Today is one of those days.
One of those feeling-like-a-total-failure-as-a-mom days.
It all started this morning, when I woke up to Ada standing at the edge of my bed, screaming at the top of her lungs for breakfast. This led to a chain of events including waking Mya up from the caverns of my comfy blankets, where she had apparently snuck in last night. Mya sat up in her Dora nightgown and cheerfully announced, “I don’t sleep in my bed anymore! I sleep your bed!”
Oh, ok. Yay.
It’s just one of those days when everything feels hard. When we are crabby and overtired and feeling the coming-ons of colds. (Seriously, is there anything more maddeningly annoying than a cold? So low on the sickness spectrum, yet so aggravating…)
I cooked the kids french toast for breakfast and managed to entertain them for a whole fifteen minutes with a table hockey game I picked up at a garage sale for a buck while I furiously cleaned and mopped the floors.
Followed by Ada quickly spilling milk all over them. How I didn’t see that one coming, I don’t know.
So I thought a walk would cheer us up, break us out of our funk.
Neither girl wanted to walk. Oh no, it was much too far to walk 0.2 miles down the road on this beautifully sunny fall day. They couldn’t possibly. So instead, Mya perched herself on the edge of my jogging stroller built for two and wouldn’t budge. In the middle of the road we stood for a good fifteen minutes in a who-is-more-stubbon-standoff, me and my girl. With Mya clearly winning, I acted like the mature adult I am and yanked Jacob out of his seat and turned back towards the house.
Which of course led to an eruption of tears and tantrums…all the way back to the house….and into the yard…and while I pushed Ada on the swings….and while I picked cabbage out our garden for dinner on Sunday…while she parked herself on the deck and wailed to go inside…while Ada went to the mailbox…
It went on for well over an hour, for which I gave myself points for my stoic patience. I didn’t even raise my voice once, although inside I was wailing right along with her.
Lunch was no better, with girls bickering and spilling more milk on the floor and sassy back-talk and begging and crying for more desert. I sent them down in the basement to play while I laid Jacob down for a nap, only to discover them, thirty minutes later, vegged out in the front of the TV.
Some days, it just feels so ridiculous. My husband will come home and ask me how my day was and I want to complain and sigh and huff and puff about how hard it was.
But these things–spilled milk and a tantrum and a fussy baby–these things aren’t big things. They fade and pale when I try to describe them…they will elicit a head nod and an “oh..” because really, there are no words to capture those mundane moments of motherhood.
These things, on their own, certainly aren’t a big deal. They don’t seem like worth mentioning.
But to you and I–to anyone who has spent time at home with small children, we get it, don’t we?
We get how each and every minute of some days seem to drag and stretch and you want to scream and cry in frustration that your children are fighting you each and every step of the way. Why can’t they just cooperate for once? Why do they have to fight all the time? Why can’t we just take a peaceful walk on a beautiful day? Why I am so bad at this? Why does every word out of my mouth sound harsh and impatient? Why, why, why?
It’s the little things that sometimes are the hardest.
But luckily for us mothers, it’s also the little things that are the best.
Like nap time.
And the cool, crisp air of a fall afternoon.
And hazelnut coffee with a biscotti.
And the sight of one bright pink flower, picked just for you by small, forgiving fingers.