Let me preface this post by clarifying that I will not engage in stay at home mom vs. working mom battles. I've done both. They are both hard. They are both exhausting. They are both filled with guilt. At the end of the day, both types of moms are amazing and are doing the best they can. Got it? Now on to the story... Yesterday, I wanted to quit. I mean really quit. This was the day that I was going to start looking for a job and put my little boy back in daycare. I thought, "This isn't meant to be for us. We are driving each other crazy. Daycare would teach him more than I can. Work would be good for me again, make me feel like an adult. Maybe we aren't cut out for this." Those are just some of the thoughts that went through my mind.
We have had a hell of a week. From 103.5 fevers, to long, sleepless nights, to bloody noses, to food throwing, to "No!" to everything, I felt like I couldn't do anything right. However, a saying kept popping into my head, "My kid isn't giving me a hard time, my kid is having a hard time." When I stopped to think about it all of those crazy messes that were happening this week were happening to him too. More so to him than me! He's had the fever. He's had the bloody nose. He's lost sleep. He's barely eaten because he fights me on everything just to say "No!". He is having a hard week. If all that he wants is Mickey Mouse, his blanky, and his momma, who am I to argue?
However, it's not always that easy when you are in the thick of it. When you are a little sleep deprived because you were up worrying if you needed to bring him into the ER because of that fever or because you are mopping up smashed fruit that was thrown on the floor for the tenth time or because you were lucky you only got blood on everyone's clothes and not the carpet, you maybe aren't being the best mom at that moment. I wasn't. I was getting snippy. I was getting irritated. I wasn't smiling or attempting to be happy either. I wasn't making good mood choices and I know how moods are easily reflected through the family. I just wanted him to play nicely with his toys, minus TV, so I could do whatever I needed to do that was so important at that moment.
So yesterday when he woke from his nap, crabby at me yet again, I decided it was time to get outside. Yes, the weather isn't perfect. Yes, we'd have to put on a few extra layers. Yes, it's windy but it was get outside or turn on more TV. As soon as our garage door opened that kid was out and walking down the driveway. I asked him if he wanted to go to the park, trying to be a cheerful mom. "Fun!" he said. I didn't use the wagon and the park is a half mile from our house. (Yes, I've calculated it. I'm a runner. We do that.) A half mile is a long way for little legs but I decided that we were going to go and take it at his pace. He was leading the way. We were doing this however he wanted to do it and no matter how long it took to get there. This was one mile where I didn't care what my pace was at the end. We made it to the park. He played for about 15 minutes and then we started the half mile trek home. This time, we had to stop and splash in the puddles too.
In the back of my mind I couldn't help but think about how late in the day it was and how we were past dinner time and how I hope we could make it all the way home. I also hoped we hadn't missed my hubby so he could give us a ride which thankfully we didn't miss him and took the ride home. As soon as we were home, the whining started all over again. Our little outing, even at his pace, didn't shake a thing. My husband asked about our day as I scraped together a dinner that I was hoping wouldn't end up on the floor. I started venting. I got a look that said, "Ok enough's enough." but I wasn't done yet. Instead of keep talking, I just shut up and cried. My hubby knew that wasn't fair so he came to give me a hug and say, "You're doing a good job." I countered with "It doesn't feel like it." Bedtime couldn't come soon enough.
Even if our days don't go perfectly, I need to remember that my little boy might be having a hard time with something. I need to remember that my mood can really control how the day goes, not all the time, but it plays a big part. I need to remember that complaining about it doesn't fix it. I need to remember that it's only temporary. I need to remember why I chose to start staying home; to be with the little bugger through good times and in bad. When my bedtime finally came, and this day was finally in the books, I closed my eyes and said one simple prayer. "Dear Lord, I am sorry for being a crabby mom today. Please help make me a better mom tomorrow. Amen."