Nice Mommy, Mean Mommy… there’s no in between.
Most days, there are highs and lows. Parenting small children is like riding a roller coaster. There are pockets of calm. A few minutes of independent play here, a quiet meal there…maybe even a short car nap (what a tired mom’s dreams are made of). These pockets of peace can transition into pure chaos at the drop of a hat sippy cup, catapulting you into absolute madness. I’ve learned that realizing you’re in the madness is half the battle. If you can hold on through the yelling/screaming/tantruming/spilling/throwing, it’s bound to be over in a matter of minutes and you’ll find yourself back in the clear.
But some days, each pocket of madness seems to bleed into the next pocket of madness and it just…never….ends. Recently, I found myself smack in the middle of one of these days and had the pleasure of being referred to as “Mean Mommy”. As if struggling to keep your head above water isn’t enough, earning a new nick name really puts a new glow on the whole situation.
I blame myself, really, as I allowed the day to begin with art time before 8AM. I’m talking hundreds of pieces, marker all over EVERYONE, fighting over child-proof scissors art time.
Desperate to leave the house, we abandoned the art supply crime scene and headed to the Free Friday kids movie at our theater. While this program is awesome and FREE, you pay the price of sanity. Thank goodness this movie theater was full of fellow moms on the Friday morning struggle. I spoke with my son via yell-whisper through the entire film, while watching my daughter simultaneously empty the contents of my purse. My requests for her to put my beloved personal items back in the bag were met with a shrieking “MINE!” that echoed through the theater. Yikes. As the credits rolled, I used my phone flashlight to retrieve credit cards, lip gloss, and a pad from the sticky floor of the theater. It was cringe worthy, people.
Later that afternoon, it was time to pick up our mini golden doodle from the groomer. If you’ve ever hustled two small kids and an excited dog in and out of a grooming appointment, I cheers you (holds wine in the air). The kids fought over who would hold the leash as I myself struggled to maintain control and somehow find my credit card (let it be noted that the contents of my wallet had been completely jumbled at the movies). By the time we got the heck out of there and back into the car, I was in a full sweat. We embarked on our 6-minute commute and as I felt myself grabbing a minute of sweet peace, it hit me. No, no no no. Do not be asleep, it’s almost dinner time! She was. Every parent knows the sheer horror that comes with a nap commencing late in the day.
As we pulled in the garage, I knew I had two choices, and both would end poorly. Before I could fret over the choice, Mason chimed in with a scream-level reminder that I promised we would make cupcakes before Daddy got home. Do you ever make plans for activities you’ll enjoy with your kids and then want to go back in time and slap yourself? On a different day, sure. Today, I wanted to be bailed out by Netflix. Upon waking to Mason’s announcement, Georgia glared at us like with an expression that could bring the bravest mom to her knees. For the next 45 minutes, I would console a moody toddler that wanted to be held without being touched. While doing that, I would mix/bake/cool and “help” my 4-year-old ice 40 mini cupcakes complete with green sprinkles.
The house was an EPIC disaster. Art supply massacre, lunch dishes still out, pajamas strewn about from earlier. I was having one of those days where I came to the realization that cupcakes were about to be dinner… and in an effort to salvage a few scraps of mom dignity, I got out some mixed veggies from the fridge. Holding a struggling Georgia, and asking Mason to sit down and “PLEASE DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING” (icing hands), my hand slipped while opening the container.
Hundreds of peas and carrots cascaded across the kitchen…
Onto the floor.
Over the freshly baked cupcakes.
Into our dog’s fur.
I. Lost. My. Mind.
What followed was a blur of yelling, crying, and baby wipes. Somewhere in there, Mason announced, “You’re not being Nice Mommy right now, you’re being MEAN MOMMY!”
Upon hearing my new title, my initial thought was MEAN MOMMY is the one who makes sure you survive all day… THANK GOD SHE’S HERE!
But after he said it, it was hard to ignore Georgia’s blank little stare. Innocently waiting to see how I would react, what my next move would be when sh*t has hit the fan. So I sat down, right there in the sea of peas and carrots and waited for them to gravitate toward me. I explained that I was using my mad voice because that’s how I was feeling, and that’s okay. I apologized for yelling and told them it was important to say sorry, no matter what happens. Then we sat there in the mess, and giggled about how many peas were on the floor.
Moments later my husband walked in the door, home a full hour earlier than usual. The look on his face upon seeing the house made it all worth it. Luckily for him, Nice Mommy (and kids) were back.