I had a moment recently, where I woke upon the very wrong side of the bed. Jax hadn't been sleeping through the night; he was just waking up from dreams and quickly falling back to sleep on his own. Well, for me that meant hearing him on the monitor, getting half out of bed, laying back down when I couldn't hear him fussing anymore, and staring at the ceiling for an hour before I could go back to sleep only to be woken again 30 minutes later. All.Night.Long. I was exhausted. I'm a work-outside-the-home mother (I say it that way because, for me, my outside job is far easier than staying home and I have huge admiration for those who can stay home) and I had gotten about 4 hours of sleep. I don't function well without sleep. So I wake up to my child screaming, at a more appropriate time to get out of bed, and I slowly trudge out of my room to his. Meanwhile, my 6yr old step-daughter had snuck into the little alcove between my room and the bathroom and when she saw me walking by she spoke...and scared the ever loving sunshine and rainbows out of me. She didn't mean to and I wasn't mad at her...but it was one more thing to piss me off. I hate being scared. I apologized to her and went to get my screamer only to discover that he's also in a terrible mood. Unsatisfied with the milk and breakfast I was offering he went into full meltdown mode. Every parent deals with this. It may be a valid meltdown, it may be over the color of their shoes. Regardless, he lost it and I couldn't handle it. Then, at that very moment, in a matter of about ten seconds, I questioned every single decision I had made about life in the past two-ish years. My brain screamed at me that I was sooooooo not fit to be a mother. It screamed at me that I was a huge failure to my kids and that I was a horrible wife. All of my insecurities flew at me and I just felt crushed. I picked up my screaming mess of a child and put him back in his crib. He needed a bit more sleep and I needed to walk away. If you've never done this as a parent then count your blessings and share your secret with the rest of us. I then trudged down the hall to the bathroom where my loving and oblivious husband was getting ready for work. He asked me if I was ok (I'm assuming he was basing that question by the horrible look on my face but I have no idea what that look entailed). My response? "No, I'm not ok. I'm pissed off." Now, my husband is almost always saintlike when it comes to dealing with me. So, wisely he asked what was wrong and when I shot him a death look he came over to hug me. I did not want to be hugged. He just held on. After about 20 seconds I relented and almost crumbled. He held me up and let me sob. He had NO idea why I was pissed or why his wife was a sobbing mess. He just held me. Thank the Good Lord for him! I choked out that I feel like an awful mother and a terrible wife and I have no idea why I'm in such a terrible mood! He affirmed that I was neither awful nor terrible and asked for an explanation. After learning about the last ten minutes he wisely left me to get ready for work and went to help the kids. Jax indeed fell asleep quite quickly and I was glad that I chose to lay him back down. He is much like his mother and doesn't do well without good sleep.
That day, I failed. It sucked. I couldn't tell you now how the rest of my day went but what I do know is that the next day wasn't as bad. And then, at some point, we had a good morning. That's what it's all about; moving forward. I didn't wallow in the awful feelings of that one morning the rest of the week. I chalked it up to a crap day and let it go. This is the biggest lesson I've been learning recently. I cannot let one failure derail me from having a successful week. I cannot let myself be brought down by bad moods, or an entire sippy cup of milk being spilled all over me and my couch (because THAT just happened!!). It's not worth the misery of guilt. Mommy guilt will always be there but it's up to me to deal with it and move on.