Hey you. Parent over there. Just a little reminder. You’re only human. You will have days like both of these mentioned. Most days will fall somewhere in the middle. You are rad. Your kids think you’re pretty OK too, most of the time- until you start doing the wobble in the middle of their school dance. It could go either way at that point.
Some days you’ll have 3 full, healthy home cooked meals on the table. Nothing will be prepackaged. The laundry will be washed, dried, folded, AND put away. There won’t be spots on your windows or fingerprints on the walls. The beds will be made, there won’t be dried up toothpaste in the bottom of the sink. Crumbs won’t stick to your feet as you walk across your floor and that sticky spot that’s been there for a week will finally be wiped up. The sink is empty, counters are cleaned, and the stack of random mail and papers that lives on the table is sorted and put away. You AND the kids will be showered and dressed. They will play together quietly, cleaning up after themselves as they go. And you? You haven’t had to raise your voice all day. Your energy tank is full and your mood meter is set to Mary Poppins. You.have.arrived. It’s the day you’ve always imagined, dreamed of, wished for. It’s the day you’ll compare all other days to and desperately try and recreate. It doesn’t get better than this. You’ll feel like a super parent. You surely deserve a reward. A trophy. A feature in the news. Maybe even a book deal or TV show. Don’t forget to take notes! You’ve figured out the equation, now all days will be exactly as this one was. Right?
Then there are the other days….
You are beyond exhausted, frustrated, and overwhelmed and the quiet children from days past have sensed your weakness. They have taken over, becoming mini terrorists trying to destroy everything in their paths, including themselves. That sticky spot is back and you still don’t know what caused it. The freshly cleaned windows have face and fingerprints on them, and you’re hoping the brown smear on the wall is chocolate and not poop. There’s a smell coming from your children’s room that suggests something crawled up and died under their bed and the closest thing you’ve come to a shower is walking into the bathroom that has the removable shower head 30 seconds after you realize what your kids meant by “playing car wash”. Your son insists on being naked and streaking down the street any chance he gets. Your daughter makes up games where the main objective is simply to either get someone else in trouble or beat them up. The only fruit or vegetable your children have seen is a grape they picked up off the floor from snack time yesterday and a smear of jelly from the sandwich they made themselves at lunch. There are shrill screams, yells, and someone is always crying. There’s a good chance it may even be you. You are on empty and your patience flew out the window. You’re done, you give up. You’ve failed as a parent and your children obviously hate you otherwise they wouldn’t act as they do. CPS is going to be knocking at your door any minute because of the dishes left in the sink. When you see comments on Facebook about bad parenting they are obviously being passive aggressive and talking about you. Right?
Guess what? We ALL have those “other” days. Every one of us. If someone says they don’t, they are lying. Liars suck, and you have my permission to punch them in the face. (Disclaimer: Don’t actually punch anyone in the face. Violence is wrong and I’m not OK with it. Mmmmk?).
So on the chance that you’re having a day more like the latter, as I am today, I want you to do something with me. Declare this day crazy train day and let it go. Don’t try and strong arm it into being something it’s not. It’s a craptastic day, and that’s OK! You’re allowed to have those!! Try as you might, you are not June Cleaver and life does not come with a complimentary pearl necklace. Leave the dishes in the sink, let the kids jump on the bed for 10 minutes. For one day only, inside voices are optional and no, you don’t have to eat your broccoli. Go ahead, take a shower yourself and let the littles watch some extra TV. Babystep your way through the day. Have a glass of wine, no one is judging you. Now go polish this turd of a day, give yourself yet another reason to be declared Parent-Of-The-Year and have ice cream for dinner. When the kids are grown, I’m 99% sure they will remember the one time you let them have ice cream for dinner more than every day your windows had a streak-free shine.