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Frazzled and Furious

August 20, 2012

Most of the time my household runs relatively smoothly.  Oh sure, the sink is never without dirty dishes and the laundry gets put away less often than I would like to admit, but despite all of that for the most part this ship runs well.  But there are days, every once in awhile, that could test the patience of a saint.  Today was one of those days.  The ironic thing is that those are the days that make me full of joy and contentment with my 9 to 5 and temporarily erase any guilt or desire I might feel over my inability to be a stay at home mom.  Those moms should qualify for sainthood–every single one of them.  Because at the end of the day, I get to escape for eight and a half hours, five days a week and only multi-task three or four things at once.

I don’t know who coined the term terrible twos, but I’m beginning to think they were off by a year.  Two was no problem, but three going on four seems to be where the battle really is.  Oh, my two year old is willful, but she’s handle-able for the most part.  My almost four year old could drive someone to drink.  It’s as if she was suddenly replaced by a miniature fifteen year old.  Suddenly she knows her own mind, has all the wisdom of the world, and can do everything herself.  Or so she thinks.  Evidently I am but an accessory to her life–and an inconvenient one at that.

I’m trying to decide exactly where tonight went wrong, but I think the only thing that could have prevented catastrophe would have been to have put her to bed immediately when I got home.  Not practical nor possible.  The truth is, as much as we moms like to project the image that we have everything all together and perfect, the minute you involve the will of someone else, perfection becomes impossible.

But now, an hour later than I would have liked, both girls are laying in their beds quickly falling asleep (I think I already hear snores), and the furious part of my psyche is wearing off.  The frazzled part will probably take a little longer to ebb.  Even on the rare night like this one, I know that fifteen minutes from now I’ll want to sneak in and watch them sleep and I will be filled with the deep sense of gratitude I get every time I look at them.  And maybe a little guilt that I haven’t yet succeeded at perfect motherhood.  If I ever figure out how to chase that feeling away, surely I will have also discovered all the answers to life’s every question.  For now, I am content to know that these nights are few and far between, and I am a long ways away from qualifying for any reality TV show.  Everything else will work itself out…

From → Motherhood

  1. I can’t say that I remember any “terribles” with my daughter because she surprised me and at age 31 still hasn’t acted “terrible” yet. However, mom-inadequacy? Yep, I know her well…….i was 18 the year she was born and everyone – and I mean everyone – thought I would be a terrible mother. By age 3, I was single, working full-time, and going to school full-time which left little time for her. I had grown up with a million ever-changing rules so, in my teenaged wisdom (ha) I decided that the only “rule” I would give her was my own. that I would never make her sorry she told me the truth. Period. That’s it. If you asked her today what house rules she grew up with she will tell you the only rule was one for me. For her, it worked. I think you have to do instinctively whatever is going to work with the child, and each one is so different. I’m sure you are doing a great job – and whatever it is: enjoy this time – it goes so fast!

    • Thanks so much. I think what’s the most interesting about my girls is seeing my own stubborn, independent personality reflected in them. We have more than one house rule, but they are all kind of summed up by a house motto: Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

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