Some Days Are Hard
Today was hard. It was one of those days where I felt like I spent the entire day on a treadmill – going nowhere and trying my hardest to keep up.
Nothing terrible happened. It was just relentless, in the way that only parenting can be. I tried to use my go-to strategy to turn the day around and, I kid you not, I turned on the music and started to dance, and within seconds I had a messy potty emergency to deal with. By 4:00 P.M., I was ready to call it a day and hope for better tomorrow.
Some days, parenting is hard.
Some days the baby won’t.stop.crying. You’ve fed them, changed them, bounced them, rocked them, and taken them for a walk and a drive. You’ve tried every tool in your arsenal, and have only succeeded in making yourself a flustered, sweaty mess.
Some days everyone is bound and determined not to nap. You’ve spent hours trying to convince them to sleep, and feel like you’ve accomplished exactly nothing all day. They’re desperately overtired, and you haven’t gotten your much-needed sanity break. By the end of the day, you’re all at the end of your rope, and you’re counting the minutes until bedtime.
Some days you yell too much. Nobody is listening, you’re repeating yourself over and over, and the more you try to hurry them along, the slower they move. You lose your cool. Then you beat yourself up for it, promising yourself that next time you’ll be more patient.
Some days they fight. Oh, how they fight. You thought that by having two or more children you’d be giving them a built-in playmate, but some days it feels like you gave them a built-in adversary. You mediate, you separate them, you try to get them to work it out, but they are intent on pushing each others’ buttons.
Some days you feel like you’re chasing your tail, just to maintain a semblance of tidiness in your house. You clean up one room, and they’re making a bigger mess elsewhere. You finally get the floor mopped, only to have it covered in food again after the next meal. You’re cleaning sticky handprints from every surface, and they’re following right behind trying to “help”.
Some mornings everything goes wrong. You’re late. They can’t find their shoes or their homework or their jacket. They forget something, and you have to go back. By the time you get to daycare or school, you’re both upset, and you’re cursing yourself for not building extra time into your schedule. You say goodbye with an extra big hug, and try to make sure they know how much you love them, hoping they’ll carry that with them all day, and not the negativity of the morning.
Some days you feel like you’re failing. You question your choices. You wonder if you’re really cut out for being a mom. You feel like you’re spread too thin, and not doing anything as well as you’d like.
Parenting is hard, and some days are a struggle.
I’ve been there. Other moms – even the ones who always look so put-together – they’ve been there. Every person who has ever had the title of “Mom” (or “Dad”) has been there.
There’s comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. That behind the perfectly staged Instagram pictures and the parents who always seem to have it all together, everyone has their struggles, their insecurities, their off days.
There’s comfort too in knowing that things will get better. That tomorrow you might feel like you’ve got it all figured out. That’s the thing about parenting – it changes on a dime. You can go from feeling like, “I got this” to complete disaster in less than a minute, and the opposite is also true.
So how did today end? I drew on every ounce of patience I had remaining, and got the kids organized to go to the boys’ activity. On the way there, the sun came out for the first time all day. The kids were miraculously quiet. A string of great songs came on the radio. My three year old – who has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard – let out a full belly laugh at something he found hilarious.
Just like that, things didn’t seem that bad. I felt like I could handle what the rest of the day threw at me. There is beauty in every single day. Sure, sometimes it’s fleeting and really, really hard to see, but if you look for it, it’s there.
If you’re struggling, if today is just not your day, know that you are not alone, that every single parent has been there. Ask for help if you need it. Accept help that’s offered. Look for the little moments of positivity in your day and hold onto those. Know that things will get better. And know that some days are just hard – and that’s ok.