eyebrows and scoffs. I’m guessing it was nothing other than God’s grace that an empty buggy was in the same aisle. Baby #3 is now in the empty buggy with my 4 year old standing next to it, in shock I think at the disaster this has turned out to be. I decide I will scoop up the screaming maniac on the floor and usher him out. Easy enough, right? My son was 10lbs 3 oz when he was born and made for a pretty big 2 year old so I assure you this task is not an easy one. He begins to fight with me demanding I give in.
Obviously, I can’t give in now. I leave the store drenched in sweat, a full buggy left in the toy aisle, my 2 year old screaming all while pushing a buggy with 3 kids crammed in it. I load everyone in the car and dare my son to utter another sound. The car door barely closes and I burst into tears.
I lay my head on the steering wheel and sob. I’m so exhausted with a million tasks ahead of me. I feel like a complete failure as a mom and I have absolutely no idea what to do next. You know what I did?
I picked up a much deserved Starbucks drink, took my daughter dance, wiped my tears and picked up where I left off. And the hard time passed. Not that day and not the next but eventually. My son made it through the fit throwing stage, I found my confidence as a mom and we worked on routines and habits that made life just a little easier.
Anyone been there before? Are you there now? I have talked with so many moms lately who feel just like this. One of the common misconceptions we all share in these moments is that we are alone. That everyone else has it figured out and we are “behind”. I promise that is not the case. And I also promise that if you continue to move forward and do your best that this time will pass.
So let’s do something to crush the idea of the perfect mom. Let’s make sure that the moms out there struggling know they are not alone. Because really, we are in this together. Post a picture or tell a story that does just that. Maybe it is of a failed craft, a messy house, a temper tantrum or just a real mom selfie. Use the #Messes&Memories and tag me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook that way we can all see that we aren’t alone.
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