Thursday, April 11, 2013

Does anyone know where the right side of the bed is?

I remember as a kid, if I woke up in a bad mood... my mother would say to me,

"Looks like someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!" 

I hated hearing that.
It's an expression that never really made any sense to me. 
I only knew it meant I was being teased for being grumpy in the morning.

Getting up on the wrong side of the bed back then was perfectly OK.
I was in a foul mood.
It was accepted. 
My family ignored me and went about their business and I got over my mood in my own time...and all was ok in the world of Kristen once again.

As a parent...getting up on the wrong side of the bed is like TOOOoooTALLY unacceptable.

There is no such thing as everyone ignoring you... letting you get over your mood and moving on with your day.
OH NO!
You have to SUCK. IT. UP.
Grin and bear it.
Put your big girl panties on and get over it... like NOW.

Well, many recent mornings, I've gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

And that would be due to the fact that I'm not even really sure I sleep some nights. 
Some nights I'm up and out of bed so many times... I don't have time to sleep.
Im seriously starting to doubt the existence of the RIGHT side of the bed.

And I've come to realize (in my lack of sleep stupor)... kids don't "get" social cues.

There are mornings when it's CLEAR that I'm barely awake.

And what's even more clear is that I'm NOT happy about it.

Any adult would see those things in my face and leave me alone.
Kids? Not so much.

Every day at my house starts with what I like to call, "The morning marathon." 

Who wants what cereal? who needs juice?... who is bringing what for a snack to school?...

"Mom, can I buy lunch today? PLEASE? It's pizza and I really, really, REALLY love the school's pizza"..(really? It's cardboard) ....

"MOM! She's not sharing her stickers with me... and Sophia gave those stickers to BOTH of us!!! MOM!!!"

And the talking, chatting, arguing, questions, singing....all continue through the morning marathon.

And all I can think on those "wrong side bed" mornings is,
"Please. For the love of GOD.  I need more coffee ...and I need silence..  I need to hide somewhere because I cant take this insanity!!!"

And then the hair brush comes out.... "Mom, can you brush my hair???"
In my head... I'm thinking...
"Can't you brush your own hair?"
And I KNOW the exasperated look on my face said exactly that.

And then another voice in my head says;
"You should be cherishing this moment. She won't ask you to brush her hair for forever"...and...
"Be thankful she HAS hair!"... and then... "Be thankful she's HERE."

THE GUILT.
It sets in.  In those moments my guilt takes over and all I want to do is cry.

What kind of terrible person...NO, what kind of terrible MOTHER am I?

I should be counting my blessings...cherishing the moments.... EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

And when I don't? Guilt takes over...and I'm covered for the rest of the day in a shroud of it.
Guilt hanging over me like a black cloud.

I'm not 100% certain, but I'm fairly sure that most moms carry around the very same guilt.
Maybe it's not in the forefront of their minds at all times, but it's there. It's hiding ... lurking somewhere...waiting to come out.

We're all trying SO hard to be these super moms...
These loving and patient and kind and caring and wonderful mothers...24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

But we're worn out and tired and exasperated and run ragged. 

And we feel guilty on top of it all for not feeling our gratitude all of the time and cherishing each moment... And really?? IT'S TOUGH!

For the most part we probably all succeed at doing what is right and what is good for our children ...keeping them safe and secure and loved.  Absolutely.

But it's a challenge to remember to cherish the little moments in between refereeing arguments and packing back packs and pouring cereal and cleaning up spilled juice. 
Especially when there's that piece of you that's needing a moment to be by yourself...and to just BE yourself...bad mood and all.

And there's a piece that maybe just needs to take a step back or TWELVE steps back and take a breather and get some space because it's overwhelming...always putting everyone else's needs first.

And it's overwhelming feeling guilty for WANTING to take a break, for wanting to go back to bed, for wanting to shut off the noise in your house for a while and let someone else handle the breakfasts and the hair brushing.  And for not cherishing it all. 

I am so VERY grateful for all that I have. 
So very, VERY blessed to have four healthy and happy children. 
I know this in my heart 100% of the time.   

On mornings when I'm struggling to keep my eyes open and not tell my kids to get their own darn breakfast... it's hard to keep that in my head.

And that's ok.  I mean, it is, right?

Perhaps I need to cut myself some slack and quiet that guilty little voice in my head....
Perhaps we all do.

Some days it's a challenge just to get out of my own way.
Some days it's a challenge just to be ME, but then to try and be a patient, kind, loving, grateful, blessings-counting Mom - maybe on those days... it's a bit too much to expect of myself.

Maybe on the days when I "get up on the wrong side of the bed",  I can just try to BE and DO. 
I'll BE Mom who packs the backpacks, and waits for the bus and reties shoelaces 100 times... feeling grumpy, worn out, tired and a little exasperated. 
I'll DO my best to just get through the day and NOT have a meltdown. 
I'll DO A-OK with keeping my kids safe and secure and loved(but maybe lack a little in the patience department) 

and that IS ok!

On those days maybe I'll just need to remind myself to start fresh again tomorrow... to drop-kick the guilt ...that it's ok to be tired and grumpy sometimes and everyone has that right ....even moms!


And at the end of those days... when the dishes are done and the laundry is folded and the day has been put behind me..
I'll peak in on my sleeping kids and will count my many blessings.... smile at their little sweet faces... wonder over how lucky I am to have them in my life....and that will be ok...
In fact, that will be BETTER than ok...THAT will be wonderful.

Peace, Love and RIGHT NOW