This morning started bright and early. Bridget crawled into bed with me at 4:30 am. As she snuggled against my back I thought to myself, this is life. To have Bridget wake up and just crawl into my bed. All mornings should begin this way. Well, maybe begin after the sun has risen would be nicer.
The alarm sounds and my feet hit the floor as I begin the morning routine and then something went horribly wrong…
Everyone started talking at me at once. David needed to know something, Abby needed to argue with me over what she was wearing to her band concert, Bridget started whining because she wanted to wear a dress that was too big for her and the dog was up my butt. A headache began to form behind my eyes.
Mom, mom, mom, mom I heard. Kerri, Kerri, Kerri echoed in my ears
I lost it.
Simply and utterly lost it.
WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! WHAT MORE COULD YOU ALL POSSIBLY FREAKING NEED FROM ME AT THIS MOMENT! I screamed as I lathered Bridget in sunscreen.
Abby’s face fell.
Bridget’s lips quivered.
Bailey tucked his tail between his legs.
“Can this go to the dump?” David asks his head in the refrigerator.
Utter silence until the tears started falling from Bridget’s eyes. Abby quietly said, I just wanted to ask you to help me hang a fairy in Bridget’s room. She walked away. Shoulders hunched.
After work I will help you, I reply. I apologize for losing my temper.
I leave for work. The girls have forgiven me, hugging and kissing me goodbye. Bailey is happy with his dog treat. David is loading the truck for the dump run.
I’m driving to work when it hits me. That I destroyed a perfect morning. One that started with my child snuggled against me and ended with two of them heartbroken.
How did I let this happen, I think to myself. Over what? The fact my family wanted my attention. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t they understand how much I have to do in a day? I started to list everything I had to do today: wake up, get the girls ready for the day, make Bridget’s lunch, pack the girl’s bags for the weekend for them to visit their aunt/uncle while David & I go to VA to pack up my parent’s house and drive their moving van to the Cape. Pack my bag for the weekend, get the girl’s, Bailey’s and bunnies’ food ready for the aunt, get Abby ready for her band concert, buy Bridget’s diapers, write out Bridget’s health issues for aunt in case something goes wrong, pack her medications and print our boarding passes. Go to work (a whole list of work related things), leave work early to pick up Bridget from her last day of preschool (sigh) and get to Abby’s band concert. Leave the concert in time for Bridget’s therapy. Check for any pertinent e-mails. Feed the girls dinner, get them and Bailey to the aunt’s house. Make up the guest room and clean the bathroom for when my parents get here. Crap I know I am forgetting something.
Then it hits me. I have the tendency to over-commit yet even I have to admit that this summer I have crossed the threshold from over-commitment to verge of burnout. Everyone has days, weeks, months, years like the one I am currently experiencing. I am having trouble even writing it down, and not sounding like I am in a poor me moment.
Because I am not having a poor me moment. I am having an epiphany (I think) that I need to find a way to say “NO”. Life is only going to get more chaotic (did I mention my parents are moving in with us for 3 weeks?). I have to make my children and husband more independent. I need to teach my children that after saying “Mom” I need more than 2.2 seconds to acknowledge them. They (and I) need to learn that while they are the center of my universe, I do not need to be on call 24/7 for the littlest requests. More importantly, I need to stop over-scheduling our lives. I need to speak up before I blow up.
I need to leave for work with my children in smiles and not tears.
I had a morning like that just this week and I felt guilty about it all day long! I know the frustration (and the guilt) – I’m ready for summer to be over – I can’t really blame it on the summer but I am!
My blood pressure started to rise just reading this. I am the queen of saying no to commitments. I, like most women, had to learn the hard way. Most of us have the epiphany eventually. No is not a bad word.
As for the momomomomomomom business. Have mercy. It can be awful. Thankfully, my kids are pretty independent, so it doesn’t happen often. Actually, when a couple of kids start doing it, the older ones will jokingly jump in and start with the MOMOMOMOMOMOMOM so all six are doing it. It’s not always as fun as that sounds. 🙂
I have had so many moments like the one you described. I still do have those moments and I have teenagers! On the one hand, I feel like we need to cut ourselves some slack..it’s okay to lose it once in a while because we are human! On the other hand, I love your resolve to do better next time. I do the same thing and as far as I’m concerned, that’s at least a step in the right direction.
Oh man. I’ve had those moments too. They suck. But it ALSO sucks when somebody is saying “now now now now now now now” over and over. Tucker does that some mornings. “I’m hungry,” he’ll say. “It’s cooking,” I reply over and OVER AND OVER. Like 200 times in the 40 seconds it takes to toast and cream cheese a bagel and cut up some strawberries! Argh. So yeah, I feel you. But it’s okay. Maybe you’ll say “no” to something in the next few weeks. Have an unexpected awesome moment with the girls. Also you just DID HAVE awesome moments with them. They remember that more. I promise.
Yeah, been there done that. Big hugs, you are not alone and everyone else will be ok, too! 🙂
I know how you felt!