Its 6:07am (yes, exactly that) and my alarm goes off.
I snooze it.
Then again at 6:11, 6:16, and 6:21am.
I snooze each one.
This morning I was able to. Both baby sitters I have, including my backup, were unable to watch my youngest. Lucky me. No, really. Lucky me. It’s a rare occasion I get to be home and “bum it” with my kids (yet its hardly ever really bumming it).
7:15am. I hear my youngest chatting away in her crib, and thats my cue. I get up, start the coffee, and head to her room. Exactly as I expect, she’s peering between the bars of her crib and her changing table. I see the smile in her eyes as I enter the room and make my way to her. Her eager arms reaching out to me, I swoop her up.
“I missed you last night“, I say kissing her cheek.
We wander to the kitchen with her weight on my hip and an arm around my neck. A waffle for breakfast- her favorite.
“Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she squeals.
I pour a cup of coffee, add my creamer and we sashay to the living room. We sit on the floor at the foot of the chaise with my legs out in front and her on my lap. She leans back against my chest as she devours her waffle.
“Mommy left her coffee¹.”
She doesn’t care. She’s snuggled up with mommy bobbing away to Paw Patrol. So I wait.
Finally she runs off and I get up to get my coffee. Its in the same spot, just lukewarm now. So I top it off with some from the pot.
Pitter patter, pitter patter. “Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she goes again. This time its for her Sippy (which is also Paw Patrol). So I put my coffee down² and reach for her cup and fill it up.
We walk back into the living room and she has me chase her into her princess tent, and we play.
When she runs out of the room I go back to my cup-same one- but this time I dump a little out since the red light is still on indicating the hot plate is still heating the almost-hour-old coffee, and once again I top it off.
Thud, tumble, tumble. “Ma maaaaaa“. I abandon my coffee³ and scurry to her room. There’s no crying so I’m not in full sprint, but more of a brisk walk (think a 4-5 level) on the treadmill. She looks up guiltily as she’s moved her dirty clothes hamper and managed to unplug her nightlight/white noise machine and pulled it down from the shelf by the cord. I roll up the plug and stow it away until it makes its way back out for bedtime.
But this hamper she’s moved… its been tipped over, displaying the cootie-clad clothing from the week splayed out on the floor. It’s begging me to bring it downstairs to be washed- so I do it. I also bring another load up from the dryer and I sit on the floor and I fold. I fold and I fold until I remember I have a [probably frozen] coffee waiting for me. The light is off on the pot. The remainder of the coffee is no longer warm enough to make mine any warmer. So I open the microwave as a last resort and I reheat my coffee. *cringe*
While its heating up I decide to throw in a pizza (yep, its lunchtime now). I set the oven to 450° and the microwave signals that my coffee is ready⁴. So I crack the microwave door while I finish putting in my pizza.
15 minutes passes, out comes my lunch and shortly after we both share my pizza. Once its consumed I stand up, wash my plate, and place it in the dishwasher.
I turn around…and freeze. “Sh*t, my coffee“.
I take it out, walk to the sink, and dump it out.
I look at a bottle above my fridge. Is it too early for wine?! I grab a glass and the bottle to open it up…
• this story is based on true events • (in probably every single house that has a coffee-drinking mom). I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed reflecting back on my day!
You always hear “there’s no love like a Mother’s love”. Moms this, moms that. (I mean let’s face it- moms are awesome!)
But dads? They’re dead beats. They get praise in “doing the dishes”, or cleaning anything in the house since that’s to be expected of mother’s. They “work all day and get to relax at the end of the day while mom works all day and night taking care of the kids”. Right? At least that’s what social media tells us.
Dads are the superheros in our normal, everyday lives. The ones who save the day (and sometimes the kids from falling). The ones who don’t need or get validation from the world for what they do to provide for their families. The ones who are willing to work hard labor, wear a suit sitting in meetings, or the ones who wear a uniform willing to lay down their lives for not only their families but for people like you and I, 8-12 hours a day.
They will be our daughter’s first loves and our son’s first heroes.
They are the foundation of what our daughters should look for in a spouse, and how their sons should treat all women.
They are our pillow talk, our daily journal entries when we need time to vent, our best friends. We seldomly get to hear their sides of the story. So this is what I did..
I asked some of the dads in my life and dads that are friends of mine what the greatest reward of being a dad is and their responses were so very heartwarming. Here’s what they said:
Over the last week two people I know have had some sort of loss in their lives. Whether it was someone they love or someone they worked with. Neither one, will you ever be ready for. You never know how it will affect you until it happens to you.
