Have you ever wanted to just throw in the towel? I mean legit, throw in the towel and not be a parent for a day? I had a day like that this week! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to stop being a parent forever, just for like a day or two. I needed a time out, a time to recharge and regain sanity. And I definitely didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
Before you get all judgy-judgerson on me, just hear me out. I had been up two whole nights in a row since my son had the flu and we were taking care of him, on top of that we were homebound for 2 days, I get really stir crazy when I have to sit at home all day. So here we are on day 3 and I am a tired, pregnant, nauseous mess! By 9 am I had already broken up two sibling arguments over a toy, cleaned up a broken glass jar that the kids knocked over and burnt my hand on the pan while making gluten free pancakes! If the dark circles under my eyes didn’t give away how tired I was, I am sure that the exhausted tone of my voice did.
I am generally a positive person and can push through a bad day, but something about this day was especially excruciating. Being pregnant and tired is like the worst mix possible for me. I need sleep. Like I NEEED sleep. I sympathize with my daughter because she gets really cranky when she hasn’t rested, and I don’t get mad about it because I TOTALLY GET IT! Sean can run off of 5 hours of sleep and wake up with sunshine shooting out of his butt and singing, “Goooooood morning!” ….and then there’s people like me. I would much rather cozy up in bed and snuggle for an hour or so before actually rolling out of bed. Yes, I roll of bed, I don’t jump up all springy, I roll myself to standing position.
So to make a long story short, my day was filled with spilled juice, broken glass, fussy kids, arguments over everything, me feeling like I was going to throw up, dizziness, and exhaustion. I wanted to do something fun and get out so we decided to get out of the house and get some Christmas decorations. We ended up at Walmart because I heard they have a whole room of decorations and I mean, what would cheer us up better than a whole room dedicated to Christmas?!
We walk in and everything is wonderful, the kids pick out Santa hats and run around singing Christmas carols and laughing. At last! some joy! I am feeling really good about where this is going. As we exit the Christmas room, I look to my left and there it is….all the kids toys you could ever imagine. I know my kids are about to see it and ask for everything in sight so I try to distract them….ooops, they saw it. They ran to the toys, “Mommy mommy can I get this?” one yells, “Mommy look at this!” I love seeing them light up like that but we aren’t buying toys today. I said, “Thats so cool. Put it on your Christmas list.” Usually this works and they get excited about putting it on the list. But not today. They both flailed onto the floor and started crying. WHAT THE HELL?! who’s kids are these? What is happening right now? They proceed to cry and cry as I try to calm them down. I knew they were tired and stressed just like me but I could not put up with this. My patience was gone about 5 hours ago, and 2 minutes of their fit felt like 2 hours as the people of Walmart started staring at me with disgust, “what did she do to her kids?” You know its bad when the people at Walmart are staring at you!!! I am the spectacle at Walmart? Wow. Not a good sign.
I finally drag my kids up off the floor, hug them and tell them I love them but I will never give them their way when they act like this. I explained to them that crying is not ever going to work with me. I prayed with them and told them we could have a re-start. “Let’s try this again and start over with a good attitude.” That lasted for a few minutes but I knew we had to get out of the store and back to the house. We checked out, with no toys obviously, but we did get some Christmas decor. I walked out, with the little sanity I had left, got in the car and started crying.
Here I am 7 months pregnant, what the heck, I can’t handle another child! Did you see me in there with 2? I was losing my mind, what’s going to happen with 3? Oh my gosh, I am the worst mom ever, I actually wanted to smack my children. I didn’t smack them, but I really wanted to! I can’t do this parenting, someone give me a break.
They fussed the whole way home, then we got home and I needed to make dinner which was nearly impossible with them fighting over the remote. So I took the remote away and said as calmly as I could, “no TV for the rest of the night. You know the rules, If we can’t watch together then we can’t watch at all.” I said it calmly but inside I was screaming! I knew that no TV was a punishment for me too because I usually let them watch an episode of Peppa Pig while I make dinner. But I had to stick with the rules.
When Sean got home that night, I was ready to have a meltdown. Can I flail on the floor and cry? I want to throw a fit. Like a royal fit. I am pregnant, I am tired,I am emotional, I am now having cramps from all this stress. I am hungry. I am ready for bed, or wine. wait, I can’t have wine so bed it is!
Sean came in, he looked at me and he must have seen the tears in my eyes when he said, “Why don’t you go get your nails done or get a massage and I will put the kids to bed.” That sounded so nice but I didn’t even have the energy to do anything so I passed and said, “Thank you but I just need to sleep right now.” He was shocked, “I’ll take them up for showers and you can relax then.” Oh thank God. I sat for a few minutes and recovered from the madness. Left all the dishes in the sink, didn’t clean up, just sat in silence. I never valued silence the way I do after having kids. Then we put the kids to bed and they were very sweet, they always are at night, I wonder if it’s their way of apologizing haha I am going to pretend it is.
I asked Brax what he learned today and he said, “That I will never get my way when I throw a fit.” YES! He learned something, so all my frustration wasn’t in vain. He actually remembered and learned from it. We snuggled, they slept. All was well again in the Wigand household.
Have you had these moments? When you feel like your not doing it right? Like you can’t handle it? Like you’re losing your mind? But then you see that your kids actually learned something and your hope is restored. I apologize to all Walmart shoppers that had to witness this lesson alongside us, but at least my kids learned. It’s so easy to just buy the toy, or just give them the candy, or give in to what they want to stop a public fit. But true parenting happens in those hard moments. The moments where we want to throw in the towel. The moments where we want to smack the crap out of the very same kid that we would give our life up for. The moments where we literally can’t take it anymore and we are going to break, but if we break and give in, our kids learn nothing. Actually, they learn that they can break us if they throw a long enough fit. These tough moments are where the good stuff happens.
I pray that I can stay strong in the hard moments. That I can stay calm, loving and firm. Gosh its hard sometimes. I guess the fact that it’s hard means I must be doing something right.
It’s not hard to be a parent, but it’s hard to be a good one.