One Mother's Reality

No sooner had I finished writing my last post (you know-the one about how I was The Perfect Mother) then my kids proved me dead wrong.

Now, I know those times when everything is going according to plan are few and far between, but as my friend Jill said in the comments: sometimes I think I live for them.

Does living for my kids' perfect moments make me less than a perfect mother? Shouldn't I be able to take their moods and failures and melt-downs and heart-breaks in stride? Maybe use them as teaching moments and opportunities to model good behavior?

Well, yes.

But I'm far from the perfect mother and I'm sure only the enlightened among us are able to remove themselves from their childrens' behavior. Would it be freeing to not stress out all afternoon about how bad the homework situation is going to be that night? Hell, yes. Can I do that? Absolutely not. Do I wish I could not break out into a sweat in the supermarket and wonder what everyone else is thinking when my toddler throws a temper tantrum? Uh huh. Is that possible for me? Nope. So I stress and sweat, and when they are down, I'm down.

And let me tell you, Friday, my older one was down—an epic meltdown at school, the details of which are irrelevant now, but man did I take it hard. And then the little one got sick and I just couldn't find it within my reserves to do everything I had to do. It felt like it would never end and the effort to go on was excruciating. Not yelling or snapping was a monumental task (although sometimes I do think yelling is appropriate, but not in this particular situation). Towing the line was a job bigger than any I had signed on for.

I tried to keep that perfect moment in my thoughts—I even read my post over to remind myself that it wasn't always this way but to no avail. It felt like it would never end and perfect-mommy-moments were to be no more.

And then, as quickly as it came about, it stopped.

And today the sun is out.

I came downstairs to find my boys standing on their chairs playing Pirates with paper-towel-roll-telescopes and smiles on their faces.

And they let me take a nap.

The baby's fever is down.

We live to fight another day.