And the heartbreaking reality is- it will happen to you at some point in your life.
The loss I learned of this morning is weighing heavy on my heart. It’s not my loss to grieve, yet I grieve anyway. It was the loss of a child. A child they had the chance to meet, but will never get to know. I hugged my youngest a little longer this morning. Thankful that I am able to hold her and watch her grow and play. I also called my oldest first thing to say good morning and let her know how much I love her. (She’s away on an adventure for the next 9 days).
And I wept.
The loss I learned of a few days ago affected my mother. She doesn’t need to work but she does. She finds joy in working with and helping others (I get my soft, extremely emotional, empathetic heart from her). She lost a coworker. Someone who made her laugh and who would light up any room he walked into. My heart hurts for her, his family and her company’s loss. And you know what?
A loss isn’t always the passing of someone. Its also letting go of toxic people in your life. People that you love dearly but know that its better to love them from a distance than letting them do harm to you or watching them consistently do harm to themselves and others around them.
A loss is divorce. Its having a falling out with someone. Its miscarrying a life you were hoping to celebrate. Its one day hanging up the phone with someone you called a best friend and then never hearing their voice again- by choice. Its losing yourself trying to become someone you’re not for someone who doesn’t accept you for who you are. Losing yourself is also a loss.
All these scenarios (and these are just a few examples) are considered losses to all people in all different walks of life.
Now the pain that’s accompanied with all these examples varies on who you talk to. It varies on what that individual felt during that time, and probably still does. We are not the ones who get to judge whose pain is worse or whose loss was greater.
We can all weep for our losses.
Sometimes we hit a wall with words and don’t know what to say. I am someone who has a way with words yet still, when it comes to comforting a grieving loved one, even I am sometimes at a loss for them.
Whether you don’t have the words, or don’t wish to speak them- its okay just to weep.
Is this something you think to yourself? I do. Daily.
I’m a bad mom.
Today I gave my toddler snacks for breakfast until it was time for breakfast, but luckily for me she was still hungry. Today, I let my oldest have some of my coffee. Last week I yelled at my oldest for forgetting her chores for the umpteenth time.
I’m a bad mom.
Many mornings I just want to lay in bed until the last possible second and then I rush my oldest off to the school bus. “Hurry, the bus is coming”. “Hurry and eat your food, you only have [xxxx amount of] minutes”.
I’m a bad mom.
A few days ago I wouldn’t let my toddler play with the floor vent she picked up from its hole in the ground. Then proceeded to drop an f bomb within sounds’ reach of her innocent ears, as she slammed it on my toes in her fit of rage. [Not at her, just at the fact that it hurt like a mother].
I’m a bad mom.
Some nights when I’m exhausted from working 12 days in a row, when it comes to bedtime stories and back scratches, I skip pages, and fib about how long five minutes is. Then lay my youngest down half an hour early so I can save a little bit of what’s left of my sanity, hoping she puts herself to sleep sooner rather than later.
I’m a bad mom.
Because sometimes Nickelodeon is my babysitter… what makes me even worse is that sometime’s it Spongebob & Patrick.
But the thing is… if I were really a bad mom– I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for making my kids sad for telling them “No”. And neither would you.
I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized, frozen chicken nuggets, french fries, cereal, or cheese slices for dinner aren’t going to kill my kids. That turning on the TV to keep them preoccupied so I can get things done around the house (or even just so I can sit by myself for even just a few minutes), won’t brainwash them for the rest of their lives. That disciplining them when necessary isn’t going to traumatize them, but mold them into [hopefully] respectful teenagers/adults one day. Even if that means I feel guilty or get too hard on myself for it because their momentary heartbreak, really breaks mine more.
I feel like I can always do better or I should have done this or that. So I asked my oldest the other day, after getting frustrated for asking her to take her things down to her room for the millionth time (that I ended up doing because she “forgot”), “Are you happy?” She said “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”. The guilt that was weighing on my shoulders lifted from hearing that simple answer. I need to learn to let go of the guilt, not hold onto it and move on. My kids are happy, they are fed, they are well taken care of, and most of all they are loved.
I need to stop telling myself I’m a bad mom. So do you.
I’m not a bad mom. I am a good mom. I can always better myself, but I’m not a bad mom. Neither are you.