one of those days…

today was one.  one of those.  you know what I’m talking about.

where there have just been too many goddamn days in a row of greg working late, too many times I’ve had to face the same to-dos on my to-do list that never get done, too many piles of the same toys, the same clothes, the same STUFF (where does it all COME FROM and WHO keeps on PUTTING IT THERE???) underfoot that I keep tripping over.  and just like that, my patience is depleted.  and just like that I have nothing left to give.  and just like that I’m in a rut, stuck deep, things get ugly quick and I’m scrambling just to keep my head afloat until the end of the day.  sound familiar?  well, if you stay home with kids, it’s probably all too damn familiar.  no man is an island.  that’s what they say.  technically, I’m not alone as my two kids pretty much NEVER leave my side for more than a few minutes, but no one should live in isolation.  and especially not isolation with small children.  that, my friend, is a recipe for disaster.

unless you fit the description that I have come up with for the “perfect” stay-at-home parent.  and, believe me, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this and mull it over, faced with my own short-comings day in and day out.  the type of person who would make an AWESOME stay-at-home parent: very outgoing, extroverted that needs neither quiet time, nor feels compelled to bottle things inside or keep things hidden.  this person is good at voicing their emotions and communicating their desires and needs to others without getting angry or defensive (not me).  someone who makes friends easily and does not feel self-conscious about the way that they parent or the way their house appears to the general public (not me).  someone who is SUPER confident and can let criticism, directly stated or implied, slide off their back with ease (not me).  someone who is CHILLAXED to the extreme, who doesn’t mind messes, repeating themselves over and over again, dealing with nonsensical but violent break downs of other people without getting stressed or personally invested in the outcome.  Someone who can confidently but kindly set limits with others.  Let’s just cut to the chase: a big, fat NOT ME.

Today was one of those days where I’m wondering what in the hell I am doing staying home with my kids.  Today is one of those days when they would have been MUCH better off in the care of strangers.  They may have even fared better if they had been home alone (I think ruth could change a diaper if she really set her mind to it and she can open the fridge, pour juice and scavenge with the best of them).   Ok, not seriously, but today was just not a good day.  For any of us.

I found myself losing my temper over the smallest things and saying ridiculous sarcastic things to my five year old.  Then of course, the inevitable giant wave of guilt soon followed and had me lower than low.  Suddenly, I found myself questioning everything that I’m doing, thinking, and planning.  And none of this made the house cleaner, got the dishes done, or chipped away at the endless task list I mentioned that is more of a joke than anything.  A practical joke I play on myself.

Then it was all I could do to muster up the bare minimum, make it through the day, pick up the carpet of junk on the floor, scrape the dried food off the dishes, throw in a load of laundry so I can at least claim that I’m “keeping things moving down there”.  and, oh yeah, remain somewhat present and engaged with my kids.  Somewhat.  I really just wished they would leave me alone and play by themselves.  Fat chance.

“I’m sorry, ruth, I’m just in a bad mood today.”  She asked why.  Who can explain these things to a five year old?  No freakin’ reason.  Just ‘cause.  “I don’t know.  Everyone has bad days,” I explained diplomatically.  Yeah, I’m freakin’ mr. rogers over here, “and that’s ok.  But it’s not ok to take it out on others and be mean.”  She looked like she was absorbing at least SOME of what I was saying, though she may have just been zoning out, thinking about gymnastics or something.  That was it, the best I could do.  Basically, hey, your mom sucks today, so don’t expect too much.  And there’s no real reason why or way to fix it.  Sorry.

I should probably be a little more forgiving of myself.  after all, I am seven months pregnant, greg was just out of town for three weeks and since he’s been back, he’s had more late days and worked more overtime than he has in a year.  There are never enough hours in the day for me to have any time to myself, practically.  If only I didn’t need sleep.  I could get so much done, have so much time to plan things, clean, and have personal interests, like staring at the wall, and then I could stop being so passive aggressively angry at my kids for always being there.  you know?

I need a vacation.  I know that greg works hard at his job, but I jokingly refer to his extra work trips and things as his “work vacations”.  And, seriously, he does seem so much more rejuvenated, back in touch with himself, and even relaxed when he comes back from being away for a while.  Being able to be productive at work is so much different than my life here, where productivity is again, another practical joke.  Unless you count the number of times I could easily have lost my temper but didn’t (which I do).  That’s usually MY biggest accomplishment in a day.  Holding it together, being the grown up, giving everything to everyone else.  It’s no fun sometimes.  and it takes all I’ve got and more.

Wow, this is a whiney post.  You’re going to have to excuse it.  I can’t always be snarky funny lady.  Am I ever that lady?  I think I am.  If you want the truth, that’s a lot of why I write this blog.  Just to keep myself going, to take the crazy-out-of-control things that happen to me and put them into some kind of context where I can turn them into a sort of joke.  Coping mechanism?  Hell yes.  I’ll take every single one I can employ.

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Author: Terry

Welcome! I am a Waldorf and unschooling-inspired homeschooling parent of three, ages 2, 4, and 7 living in the Lansing area of Michigan writing from the front lines of parenthood. Join me as I try to navigate homeschooling and bask in the craziness of life with young ones. Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

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