I'll post something more exciting tomorrow, and probably less of a downer, but this is what's been on my mind this week. Being a Mom is hard. Really hard. People tell you it's hard, and you won't believe them until you experience it. And then you'll try and tell other people, and watch them roll their eyes and think, "Hey, lady, if YOU can do it, surely it's not that difficult." Well, it is.
My kids have perfected the "classic, text-book" style of tantrums these days. Last week we went to Old Navy (1st mistake, don't bring kids somewhere they won't like) and thought we'd try on a few things and get some lunch (2nd mistake, especially don't take hungry kids somewhere they won't like). I was trying on a pair of skinny jeans and cursing the skinny people with baby thighs who came up with the stupid things when I could hear a child screaming bloody murder, from across the store. I recognized that scream. That was MY child. Of course it was. Everything I've ever read about tantrums say that they last an average of two to four minutes and the child cannot be reasoned with at all during that time, so the best thing to do is ignore them. Sounds easy, right? WRONG. Have you ever tried to ignore a child screaming, kicking, while simultaneously trying to convince people with your eyes that you're not a horrible person with overly-indulged children?
There was an episode of Modern Family once where Cam & Mitch mistakenly lock their baby in the car, and so they call onstar and tell them to hurry because "people are juding us!" That's exactly how I felt. "Just ignore those people," you may say. Easier said than done. I read one time (I read a lot, I'm a nerd) that gorillas were something like 6 times more likely to give into their tantruming child if there were other gorillas present. I've done the same thing, "Here, have a sucker, just stop crying so we can finish grocery shopping." Good times.
In Utah, there are kids everywhere, and so I never had a problem letting my kid scream for a minute because usually some mom would give you a sympathetic smile, as though to say, "I've been there!" Here, there aren't that many kids, just people with dogs who they treat like kids, and the looks I get are more, "My dog doesn't even behave that way!" (That is one of my biggest pet peeves, by the way, people comparing their dogs to my children. Please, tell me more about how I can leave my child locked in a crate all day while I run errands. Cause that's the same thing.)
Sometimes I feel like being a Mom is a lot like dealing with crazy people. Kids try to convince you of all kinds of things that aren't logical, and you try and set them straight. Then they look at you like you're the one who's nuts, not them. My kids believe that a blanket will protect them, that mommy kisses make wounds feel instantly better, that peanut butter is good but peanut butter sandwiches are poison, and that the ceiling fan is out to get them. Today Jason was convinced that Christmas was 4 minutes away. And ticked every time we tried to tell him that wasn't the case. Brett even did the calculation, it's actually 125,000 minutes away. We got a blank stare for that one.
This week has just been trying for me. I've been homesick, Brandon wasn't feeling well and the kiddos were usually fighting 30 seconds after they woke up.Then I'd sing the lyrics to "Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth" in my head and instantly feel guilty. It's just hard sometimes. And that's ok. Wanna know why? Because being a Mom is exhausting and wonderful. My kids test my patience and limits more than I ever thought possible, and I also love them more than I ever thought I could love. Anyway, that's all. Tomorrow I'll post something else, but I just wanted to think out loud for a minute.