I waffled over this post. Hemmed and hawed. I even got insomnia. The thing is, I generally like to keep this blog about the ridonkulous and funny things I see around me.I like to keep it light. It makes me happy to make others laugh. But I kept thinking that I needed to write this post for some reason. There is a general movement these days (or it seems to me, at least) towards a collective self-deprecating sense of humor among us moms. I’m not gonna lie — I love it. We joke about all the ways we fall short and, in doing so, we feel better about ourselves. Have you checked out “Sh*tty Mom,” btw? Amazeballs. I’m always going to be the mom on the plane who forgets to bring snacks and buys the extra large bag of gummy worms for $12 while the mom who sits next to me serves her kid all-natural jerky and organic trail mix from Trader Joe’s. And I’ll always hate her. And, to me, that’s funny.
Some days, however, I feel like I just suck as a mom. And it ain’t funny. Not at all. You see, this WAHM thing can be a special kind of torture, especially when it comes to freelance writing. I’m in the painstakingly brutal area where I make too little money to justify getting extra help from a babysitter, but just enough that I like to see the checks roll in. More and more, I think to myself, something’s gotta give. On Tuesday, it was my sanity, health, and belief in myself as a mother. I sucked. I sucked. I sucked. Not the “ha ha funny” kind of sucking, either.
It was one of those days where I shoot laser beams at my husband as he’s walking out the door because he gets to “escape” — escape to a nice, quiet office. I know he works hard, but what I wouldn’t give some days for a cup of steaming hot coffee, a quiet room, and some adult conversation by the water cooler. I watched him leave as my two-year-old was in the throws of a tantrum that went something like this:
I want that bowl, Mommy!
(I pour out the cereal in his current bowl into another bowl)
No, no, no! I want that bowl!
(I pour cereal back into the original bowl).
You can guess what he said next, right? What I did, however, was unpredictable, at least for me. I walked away. I had to, or I was going to lose my shit. Hard. And I cried. Hard. I yelled at my computer for not being fast enough. I yelled at my kids for not being quiet enough. And I yelled at the universe for making me be here at that very moment.
Of course, this is when I do some real work on my psyche, thinking about how much one of those parents from Newtown would give anything to be here. To fight with their child about cereal. To face computer issues while the kids watched “Sponge Bob” in the background. And I thought to myself, once again — I suck. I suck, I suck, I suck. I’m unfit. I’m unworthy. More importantly, I’m lost.
I made an internal New Year’s Resolution this year, too. I was going to pray more. Growing up, I prayed every day. I went to Catholic school, so I didn’t have much choice. But I remember praying a lot. I looked back on 2012, and I don’t think I prayed much at all. So I decided I was going to change that this year. So when I took my boys out to lunch that day to my favorite place (to restore my sanity) with the best (and most unhealthy) sandwich ever made, where the kids can run on the lawn while I eat, I said a little prayer. “Please, God, let me be better. Let me do better.” Just then, my four-year-old came up to the table, took a bite of his grilled cheese, and turned to me and hugged me. “I love you, Mom.” And he showed me what unconditional love looks like in its purest form. And I felt forgiven for being imperfect. For being me.