This condition exists inside of one day and on truly awful ones, inside of an hour. This is a truism that all moms can agree they are disappointingly familiar with and the hardest part of it is the guilt that remains in the worst mom ever phase. Because we all have made some pact, usually prior to delivery, that if God or the universe or mother nature would nurture this baby and give you the opportunity you would be sure to be the most perfect mother you could possibly be. And then we ruin it at least once. Usually more.
What I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that anyone who actually suffers from this will tell you that it is rooted in a love so intense you could not have possibly prepared to give it. Every single morning I wake up knowing that I am the luckiest person on this Earth. That I have been singled out and clearly blessed by having my family and many of those very same nights I go to bed thinking that although I tried my very best I was so very far off the mark. Yet still I rise to the occasion of trying again.
My message, though it seems pitiful, is not here tonight because I had a horrendous day in mothering – though in all honesty, I had a shrill moment of raising my voice upon entry home from school today. It is because I know tomorrow I will be going to help out with a fun, kid friendly day where the girls will wear pretty dresses and collect goodies and it may seem from the outside that I might even have my act together. If that is all that is seen I am telling only the tiniest part of the story. The truth is that I can be both of those things for the kids; though I hope I am far more of one and very rarely the other.
When I find myself overly tired and devoid of compassion and I mess it all up I do exactly what I would hope someone who let me down would do, I apologize sincerely and learn from it. Maybe next time I don’t wait so long before I have a cold drink, or shower, or pee or do all of the above before I launch into child referee mode. The next time around, I take ten or fifteen or push bedtime up, but I try something else and I keep going. Here hoping that if you find yourself in a tough spot you can be gentle on yourself too.