Our contributor Lauren has graciously allowed us to feature her writing with our readers. Stay tuned for more contributors in the future! This article was originally posted on Oh, Hey Motherhood!
Have you ever had one of those days? You know, those days where nothing goes as it should? Where when something goes wrong, you just mutter “of course”? Where you’re unproductive and frustrated? I had one on Monday.
Ava and I were out of school. We were supposed to have an easygoing day, especially because she had an ear infection. But as the day progressed, I realized I had a few seemingly tiny things to do.
First, I needed to wash and style Ava’s hair, like I do every week. I was able to shampoo and rinse with no problem. After detangling, I thought I’d try twisting her hair. Well that took forever and wasn’t as cute as I was hoping. So I took it down and resolved to style her hair as usual. Except, by then, Ava was no longer willing to sit and let me do her hair. So two fruit snack packages later and a ton of “Ava, hold still. I’m almost done”, I was able to finish.
Next, I needed to cook dinner for the week. I don’t usually do this. But our oven pilot has refused to remain lit, so I was going to go to my parents’ house to cook a few meals for the week. For some reason, I waited until Ava’s nap time to even start prepping the meals so I’m watching the clock like a mad woman. While prepping, I discovered I didn’t have half the ingredients I needed to have. I run to Walgreens on the next block to get the few supplies only to find out they don’t sale any of the ingredients I need. I call my mom about to freak out, and she says, “don’t worry. I’ll get them for you. Calm down.” Moms are the best.
Then, I was supposed to feed both Ava and hubs. I had no food for Ava because I hadn’t made it to the grocery store. And still, I’m racing the clock to feed her before she has a fatigue meltdown. I realize I have meatloaf leftover from hubs and I’s Valentine’s date at The Stinking Rose. Ava loves meatloaf… I think. So I warm it up for her along with mashed potatoes and spinach. She loves it. Now, on to hubs. I was supposed to get him Subway on the way back from Walgreens. Except, Subway is only accepting cash. I had no cash. I was supposed to get cash back from Walgreens with my purchase… but as you’ll recall, I didn’t purchase anything. And I didn’t remember any of this until I walked back and saw hubs’ disappointed face. He saw my pending meltdown and said, “its ok. I can go to another Subway.” Ok, that’s handled.
After that, I manage to prep my meals and get to my parents’ house. But Ava has entered fatigue meltdown territory. She wants nothing to do with my mom, dad, or brother. She just wants me. But I have to finish prepping. She’s whining, and squirming on the floor, and calling for me like “mommy” is the newest and catchiest tune on the radio. My mom attempts to put her to sleep. But Ava is fighting it… hard. I know a drive would help. I finish cooking and take Ava for a drive to Target where I can grab groceries and her school supplies.
So, I get to Target. She’s knocked out. I go to put her in the stroller. But the attachments to fasten the carseat to the stroller are in hubs car. I debate just going back home. But I need groceries – milk, wipes, etc. So I put her carseat in the base of the basket and resolve to shop that way. All is going well, until Ava’s nasty old cough wakes her… Only 20 minutes into her nap. She needs an hour at least to be our cute and adorable Ava. I go to grab all natural cough syrup to give her in the store hoping that she’ll be able to go back to sleep and stay asleep. Well, the cough syrup no longer comes with a syringe. And I can’t seem to find a stand alone one in the store to use. I figure, I’ll just have to hurry home to give it to her. Now, she’s wide awake and demanding food. I go to give her a snack I intend on purchasing. But I can’t open the package. I’m trying and trying, and Ava’s asking louder and louder. I feel myself about to cry. So I put my hands on my head, took a few deep breaths, and then helped myself to scissors on the nearby register. Ok, Ava’s got her snack.
Finally, I needed to wash my three loads of laundry because Ava and I were lacking essential clothing items. But I realized, I only had enough quarters to wash one load. So I have hubs take one load down. He insists the load is heavy. I tell him, its fine; the load is always that heavy and it works out fine. I get the clothes out of the dryer, they’re all damp and cold. Dang it, he was right.
Sometimes, we just have one of those days. I was talking with a mommy friend of mine who recently lost her wallet and another one whose son randomly had a meltdown on her two days in a row, about what I teasingly refer to as “mommy fails”. Its easy in these moments to feel like we have failed as mothers. Moments like these take advantage of our fatigue, our innermost fears and insecurities, and our struggles to make us feel like failures. But we aren’t. These moments don’t mean we are bad mothers. They mean we are human ones. What’s more, as Christians we know that “our adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We can’t let him devour us, our motherhood, or our joy.
Take heart in knowing it is just a moment. It will not be the first or the last. And it will pass. Give yourself a minute or two to regroup and rid yourself of stress. “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness… will come and settle you down” (Philipians 4:6-7).
I hope you are encouraged!
Thanks for reading!
Hi! I’m Lauren. Prior to motherhood, I was a wife and a law student. And I thought being both were equally stressful, rewarding, and important. But then, I had my beautiful baby girl – Ava. And now nothing, and I seriously mean nothing, seems more stressful, rewarding, and important as being her mother.
I’m the kind of over-achieving, constantly planning, researcher of everything that is determined to be excellent at each and every role. Except, it isn’t nearly as manageable as I thought.
So I am on an ongoing journey to balance my roles as a woman, wife, law student, and mother… Actually, I want to do more than balance them; I want to excel at them.