My daughter forgot, yet again, to turn in her extra-credit points to her teacher. I believe this little tidbit became the launching point of my rant. It’s hard to know for sure; tirades are not meant for dissection:
“What! Report cards come out next week. You know those 5 points could mean the difference in your final grade. We’ve gone over this 100 times. If that science grade turns up 5 points short of an A, I’m telling you now, your parents are not going to be impressed.”
Oh, so when did you become a political campaign manager, Monica; amplifying and falsifying numbers to strengthen your weak arguments. You’ve turned those 5 points into 500. Stop. Fume. Count to 2,000, and let it go. Unfortunately, you wore red today instead of purple. Wisdom be damned!
“I’m telling you girl, you better pull your head out of your social life and get it where it needs to be. School is your job, socializing is your hobby! Where was Jenna or Christine during last week’s science test? Where’s Ben gonna be when you’re 36 and vying for that job promotion? Where’s cute Joey going to be when you’re trying to get into college? I’ll tell you where. Somewhere you are not!”
Really? You had to pull out the ol’ college threat? The poor girl is only 11. You’ve got 7 more years to hammer away on that one. Do you feel yourself cringing? Are you seriously going to continue with this childish display before your own children? Yes. Yes, I believe I am.
“If you remember right I spent a Saturday afternoon helping you get those points when I could have been doing other things. You better get those points turned in today or you’ll have the 3 mile walk home after school to waste some more time and energy.”
Did she say something? Too bad tirades take all you’ve got, there’s really no room for listening. Good thing it will take another trimester for you to work up enough energy to have another one. Better make this one memorable… and then you’re going to need a nap.
My poor daughter slurks away, thanking God for the door on her bedroom and the headphones on her iTouch. Now that my rant is over, my wiser self is no longer afraid to come out. I feel instantly horrible. I feel like an angry child dressed up in big girl clothing. This is not what I wanted motherhood to be, but I tell you, this is exactly what it is.
I slurk over to my laptop to find an email asking me if I’d like to review Kristine Carlson’s new book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms. There’s a name on that email but there’s no doubt who it’s really from; the Universe has great empathy for moms.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms is equal to having your mother, grandmother, BFF, and MOPS group wrapped up in one tidy package. It’s a handbook, a daily meditation, and a mommy manual. Knowing how hectic a mom’s life can be, Kristine was wise enough to make each chapter pint size so they can be read in the doctor’s office or before bed. I also love how she’s chronologically stacked the chapters, starting with the issues we face as a new mom, all the way up to advice for empty nesters.
Not only does Kristine validate the things we are doing right but she offers inspirational ideas on how we can make this motherhood thing less stressful. Let’s face it, even the world’s greatest Home Engineering Goddess has a down day.
“A wise mom knows she needs to take care of herself. It’s a little like those announcements we hear every time we get on a plane. In the event those oxygen masks drop down, we’re told, always put on yours first before assisting your children with theirs.” Too bad Kristine wasn’t in the delivery room after the birth of my first child to gift me my own pink oxygen mask.
So many moms pushed me to find time for myself and I believed this was a good idea but keeping up with the laundry seemed more important. After years of putting my needs last I ended up with a blown adrenal gland (adrenal fatigue) and a drained disposition which forced me to switch up my priorities. Now, when I start to feel irritated and moody, I know it’s the result of having no “me” time which can be eased by the advice in Chapter 15 - Mom Takes a Time-Out!
“Breathing deeply from the belly is a great way to access your inner wisdom and bring yourself into a calm resolve that is conducive to healthy responses… Nothing invites drama and hurt feelings like a reactive response.” Like going ballistic with my daughter over 5 points? Yes, I need to breathe. I need to breathe deeply because none of these little things really matter in this fantastical experience we call life.
So I pulled some advice from Chapter 8, went to my daughter’s room, snuggled into her and apologized for my outburst. Now she knows being a mom doesn’t disqualify being human.
Have you enjoyed the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series? Do you find inspirational handbooks helpful in your daily life? How do you deal with those “losing it” moments all parents experience?
When you comment on an Owning Pink blog post, we invite you to be authentic and loving, to say what you feel, to hold sacred space so others feel heard, and to refrain from using hurtful or offensive language. Differing opinions are welcomed, but if you cannot express yourself in a respectful, caring manner, your comments will be deleted by the Owning Pink staff.