Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today is a New Day

Yesterday was not one of my shining moments. In fact, it was an all around awful day.

When I left for work at 6:30 am, two out of the three children were crying and refusing breakfast. The other one was loudly complaining about the other two crying. Hubster was looking overwhelmed at trying manage the crying and the rest of getting things ready by himself.

Each morning, when I leave for work and Hubster is left to finish dressing and feeding and herding all three boys, I feel guilty. Yesterday, when there were tears and yells, I felt even worse.

My work day was already scheduled to be long, but then some urgent issues came up and I didn't get to leave until an hour and a half after I was originally scheduled to leave. When I left the hospital at 6:30 pm, I was feeling so grateful that I had thought to do a crock pot meal, so that at least dinner would already be done when I got home.

When I walked through the door at a quarter to seven, dinner being done was about the only good thing going on. Bug and Monkey were quarreling something fierce. Hubster was repeated asking Monkey to get back on his homework. Duck was crying. Hubster looked as tired as I felt.

It just spiralled out of control from there. Duck refused to eat any dinner and kept climbing on the table. Monkey refused to eat with the rest of us and to do his homework. Bug kept sneaking away from his chores to play computer games and got grounded from all electronics for the rest of the week. During the chaos, the cat got on the table and ate part of the dinner. 

That crock pot dinner didn't do a thing to make the day better.

By the time the kids were tucked in to bed, there was no one who hadn't yelled and/or cried during the evening.

Like I said, not my proudest moment.

Most days, Hubster and I are pretty laid back and can just roll with what comes. Over the last dozen years of being parents, our patience has grown. Our perspective about what matter and what is a big deal has evolved; we know what battles to fight (teeth brushing and respect) and which are not battles at all (red socks. Red socks are never worth fighting about.) 

Almost every day is a little crazy at our house. That's just status quo for a family with two full time working parents, three boys, two cats, and a fish. At baseline, there is always noise and mess.

For some reason, our ability to cope with it yesterday was at an all time low. The long day, the late meal, the disruption of our house with the bathroom renovation, too many nights of not enough sleep, winter. It all came together in a perfect storm of a major parenting fail.

As the parent, my attitude sets the mood for the family. When I'm calm and happy and remember to respond with a smile and encouragement, things go great (for the most part.) When I'm tired and nursing a developing migraine and irritable, responding to my children in frustration and a raised voice, it's a guaranteed disaster.

Last night, I was well aware that I was not helping anything. I kept trying to give myself a mental pep talk. "Just be calm, don't get frustrated, it will only make it worse." That didn't help.

Normally, after an awful day where I wasn't the best mom, I just feel like a huge failure. Last night, I was almost too exhausted to even muster that feeling. As I kissed my boys' blond heads good night, I just felt relief that the day was over.

I always want to be the best parent possible. I always want to be patient and pulled together and the perfect example that they can look up to.

Sometimes, I just have bad days.

But today is a new day.

This morning, I took each of my kids and my husband aside. I gave them big hugs and apologized for the rough day before. I kissed them and told them that today is a new day.

I'll take yesterday, do my best to learn from it, and then tuck it away, where I won't continue to dwell on all my failures. I already know what went wrong. I don't need to keep beating myself up about it.

Today is a new day. Another day to be the parent I want to be. Another day to get back to how we want our family to be. 


  1. I'm sorry it was such a hard day for you. But it sounds like you handled things well, in spite of it all. Your patience and strength amaze me.

    1. I once had a friend tell me that guilt was a completely useless feeling. But I like to think that it helps me learn from these bad days (and maybe have fewer of them.)

  2. As I was reading the line from the song "Mama said there'd be days like this' kept popping through my head. So sorry for such a crazy day. But yes, some days everything really does just seem to fall apart. But you did the right thing by apologizing and starting over the next day. I figure as long as these crazy days are few and far between then I am doing okay :)

    1. I should start singing that one these bad days. I think that making sure I can apologize as a parent as a good thing. I like to think it sets an example to my kids that even grown ups have and should say sorry.

  3. YOu had every right to expect a nice quiet home when you got there, but life isnt like that most days... I am sorry that you felt a failure, but I am sure you were not.. Kids get tired too and everyone shouting is normal.. Today is another day and another beginning, so I do hope this evening will be a lot happier and calmer.. Life as a parent is the toughest job on earth.. Hats off to you both, I am sure you will look back at these days and laugh in the future.. what really counts is you have three wonderful boys and a smashing husband and great jobs that make you happy.. All the best, Janzi