Do you ever feel like you are going to absolutely lose your s***?!?! If you don’t, I need some of what you’re taking. I have moments throughout the day where I may want to give my kids the finger… but after a calming breathe in - breathe out, (taught by my son Caden), I can move on. When I say lose your s***, I mean off the walls, mental institution qualified, no rationale, no breathing at all, screaming, crying, totally nuts. These are times when I know I have reached my breaking point.
I am okay with the fact that I am an alpha. I am the leader in pact, the Queen of our household. I am not trying to take away my husbands masculinity, but he would even agree. My husband leaves in the morning for work, and comes home at dinner time. He gets the daily… “daddy’s home” greeting and a look of “they are all yours” from me. He is however, my biggest support and am so grateful he works so hard to give us the life we have. The best dad and husband, I don’t know how I got so lucky. Too exhausted to take a bath that would be invaded by all three of my kids, I retreat to my bedroom to escape from my reality only to watch a few hours of “The Real Housewives”.
In preparation for any family get away, I am anxiety ridden and a tornado… don’t get in my way, I will take you out. My lists upon lists of things to accomplish, what to pack, who will be taking care of the animals, medicines to take, cameras, sunscreen, chargers, making sure my kids have their own carry on’s filled with things to keep them busy, and tying up any loose ends before we leave. I of course want nobody’s help. They would annoy me by “doing it wrong” and they would be taking a risk entering the eye of the storm. I don’t want help, but make myself crazy with all I have to get done, and am secretly irritated that noone is doing anything to help. I look around and see a kid on the computer - popping his head out of the door on occasion to ask for a lemonade, another pulling every lego he has ever built, and piling it on every open surface of the house. My third child is up to no good… playing outside, throwing a baseball, kicking a soccer ball against the garage, or my favorite… hammering at our flagstone path to make the edges nice and sharp. My husband… usually waits for the storm to calm before he enters the waters. He is the “car packer”. I have learned to not let him close his suitcase without my “ok.” He thinks board shorts, a pair of jeans, a couple of tee’s and slaps is all he needs to get him through a weekend, double that for a week.
We were getting ready to take our first big trip with the boys. Heading to Mexico, which we were already a little weary of, but so excited. The weekend before our departure, I was in my zone. A hundred errands to run and things to do, no one get in my way. It happened to be a weekend of a big local, super fun volleyball tournament, that takes place in our town. It is an over the top, costume wearing, drink fest that makes mardi gras look mellow. A sea of party people; Team Fletch, a sumo wrestler, the Swedish Bikini Team and 12th Street RIP - a group of men in boardshorts, beanies and matching capes. I dropped my husband off like the good wife I am, so he could play while I ran in circles. I wanted at least one of us to enjoy the fun.
My errands were being run, things were getting done. My kids were behaving, and the thought of my husband sitting in the sun and drinking with all our friends left a lingering annoyance looming over me. Even though I insisted he go, my irritation came from me wanting to be there too. And I could have been there, but for some reason, I like to make my life more chaotic than it has to be.
I pulled up to the house, did my normal wonder woman routine - I can carry every bag in one trip. Opening the door, completely exhausted with my hands tigley from lack of blood flow, I dropped everything in complete horror. Complete horror…. yes. The house was a disaster. My middle child who loves to cook, was in the kitchen acting out a scene from the Muppets Swedish Chef. I have never seen such a mess in a kitchen except in the movies. There were pots on every burner of the stove, the sink was piled high with dirty dishes, egg shells cracked and gooeyness on the counters. Flour, sugar, shredded cheese, condiments and every vegetable, fruit and seasoning were out for his cooking pleasure. My fridge was open and empty, and the smell that was coming from the kitchen was nauseating. I screamed, “I’m done!” and walked back to my bedroom, shut the door and put my face in my hands trying to get some oxygen into my body. There was no calming this mom down… I walked back out into the living room and LIT MY KIDS UP! My head spun in circles like the exorcist and I am sure I swore like a sailor. My three boys were frozen, didn’t make a move or sound. I didn’t even know what I was yelling or saying, but my wick was lit and I was on fire. Leaving my kids as road kill, I walked back into my room and shut myself in my closet, sitting on the floor sobbing. I cried for 2 hours- no exageration. The tears that streamed down my face came from years and years of fighting them back - trying to be strong, afraid to cry.
Sitting in my closet, my heart was heavy and my eyes were swelling. I took in deep breaths and brought myself back to when I was a child. All I ever wanted to be was a mom. Every picture I drew, every story I told, every question I was asked, was about being a mom. In these moments of shedding tears, I realized I wasn’t the mom that I pictured when I was little. I wasn’t the mom that I wanted to be. This was powerful, it was a larger than life feeling. Who was I and what kind of mom had I become. I sat and took several deep, calming breaths before I got myself up.
Kyle, Caden and Maguire each sat with me one on one. I cried as I talked to them, apologizing for yelling, apologizing for losing my cool, apologizing for not being patient or as kind as I could be, and letting them know how much they mean to me and that they make my world a place I want to live in. I explained that I am just like them; I get upset and frustrated, and sometimes I don’t make the right decisions. Even though I am a mom, I am far from perfect. I made a pact with each one of them that day. I was going to try my best to be a more present mom. A mom who would listen fully without being distracted, even if it was to hear every lego character that was built in the past hour. I promised I would take deep breaths and not let the small things get to me, and when bigger things happen, to remind myself… they are just “things”. I promised myself this day, that it was time to change. It was time for me to be present, time to stop searching for an unknown happiness, and start realizing the gifts I had been given. I had everything I ever wanted, and more. It was time… I was going to start being the mom that I always dreamt I would be.