Listen Moms. Some days are just worse than others.
Yesterday my children had just a few pieces of parade candy. Seriously. Just a few. The older two stayed up late and got to watch the fire works and the Cute One just would NOT let herself fall asleep!
Oh? The foster baby? He slept 7 to 7.
Today was hell. There is no other way to put it. I used to be the childless person who thought they knew everything. One of the things I thought I knew was that parents who said their kids were sensitive to sugar or allergic to dyes were just making excuses for their wild children or their lazy parenting.
God plays practical jokes.
I have three of them.
Sugar and red dye turn my three children into nightmares.
It’s like the apocalypse up in here. Not the Walking Dead, but more like I am Legend where people get infected with a disease that brings out their primal selves.
That’s exactly what it’s like.
Their eyes glaze over. Their skin gets flushed. Their arms and legs look like the arms from those blow up things you see in front of used car dealerships. I can see my eldest son’s body start twitching, my four year old starts to growl and he gets down on all fours like Spider-Man. My 2 year old turns into a sorority girl running around screaming, singing, dancing, jumping off furniture and is most likely naked.
My husband and I can SEE the switch flip. I knew within the first minute of them being awake what sort of day it was.
When we see it coming my husband and I act like Old English Sailors when they see the perfect storm rolling in on all three sides of the ship. We down a bottle of whiskey and batten the hatches. He makes plans for long bike rides to wear them out and forces them to drink seven gallons of water to flush out their systems. I make plans for naps hoping that today is my lucky day and they will all just give into their exhaustion instead of let it fuel them. It never is and I always end up yelling and sending them outside.
I forget cooking meals. He forgets house projects. We both TRY to be creative.
HUSBAND: OK! We are all going to accomplish something today! ( He says this because he knows nothing will be done this day, but his INTJ self NEEDS to think something will be accomplished) OK KIDS! This deck needs to be fixed. We need to dig out around all the posts! Here are some shovels! I’ll pay you a dollar! GO! * Please not that at this point in time the Cute One is sobbing because her brother hit her with the shovel, the four year old growler who did it is laughing meniaclly, and the oldest is headed back into the house because, “he just doesn’t want to and doesn’t want money.”
ME: Ok my babies… let’s try and do our summer school workbooks ok? No? Ok how about we paint rocks? You all LOVE to paint! No? Ok how about we read some books? No? Ok. Shall we go play outside on your expensive play set Daddy custome built for you? No? Ok how about you guys just don’t kill each other while Mommy changes the laundry? No again? Ok. I’ll just give you everything I have today until I end up swearing at you or crying into the dog’s fur clutching my best friend Jim Beam.
Bedtime tonight was a reenactment of the first scene in Saving Private Ryan. Brutal and again, the only one who fell right to sleep was the foster child. I am convinced he forces himself to sleep because there is so much chaos. My heart goes out to him and I wish I could join him. What a trooper to have to deal with us.
Bedtime took 3 hours from start to finish. No one was listening. No one’s body would stop moving. The 2 year old was rolling around trying to keep herself awake after being up until 10 the might before and NO NAP. I rocked her twice. I gave her books. She was screaming and yelling just to keep herself from falling prey to the evils of sleep. The four year old ran around growling and hollaring. He got back into the dirty tub water and had to be re washed. He screamed bloody murder when I wouldn’t fix his blankets because he got out of bed. The oldest one was entirely incapable of making his body stop moving. He got clingy and whiny and he does this thing where he flops about like a fish and just moans loudly until we ask him what’s wrong….
Needless to say… today was hard and all I can think is that there are parents out there who have to handle worse than what I do on our bad days. My kids are just … different… they are high maintaince kids in some aspects, but there are parents whose kids have disabilities who require 24/7 care. I had one friend text me that her kid pooped in the tub. At least that didn’t happen to me… this time.
I sit here EXHAUSTED. The kind of exhausted where your head hurts and every breath is a sigh… no a gasp for air to keep moving you forward and not die. My bones hurt. My soul is weak. I want Mexican food. The real stuff.
I sat and messaged my best friend and expressed my fears that my kids act like this because I’m failing. If they can’t listen or behave or even function… it must be me. I’m failing them in some way. ALL of my weaknesses, fears, and failings flood to the front of my brain and I see myself as the WORST parent out there. I should just leave and let Matt marry someone more capable. I’m not a natural mother…
Am I not doing enough of this? Or am I doing too much of that? What am I NOT doing? What am I doing that’s eventually going to send them to counseling? I don’t know these answers.
Unfortunatly, parenting is swinging at a cement piñata 18 feet above you with a wet spaghetti noodle and hoping you get a prize to fall down. As a parent it’s uasually a piano or piles of poop instead of candy. My children are now asleep. My husband got called back to work. He’s not paid enough. My dog is bestowing her unconditional love on me with snuggles.
And I am rational again. I’m not messing up. Well, I probably am, but I do know I am doing my best. My kids are GOOD kids… when they aren’t wild savages whose bodies were abducted by a food group. Today was just a hard day.
Some days are just hard days Mom. Especially if you are like myself and parenting out of a deficit.
We all post the best stories, photos and family portrayed on social media. I do it daily. ( Yes. I am well aware of my Facebook addiction thank you very much).
But today I just wanted to share that some days are HARD and BAD days. It doesn’t mean we are failures. It doesn’t mean our marriage is going to fall apart. It doesn’t mean we’ve perminatly messed up our kids.
It just means we had a bad day.
But, as I am trying to convince myself right now, without these bad days, how would we be able to tell what the really good ones look like? Don’t compare yourself to anything besides what you know to be true about yourself. Not social media. Not Mom blogs that tell you seven steps to perfect kids. Not books written by professors who never had kids. Not by Instagram or Facebook. Not even by what you see in other kids outside of your home. Compare your kids to… themselves. What you know to be true about them. What you know they NEED and not what someone else thinks they need.
My kids can’t have sugar. It’s not because I am a lazy parent or because my kids are bad kids. I know that because I am a GOOD parent who pays attention.
So, shut up former childless self. I know what my kids need. and it’s clearly nothing I tried today. 😂
Here’s to a better day tomorrow!