Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh what a night!

I know I'm not the only mother who has stressful days.  I'm not the first or last one to eagerly put the kids to bed so I can enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet.  I'm not the only one who has fits of frustration and acts out irrationally, only to have regrets later.  I'm not the only mom to feel guilty that I work and that I'm not home with fresh baked cookies waiting on the children when they get home from school.  And I'm certainly not the only imperfect mom.  
Even though I know these things, I still make mistakes daily.  I still have moments where I wonder what the heck I'm doing wrong and wish Nanny 911 would come and solve my life's problems.  Even though I know I'm imperfect, I still strive for perfection.  I think it's possible to strive towards perfection, but I'm here to tell you, I don't think it's attainable in the current world.
I wanted to share an excerpt of a somewhat typical night at our house.  Not all nights are this chaotic, but there are far more than I'd like.  I share to give you hope that you're not alone, but also to seek advice to see if there's something blatant that I'm missing that could make our routine smoother.  
From an email to an understanding friend:

Last night felt like Grand Central Station at our house.  When I drove up, Colin was waiting for me outside with a couple of tomatoes and immediately started in asking about his garden, if the tomatoes were ready, can we pull up the dead cucumber plant, why do the bugs like the plants so much, etc.  I managed to answer all of his questions – even in a rather peaceful manner.  Then I go to the door and Sawyer and Wes are sitting right inside the door, tying Sawyer’s tennis shoes (which are new to him and are practically impossible to remove from his body without him throwing a conniption).  Apparently Sawyer wanted to go out to meet me too.  So he was none too pleased that I was already in the house and he hadn’t gotten to go out.  He begins to wail.  Wes immediately launches into telling me about Colin’s homework assignment that is due in 2 days and that he can't believe they didn't give us more time, blah, blah – all on top of Colin’s incessant tomato talk and Sawyer’s wailing.  Great, I’ve been home 2 minutes and I already want to pull my hair out!

The fun only continued from there.  I began to cook dinner, while Wes “worked” with his stuff spread out all over the kitchen island.  Colin was still babbling and both he and Sawyer wanted to “help” me cook dinner.  Colin was talking a mile a minute and I could not even think what my name was.  Somehow, Wes was managing to actually work?  The boys are moving chairs, cutting with plastic knives, washing vegetables, all within a 5-foot radius of me (and on me)!  I somehow still managed to keep it together and get dinner on the table.  At one point I did tell Wes, “In case you ever wonder why I’m harried when you get home, here’s your answer!”

So we eat dinner and then I delve into Colin’s homework assignment.  At first I didn’t think it was a big deal that it was due in 2 days, that is until I realized he had soccer practice the next night and that only left tonight to get it done.  Well by this point, Sawyer was an absolute mess because he was worn out from his first day at school.  He was crying at my feet, I was trying to read the directions out loud, and Colin was practically doing a handstand in his chair.  Wes was doing dishes for a while and then standing across the island just watching, somehow tuning out the melee that was ensuing.  I bend down to get Sawyer and he’s just like a wet noodle, he’s so tired.  The smart thing to do would have been to stop then and there and put Sawyer to bed but I already had my eye on the prize and I was going to tackle this “project” right then.  Somewhere in the mix, Sawyer accidentally scratches my incision (another story) and I nearly fell out of my chair.  I put him down and am trying to keep my screeching to a minimum.  Well he starts screaming a) that I put him down and b) because he hurt me.  Wes finally picks him up and manages to come up with the idea that he’s tired and should go on to bed.  Hey, great idea!  After more wailing and consoling, Wes gets his milk ready and they’re off upstairs.

Well in the meantime I have come unglued and am totally frustrated with Colin because he’s not listening as I read the directions.  I stop and tell him that I’ll continue when he’s ready to listen because I’m only reading them once.  He finally settles down and we’re able to complete his family tree.  It was supposed to be something that the whole family participated in.  Yes, we sure did!  Not exactly in the manor they probably intended, but we were all present and accounted for. 

Of course after the boys were in bed, the guilty feelings took over and I began to relive the whole process and dissect how and what I should have done differently.  Short of a miracle, I’m not sure I could have done anything different.  What I learned is that we’re going to have to come up with a better way of doing homework, lest I lose every ounce of my patience and sanity.  Just another reminder that there aren’t enough hours in the day!  
**FYI Friday will return to it's regularly scheduled programming next week.  Pinky swear!


  1. You're right, we all have those days. But when you're in thick of it all...the crying, the clinging, the non stop talking, the chores that must be done...that somehow doesn't make it any easier. I don't know how many nights, after the girls are in bed, I think to myself "I should have played with them more. I should have listened more intently when Bailey was telling me yet another story." And the list goes on!

    Sounds like you did everything you possibly could that night! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Sometimes just knowing I'm not alone is all the comfort I need (:

  2. I found myself chuckling while reading your lament. Somehow, the way you write seems more comical than frantic. I think because your commute is so short you don't have enough "me time" between work and home. Can you give yourself a few more minutes to be alone and pray before going home?

    1. Thank you. I always appreciate your encouraging words and wisdom. You're right, I think I'm not starting on the right foot.

  3. Oh Danielle, I can so relate to your post! I have had days where I am staring at the clock nonstop until bedtime. Some days I want to leave and tell my hubby "you deal with it". Then I feel guilty at night when thinking about how I handled situations. I think this is normal and as moms, we carry a lot on our shoulders. Sending big hugs! Have a great weekend. :)

  4. Hang in there. No words of wisdom here...just a friendly "yeah I hear ya" smile.

    And incision??? Hope all is well.

  5. I'm stressed out just reading that. How did you not totally lose your $%#!?!?! Or scream bloody murder at your husband? Wow. You just got a gold star in my mind.

  6. I loved to hate reading this because I dread the days of homework on top of everything else we already cram into the 2 hours that are available from the time I get home until bedtime ... I guess Anna won't always go to bed at 7/7:30, though : )

    I think it's soooo hard when you have 2-3 agendas at the end of a workday ... one that revolves around quality time with your child(ren), one around getting dinner on the table and one around getting a few things done around the house so that you can spend a few minutes relaxing after the kid(s) are in bed. Not sure how to make any of them go away outside of hiring a full time housekeeper / cook ... so, I guess it's back to taking it day by day : )

  7. Welcome to my world x 3. Homework, music practice and other activities x 3 plus work, laundry, dinner etc are killing me. One day at a time. You can do it and it will get easier for all of you. You are not alone!!!