- I throw tantrums. I know how important modeling good behavior is. I am 37 years old and have had plenty of time to practice counting to ten, taking deep breaths and going to time out. Still, it is three to one over here and sometimes I just lose it. Last week my precious daughter and I had a verbal scuffle about the appropriateness of wearing white leggings and pink underwear as pants. She didn’t see it my way and eventually those leggings met their maker as I cut them up on the way to the trash. Oops.
- I don’t save their craft projects. I will never forget the time I got that text from my sweet sister-in-law. She had two kids in school and was lamenting how hard it was to store all of the beautiful arts and crafts “keepsakes” that her boys brought home. She said, “where do you put all of the pictures and crafts that your kids bring home?” Umm, in the TRASH. Yes, that’s right, most of them get the obligatory glance, a kind word of affirmation, and then they are gone. Each and every single day three backpacks come home and vomit glitter, pictures, worksheets, and other unrecognizable objects. I know that there are all kinds of precious ways that mothers organize and archive these. In the words of my beloved Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that!!” (The image below is ONE DAY’s worth people!)
- I have used church as childcare. Then I didn’t even go to the service. Sunday mornings as a mother of small children, free childcare beckons me from my lair. Yes, my faith is important to me; we can talk about that later. Let’s just say there have been a few times when I could hardly breathe. Times when I really needed the break. It has probably only been once or twice. I arrived at church, smiled, got the kids to each of their classes, and then mindlessly wandered towards the coffee shop. Cup of joe in hand, I stared off into space…for the whole hour. Then I went back and got my kids. #theservicewasfantastic #forgiveme #Iwillneverdoitagain
- Right now I’m typing on my device while my 4-year-old repeatedly asks me a question that I’m not listening to. Do I need to elaborate?
- They do as I say, I do as I do. By the time I get the kids to bed I am done. As in DONE. All of the sweet and inspirational words I have shared all day have worn me to the bone. Finally I am ready for some “me-time.” I eat yummy desserts, watch shows of questionable value, stay up way too late, and procrastinate all my chores. Occasionally one of the kids pops out of bed because they need something and I hastily act like I haven’t just been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. They may have had chicken, veggies and quinoa for dinner; I’m secretly having nachos on the couch.
- I am not committed to laundry. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rifle through the clean and dirty laundry bin looking for a specific item of clothing. My kids often wear two different socks because I didn’t get around to matching them and they are in a rush to get out the door. Sometimes I dress the kids straight out of the dryer…and once in a while I have to pull something from the dirty clothes bin. (It gets the sniff test and a firm shake before they wear it!)
- I am a competitive mom. I say all the right things about the importance of my kids’ character, about not caring if they win, and about the value of trying. I believe all of that, I do, but I do want my kids to be great. I know it is not that important if they end up in the top reading group, or how many soccer goals they score. I will still love them if they aren’t good at something, but I secretly hope they are. Don’t judge me, I’m working on it!!
- Let’s talk about packing lunch. Never, ever, in my whole “career” have I packed a pinterest-worthy lunch. There are no cute shapes, fun characters, or enticing displays. I don’t use an assortment of little containers for their dining pleasure. I open up their lunch bag in a last-minute rush, slap in a sandwich and a few accompaniments, and call it a day. I am not criticizing people who do better, but I probably never will.
- I call people names, especially when I am behind the wheel of our beloved mini-van “Jeff.” I can be deeply immersed in a worship song when someone cuts me off or swerves into my lane. Immediately I blurt out a judgement about the age, intelligence, or competence of the driver; or worse. I never thought my kids heard me, until that day my daughter beat me to the punch line.
- I hate bedtime. You know how bedtime is that idyllic hour filled with soft light, snuggles and sweet-smelling jammied kids? Me EITHER. It is crazy over here, and I am done (see number 5). It feels more like doing drills at boot camp.
Cara, get in here!
Who left those clothes there?
Stop messing around!
James that’s the third time!
Seriously, do I have to tell you guys to brush your teeth every night?!?!
GET IN YOUR BED!”
They go wild and I get more fatigued. I end up skimping on stories, brushing teeth in frustration, and just getting through it. Sure, I hug them and kiss them and tuck them in, and then I get OUT!