Fight. Kids do it. Parents do it. Moms do it. Every day, we fight for our needs, our wants, to be heard. Lately I feel like I’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting (ridiculous reasons for recent frustration here). Include this in the ‘fail’ portion of this Fab-Mom program. Let’s start from this tale’s beginning:
Recently I co-emceed the fabulous Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) kickoff event with new BFF Kristin Cruz of KOST 103.5. (Dude. The chick’s a hoot. A hoot and a half. So fun. I digress… but just so ya know, that’s all.)
After a day of free giveaways and incredibly informative panel discussions with some of today’s most prolific thought leaders in the parenting community I was feelin’ like a rockstar. Yeah! That was fun! I was onstage! Woohoo!!! Adreneline! Free tacos! Everyone was pretty much high off of what a fun event it was. (Again, be sure to check in with PAM for useful information and support for expecting and new parents.) After the program, a vivacious brand new mom approached me at the stage. She introduced herself as a ‘fan’ of mine who follows this blog (I died! So flattered!), and asked me a most poignant question that brought me back down to Earth:
How do you keep your life moving in the same fast direction with two little kids?
I thought, then answered: I don’t. It just seems that way on this blog. I told her that because it’s the truth. And I’m not a fan of liars. The ‘fabulous’ things I share on this blog are absolutely TRUE, but by no means do they make up the whole picture of my every day life. I try to keep life fabulous, but like every other freakin’ mom on the planet: I don’t have time to share every single thing. I have my own fails. Like fighting and flipping out over strawberries.
Ok, I’ll tell you the strawberry story: That strawberry was supposed to be MINE. Not LadyP’s. Not LilMiss’. One. Damn. Strawberry. It was breakfast: I gave my two hungry little darlings ALL the strawberries left in the fridge and kept one for me. ONE. And yes, they wanted it. They each wanted that ONE on my plate.
It didn’t matter that they each had a whole pile of strawberries on each of their plates, and I only had ONE…. they wanted mine. It peeved me off. I know they’re only 3 and 2 (and totally adorable, as only a mom can say about her two little kids), but I WAS ANNOYED. I mean, enough is enough. Take, take, take. Is nothing sacred when you have young children?!? This is Mommy’s strawberry. You have yours, I have mine. This one’s mine. Not everything of mine is up for grabs. My husband could hear me teetering on the edge from the next room. I wasn’t gonna give it up. I didn’t give it up. It was MY strawberry.
Now I was acting like the toddler.
The rest of the day went as follows: Whining, crying, screaming, tantrum-ing, pushing, pulling, kicking, flailing. Tearing apart our whole room several times over.
We’d had better days. Truthfully, we usually have really great days and I usually let things roll off my back, chalking chaos up to ‘the stage I’m at now, which will soon be over’… but every so often this kind of day sneaks up and kicks me in the a$$. I’ve never had thoughts of “I’m not doing this right” (no mom ever should, because we’re NOT), but this day took me DOWN.
So I left.
I picked up and left. Teach them a lesson. After a full day’s effort to be patient, problem-solve, change all of our moods and more: I left my whining, crying, screaming, tantrum-ing, pushing, pulling, kicking, flailing little toddlers with my husband. I just jumped up from the couch in one swift movement (no makeup, basically with pajamas on), declared “I’ll be back soon!” grabbed my purse and exited my back door with car keys in hand. I was fuming. Just let them cry it out! I shouted to my husband. I could hear my 2 year old screaming in the den and my 3 year old wailing “I want to come with you Mama” as I got in my car. I’d officially flipped.
Where did I go? I drove to our local pizza joint, scarfed down a mediocre salad and mini-S’mores dessert and pounded a glass of white wine by myself as I unloaded on my sister over the phone. I then ordered two pizzas to-go and went home to serve them to my most important people. When I walked back in, all was civilized and quiet. Just playing in the den. Like nothing had happened. No crying. No screaming. No flailing. Maybe they wanted me to take a break from them too.
This is the story that I wanted to tell that nice new mom who approached me at the PAM event. Instead, I’m happy to post here and categorize it under my ‘Fail’ button. One day I will look back and cringe about how a single strawberry catapulted a movement that temporarily sent me over the edge in one single day. Really Jill? Really? (Lord only knows what sends you mothers with 3 or 4 kids over the edge.)
The point of this nonsense? Keep fighting, moms. (Not necessarily with your kids, but…) Fight for good behavior. Fight for good manners. Fight for your own (emotional) well being. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be taken under on a daily basis by two people whose total age doesn’t even add up to the amount of time I was on this planet before even starting Kindergarten. Fight for the strawberries. Fight for limitations on how much Mommy can be raked over the coals before she really gets mad. Fight for the right… for the right to what else, I don’t know. You can determine that. But FIGHT. And keep moving forward. Your independent self – buried waaaaay down – will appreciate it. It’s the only way to keep up this code of fabulousness we like to live by.
HOW DO YOU FIGHT TO KEEP YOUR SANITY (AND STRAWBERRIES)?