Before you read this you should know two things:
- I changed the title of this post no less than 6 times.
- I’m writing this in my pajamas and it’s well past noon… I also may or may not be eating jerky for breakfast. Brunch. Whatever.
First the title was going to read “Blurg”, but then I backspaced and wrote “Death by 1,000 tiny cuts” but then that felt too dramatic, and maybe a poor choice of words, what with Easter around the corner and all, so I quickly deleted that one too. I didn’t want this letter to have a negative vibe, but if I’m being totally honest, I’m having a hard time accessing the upbeat, charming part of my brain right now- Which could be because I’m a little foggy from all the DayQuil that’s helping me forget about my sinus pain, but it also could be because this month was a bit of a doozy.
I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that March started with an actual tree branch falling on the car and then it just sort of went downhill from there. I haven’t exactly been the best version of myself for the last 30 days.
I’ve used my mean mommy voice more times than I’d care to admit.
You know what I’m talking about.
Y’all have one too, you know you do.
Even if you don’t have any kids yet, you have a mean mommy voice.
It might only come out when your dog poops on the carpet or or you accidentally lock your keys in the car, but it’s that thing where your voice gets a startling amount of bass in it but then quickly trails off into indiscernible guttural noises of defeat.
We did manage to get away for a few days of fun with some friends in the snow over Spring Break, as evidenced here by the Instagram highlight reel,
But full disclosure?
I’ve spent the rest of the time feeling guilty about letting the kids watch too much TV and hoarsely begging them from my sickbed to “PLEASE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST BE COOL!” before collapsing back onto my pillow in a sweaty coughing fit.
So I raise my thermometer and my tissue box to all you moms out there trying to reconcile your Spring Break daydreams of ice cream cones, water balloon fights, and general merrymaking with your children, with the stark reality of being sick, grouchy, and stuck indoors together.
But here’s the thing, however low or guilty I might be feeling about my less than stellar parenting this week, the kids are just fine. They’re great, even.
Bella actually left me this note on the seat of my car this week, of all weeks.
We’ve written little letters to each other since she could hold a pencil, partly because we seem to communicate better on paper, and partly because she loves writing as much as I do. We leave them on each other’s pillow, sneak them into coat pockets and lunch pails, and we have a designated notebook we use just to write to each other in.
I learned early on that it was a small but useful way I could build her up, each note a tiny brick in her still-forming foundation, but I totally underestimated all the ways that she would build me up too. It’s surprised me on more than one occasion to see her happy perspective after what I consider to be a particularly trying day.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve crawled into bed exhausted and on the verge of tears over what I consider to be a total failure of mothering, only to be completely caught of guard later by the kid’s perspective of the very same day.
They had fun.
They felt safe.
They were loved and disciplined and hugged and kissed goodnight.
Sure, we all might have lost our salvation for a minute in a lively debate over who should get to eat the last bowl of Coca Krispies, but overall it was just another carefree day in their normal, healthy, kid lives.
So let’s give ourselves a little break, moms and dads.
Can we do that?
Is that okay?
Let’s remember that we are doing good and hard and important work, even when we’re worried we’re not.
In fact, if you’re worried that you’re not doing a good job, that’s probably a surefire sign that you’re already doing a better job than most.
*this email was sent from my computer and my heart*