Remember that night that you weren’t proud? You were so far from it. You were short-fused, unkind, the opposite of patient and loving and really just a heartless mom. Your tired littlest, almost 4-year-old could not stop whining, then crying, then throwing himself on the floor. And then crying some more on that dirty kitchen floor. He wouldn’t come to the table for dinner. He said he couldn’t walk. You knew he was really tired from staying up too late the night before, but you didn’t want to give in to his massive melt-down, temper tantrum. You probably should have just gone over and picked him up and carried him over. And loved on him. You told him he needed to walk to the table. But he just wouldn’t do it. He laid on the floor and cried the whole time you and your other children ate dinner. The whole ten to fifteen minutes felt like forever. And then you told him that he wouldn’t get to eat dinner if he couldn’t walk to the table and sit at the table. Your head hurt but that really was no excuse.

You desperately wanted somebody, anybody to come to the front door, preferably a caring, loving person and give you a hug. And then take over the end of the day mothering for you while you went for a walk around the block. Several times.

I remember that night. So vividly. It was tonight. Thursday night.

It’s so easy to post about or write about the beautiful, the heart-flooding, and the proud moments of being a parent. It’s a little more difficult to write about the failures, the mean mom moments, hours, and days. Tonight, I got my three boys in bed and I just wanted to go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I wanted to rewind the last several hours now that I had a chance to relax. I couldn’t stop replaying the melt-downs without feeling ashamed and embarrassed of how I reacted. Not like a grown up should. Not how I would like my kids to react to frustrating, irritating circumstances. I needed someone to send me to my room for a break. An attitude adjustment. Some deep breathing. Something.

The hard days feel like I’m losing. Inexperienced. Showed up to the game without practicing. Failing. Flailing. Treading water pitifully. Gasping for breath only to be shoved back under. With my mouth open. These days, usually Thursdays, of totally solo parenting humble me. I have this massive amount of respect for single parents, every day, especially on days like today though. I’m weak. I’m sucking. Tonight, I needed someone to knock some loving mothering sense into me and say, “go pick him up off of the floor. Quit letting your grown woman stubbornness trump his little tired almost 4-year-old stubbornness.”

My littlest finally sat at the table. He did walk himself over, but he couldn’t eat because he needed me to walk him to the bathroom to go pee. Then, he told me he just wanted to go to bed and pee later as he stood next to the toilet. Tired much? Absolutely. Yes. I did end up lifting the toilet seat for him. And I carried him up to bed, but I still feel like a total jerk mom. I am thankful that God forgives and that my kids also forgive so easily. And I am extremely grateful that tomorrow is a new day. TGIF.

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