My mom is one of those superwoman people, who always seem to be doing 40 things at once: driving six kids to soccer practice in five different schools, doing groceries that looked like she was feeding the football team instead of a family, dropping off dogs, picking up dry cleaning, organizing doctor appointments and invitations and God knows what else. She always seemed so busy, and to be honest the moments when we got to have fun and play with her are some of my fondest. It turns out mom isn’t a machine; she’s got one of the biggest hearts in the world and can’t help herself from trying to “do” for everyone. Recently, she was the first person to sit down at the table for dinner. My sister took a picture while we all laughed.
So as I slid into the planner, the organizer, the doctor appointment maker and taker, the school slips writer and the new shoe buyer, the role was defined in a very familiar way. Don’t get me wrong! David is an amazing dad, and is often busy running to the grocery store with two kids in tow, or doing school drop off before work. But I, like my mom before me, am the boss of this house.
And bosses sometimes have really bad days – just like everyone else. Efficiency has become one of my top priorities, because it means I get to have those fun moments with my kids that hopefully they’ll remember the way I remember them with my mom. But man! When things slip, it hurts.
Last week was a rough start to the week at work. Griff had a medical procedure on Thursday that I was very nervous about (he’s fine!), and added an extra layer planning to the week. Tess seemed to sense my stress, and was the whiniest version of herself I have seen in some time. This is after the week where she dinged herself on the forehead, hurt her toe walking barefoot; when Remy fell flat on his face at school, and Griff fell off the stool. Add in some house issues and daylight savings time for a perfect storm.
Then one night, Dave went to put something in the downstairs freezer and realized he left it open the day before. We lost thousands of dollars of food, and many hard to make specialties that we had frozen half batches of. I’d asked about the beeping the night before, but forgot to go check it. That was the last straw.
I cooked dinner while Dave cleaned up downstairs. With tears streaming down my face, I hope the kids wouldn’t notice and planned out my insouciant “it’s the onions!”It made me think of the rare occasion when my mom cried. As a kid, I never thought about how heavy the burden of parenting the six of us must have been some nights. I know now that had nothing to do with how much she loved us or loves being a mom, but everything to do with sometimes coming up empty on extra energy or the ability to absorb another mishap.
I took a couple of days off this week to catch up on paperwork and cleaning before the holidays. It was the least fun days off I’ve had all year, but I feel like my panic level has dropped dramatically. It again made me think of mom, who always seems to be doing something around the holidays and rarely plops down to enjoy it.
Despite the fact that it was beautiful outside and we had Christmas cookies to make together, the kids were off their game. So frustrating to have my one day that was supposed to be all about family be all about family drama. Some major mom highs and lows happen today, and no tears. But I may never view Christmas cookies the same way again!
I know in my head that this week will pass, that everything will settle down at work and at home and that the holidays are coming with good cheer and family time. But on my rough nights, I take comfort in knowing my mom got through it, I can too.