I spent the day before Mother’s Day at home with my kids, which would normally be awesome except that I mostly spent it dealing with all four of Bella’s major meltdowns. She was off from school last week, and we’ve slowly let her screen time get out of control, so today was the day we bit the bullet and went back to our previous screen time limits. It went over like a screaming, ragey, attempt-to-run-away-naked balloon. Bella hated it, too.
At one point, during meltdown #3, Bella told me she didn’t love me anymore, that I was a really bad mom, and that she wished that I would move out and a new mom would move in (preferably one with a Hulu Plus account or at least someone with a cool friend who would let her use their login). I just told her that was unfortunate, because I still loved her and I wasn’t moving out.
This is my standard answer when she tells me she doesn’t love me anymore, because it’s true. How she feels towards me is irrelevant; I love her, and that won’t ever change. Even though she went ahead and threw meltdown #4 at me an hour and a half after she went to bed, I still love that asshole of a kid. And that is saying a lot, because anyone who has dealt with a middle-of-the-night meltdown knows they are the fucking worst, because on top of the kid being irrationally angry, they are tired, and their loud-ass crying just grinds on your last nerve and wakes up all the other kids in your house, so then you’re dealing with everybody all at once. So I LOVE YOU AND YOU’RE FUCKING WELCOME, KID.
It should be noted that I didn’t deal with that last meltdown very well. I screamed right back at her, despite the two other kids in the house (unsuccessfully) trying to sleep. I tried keeping my cool, but the long day of meltdown after meltdown had sucked up all of my patience reserves, and I resorted to acting like a pissed-off teenager. I just wanted to sit on my couch and watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and chill out, and I did not have it in me for a Round Four. So instead, I stomped downstairs and called Rob, and yelled at him for awhile about my crappy day with Bella. Then I went back upstairs, where Bella had crossed over from being angry to being sad, and snuggled her to sleep. She said she was “so sorry for getting carried away,” and I said the same.
When kids make things for their moms for Mother’s Day, it’s always something that mentions how wonderful and awesome they are. Case in point: on my fridge, right now, I have an award from Phaedra that proclaims me to be “the best mom ever!”
This is factually untrue. I am not, in fact, the best mom ever. Did she not hear me swearing at Bella during that meltdown last night? I never play Barbies with Surrey when she asks me, and when I do, it’s so half-assed. I haven’t dropped all three kids off at school on time since October, and it’s mainly because I just don’t feel like getting up early enough. I have miles of patience for Surrey and Bella, but for poor Phaedra? Never enough. I’m constantly apologizing for being too quick to yell at her for something I would just deep-breathe and move past with the other two girls.
This is not me saying, “I’m a sort-of okay mom, but aren’t we all! Isn’t parenting tough? Who needs perfection? My kid love me anyways, yay!” while giving you a quirky “aw shucks!” face. Really I’m not. These are just a few of the facts I use when making the case against myself in my head as to exactly how hard I am fucking up this motherhood gig. I mean, yes, generally I am doing an alright job, but I have this fear of being FOUND OUT. Do you have this? Like, I’ve always had this thing where deep down I believe that someday, everyone is going to find out that I’m not as great of an employee/student/mom as they think I am. Another example: one morning, after finally getting an ornery Bella onto the school bus to go to her therapeutic swimming class, her teacher said to me, “You are so patient. Really, it’s amazing.” And I thought, I’m really not! If she could see the outtakes from my life, she’d know I’m not. She’d FIND OUT and then she’d know that I’m not as patient as she thinks I am.
But my kids? They know everything, because they live it. They’ve seen all the stupid shit I’ve done while trying to be their mom, and yet they still make me awards calling me things like “the best mom in the world!” because they’ve already FOUND OUT. They FOUND OUT and still think I’m great. Just like I love these kids no matter how they feel about me, in a weird way, it’s not about how I feel I’m doing as a mom, it’s how they feel I’m doing. They seem to be pretty happy with things so far, so I guess I can quit worrying about being found out and just accept my award and watch my Hulu Plus in peace.
I’m going to try to get us all to school on time next year, though. Just in case.
Alright, fine, I did wrap it up with a sort-of corny ending. SORRY.*
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