Today, I quit. I quit doing what I thought I ought to do and instead just did what I thought might make life easier.
It all comes on the heels of the perfect storm, an intense grouping of situations that were bound to send this mom into meltdown mode. A week of no school due to Easter. Multiple days of house guests. Hosting Easter dinner. Lots of sugar. A spring schedule that has meant way too many nights out past bedtime. A husband who has a soccer tourneyment and jury duty over our Easter break. Did I mention lots of sugar?
Then add in some specific behaviors. A balloon experiment that involved a bathroom sink full of water. (And a counter full of water.) A child who thought her new squirt gun should be played with in her bedroom. (Again, water, water, everywhere.) A baby who has decided his naptimes should be proceeded by 30 minutes of crying. Visits from Bil Keane's famous cartoon characters "Not Me" and "I Don't Know." Overtired, fussy kids who scream at everything and everyone, who cry over a Lego being placed into the -wrong storage container or being asked to drink the last inch of milk that's in the glass.
By Monday, this lady was over it all. (I probably should have known when I woke up to dog pee on the carpet and then within 30 minutes proceeded to clean up 2 spit ups and one cup of spilled orange juice.) But oh how I tried to hang onto the belief that my kids could play together without fighting, that they could have a lot of unstructured time and stay out of trouble, that it was worth arguing over the little things. I suppose I tried a bit to lower my expectations. (We did start out Monday morning with a movie.) But I still ended up being the mom who I don't really like, the one who yells and rants and raves a bit, and just in general doesn't help the situation.
Tuesday was a bit better. But still not what I would call a stellar day.
So today, I put aside all of my normal "mom rules" and went against the grain. In short, I quit being the mom who is a bit high maintenance, the mom who has high expectations and lofty plans. We went to the zoo...despite the rain. We ate lunch out...instead of packing a lunch. And when we got home, I told all the kids to go play in the huge puddle at the end of our street. And then we watched a movie. The day isn't over but we might watch another...despite my usual thoughts that 30-60 minutes of tv time is plenty for a day.
Guess what? Today has been better by far. I think I've only yelled once. (Over the already mentioned, misplaced Lego situation that caused the 3 year old to freak out.) I probably ought to quit more often.