Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Motherhood. I'm fairly certain no other stage in my life has put me on a rollercoaster of emotions quite like being a mom. There are gloriously joyous mountain-top high points and some totally heart wrenching and ugly low moments. And, believe it or not, somewhere in between there are about a thousand more.
Today I've laughed, almost cried and inwardly screamed more than I'd like to admit. I feel like if I try to explain it I won't do it justice, but I'll try. I'm no alcoholic, but when I texted my husband I said, "There are no words to explain this morning except: I need a stiff drink." So, get ready for a tale of overtired children, simple requests, time-outs, wasps, a bike ride gone bad, birds, feathers, tears, multiple rest times, accidental head bangs and more. You might be thinking that can't all tie into one story, but no worries, it does.
Let's set the stage, shall we? Everything appeared as normal this morning...we ate breakfast and the girls played Barbies while I cleaned up the kitchen. We had planned to take a bike ride to our local school and then play on the playground. Sounds simple, correct?
Setback #1: I told my youngest to do a bathroom check before we went. It was like I had asked her to walk over hot coals or something. She insisted she didn't have to go. Mind you, she has a bladder like none other, but she hadn't gone since the night before so I put my foot down. Needless to say, she didn't like that.
Setback #2: I quickly realized during Setback #1 that she was overtired. One thing I've realized in parenting is that dealing with overtired children is quite possibly the worst thing ever. And by that I mean it is close to impossible to do. The result? I now had a cranky, defiant overtired daughter insisting she didn't need to go the bathroom. I held my ground, she persisted, timeouts ensued as did other consequences. Amongst all this there were tears, loud wailing, yawns and overdramatics.
Setback #3: Here enters the case of "Momma knows best," except sometimes I don't. See after she had calmed down and got her bathroom check done (this took a good solid chunk of time, mind you) I analyzed the situation. Deep down my gut told me from past experience that I shouldn't embark on this adventure while she is overtired, but the other half told me fresh air and some time at the playground would do us good.
Setback #4: Cicada Killer Wasps Of all the things I expected to possibly derail our morning, wasps weren't going to be it...except they were. We hadn't even crossed our street when my youngest saw the first one....and then another one. She couldn't move. Literally. Scared to death. I have to admit they don't look very friendly. If you click the link above you'll see a good picture of them. Try as I might to convince her they would leave her alone, it didn't help. I tried to get her to ride by them quickly, I rode between her and the wasps, etc. Nothing worked. There were tears, screams, and much hyperventilating.
Setback #5: Once again Mom thought she knew best. I figured...let's plow on! Let's get to the park! Let's do something fun! They can't be everywhere, can they? Apparently they ARE everywhere...like every 20 feet. So every 20 feet the same thing happened. We stopped our procession to scream, cry, and everything inbetween. She really wanted to get to the park, and I did feel bad because she kept apologizing for being scared of these huge things, but she really wanted to play at the park. The wasps really were a logical fear.
Setback #6: In efforts to save the adventure I briefly mentioned that I just saw an article posted on Facebook that morning about these Killer Wasps. My older daughter encouraged me to read it and find out more about them. Why I chose to do so I'm not sure, but our procession stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and I proceeded to read about them, which only seemed to attract more to us. How does that happen!?!? I read to my girls that the article does state while they appear deadly, they are rarely aggressive towards humans. So now while I have one crying and running around in circles my older daughter is loudly stating, "See, it doesn't say NEVER!"
So there we were....walk 20 feet (at most), see a wasp, cry out giving someone else a heart attack, stop and discuss the harmlessness of the wasp, walk a bit more, cry, girls insist on moving ahead, ask for Mom to be a wasp shield, crying because a nose was running from nonstop crying and why does Mom NOT have a Kleenex with her?!?!, crying now at anything that moved in the air (a leaf falling, a bird, etc) thinking the movement is a wasp, girls insisting we try staying in the shade or trying the other side of the street...and then do it again...all the way back home. WASH, RINSE, REPEAT. I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took us to make it 8 blocks.
A pleasant bike ride had turned into taking a walk with bikes. Try it. It is a whole new kind of cardio. Not sure why my running app doesn't have that as an exercise option. I digress. After much time, we made it home in one piece. We were in one piece physically, but by that time I was emotionally frazzled.
Recovery process then followed which entailed getting the kids a snack, me venting to my Moms group because "we've all been there" so someone will understand, and then some bigtime reflection by this mom. The only thing with moms (or at least me) is that I think our reflection often turns to self-analyzation and criticism. For me it is analyzing the gamut of emotions I felt and what possibly was portrayed to my girls. I tried to reign it in, but when I'm now several blocks from home trying to balance 2 emotional girls and 3 bikes I might not be at my finest hour as a mom. It is SO hard to me to hide my frustration. I hate that they see that.
Then comes the criticism. At which setback listed up above should I just have stopped, thrown in the towel and done something completely different? But they needed fresh air...I want to teach them to overcome fears...want them to know I'll try my best to keep them as safe as possible...we can't live inside all summer...and on and on.
It may seem hard to believe, but the day didn't improve until much later. It was a rough afternoon. We tried two different rest times that were unsuccessful at hitting our reset buttons. The only saving grace came after supper with a free open swim sponsored by our local library for the Summer Reading Program. Seeing the pure joy on our girls' faces helped erase part of the day. And then in true fashion like the rest of the day, the power went out at the Rec Center ending our evening earlier than planned. Probably all for the best since they needed to sleep!
Some days are just not good days. Period. You just want to scratch it from your memory, but in all reality don't we grow through everything? God chose me to be their Mom. I was the one blessed to be with them and guide them when they struggled to follow expectations, to help them through their fears, to accept their apologies, to give them a hug when all was said and done. It would be neat if we just saw all the fantastic moments, but due to sin in this world there is a whole lot of not-so-great moments we'll witness as well. And, this might sound crazy, but when you look back at it they all are blessings in their own way.
Tomorrow I'll give it another go. I'll pray for strength and guidance. I'll lean on my husband for support. And then I'll go and do it again the next day and the next day....loving the joys and learning from the struggles.
Simply put...let's press reset.