Friday, July 16, 2010

The mother I want to be

When I look at the mothers I admire, both in real life and online, there are certain characteristics that are always present: they are patient, calm, loving, slow to anger, and don’t get riled up over messes or things getting broken. Since my maternity leave started and the added stress of work has been removed from our lives I feel like I’ve done a better job at being the mother I want to be.

Yesterday though was a bad day.

It started with Collin and me getting into an argument first thing in the morning. Although we were able to resolve our differences, the day just never got better from there. In the morning we had to pack the boys up and haul them into town to drop my car off at the shop to get the air conditioning fixed – this completely disrupted our morning routine and threw all three of us out of sorts. Hutton spent the day needing to be held and Keaton’s naps were messed up leaving him tired and whiney.

Yesterday I was not the mother I want to be.

I was not calm. I was not patient. I was not slow to anger. I lost it with Keaton more times then I’d like to admit. It wasn’t pretty.

At lunch he refused to sit in his highchair and against my better judgment I let him eat at the new outdoor table (that was still set up in our dining room) - a table that does not strap him in and moves around easily. As I was rounding the corner of the kitchen I saw him pushing the table to get up and I yelled, DO NOT SPILL THAT! As the words were coming out of my mouth the plateful of food dropped to the floor and the only thing I could do was bellow NOOOO! Keaton turned to me with sorrowful eyes and immediately bent down and started putting his hotdog, which was strewn all over the dining room floor, back on the plate. In that second I wanted to cry. It was a spilled plate, it was nothing to get so worked up about and yet, I had. And he knew it.

Unfortunately that was just one incident. Trust me, there were others.

Despite our rough day, last night after dinner Keaton sat behind me on the couch playing peek-a-boo and as I wrestled and tickled him he laughed his big hearty laugh, the one that comes from the pit of his stomach. And as I snuggled him in bed last night he held on to me tight. This is the beauty of motherhood. You can screw up. You can have bad days. But one bad day does not ruin the whole project.

Yesterday I was not the mother I want to be.

But today I can be.


Gail said...

Sometimes, it's just another mess, another something to take care of and I forget that my #1, most important job is to take care of, to take care of HIM! So what if it's another mess!?!

Thanks Kate - I certainly needed a reminder that a lot of that small stuff I get so upset over just really doesn't matter!

Amy Bomstad said...

Amen to that! I reflect on my day almost every night and try so hard to be patient also. But me also being a Type A is really hard for me so I have to try extra hard to take a moment before I get so upset.

Your post is a good reminder for me to be patient and to really think about what is really important in the whole scheme of things.

Em said...

This post is so relatable...even with only having a 3-month old. You're totally right, Kate. Every day is a new day, and all you can do is try again and do your best each day. We all make mistakes and have regrets, but as evidenced by your snuggly Keats, our kiddos love us, anyway. Definitely a good reminder to us all to remember what's important and "let go" of the things that aren't. Love you, hon! Thank you for posting this.

Jill said...

Definitely hitting home with this one. And you're right, sometimes it's the smallest things...the ones that really should not bother us but they do...a spilled hot dog plate, a broken crayon, a removed diaper (and corresponding mess on the floor), too much toilet paper during potty many moments, so many good reminders!

CLAREW said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who has these days - but cut yourself a little slack. Your hormones are still out of whack and your adjusting to being a SAHM to TWO babies!! It's to be expected, it's going to be overwhelming and don't ever feel guilty for needing a break every once on awhile ;)