This weekend, the laundry is staying unwashed. The dishes aren’t getting unloaded. Books will remain unread at nighttime, and the kids may get snapped at if they open my bedroom door one more time.
This mommy is on strike. This mommy just. can’t. EVEN.
Raise your hand if you feel me, ladies! In our role as Mommy we are expected to do it all — and we usually do. This week was busier than usual at work, one of my twins got sick, I soon followed suit, and we took a stray kitty into our family. While this has meant a lot of joy from our new addition, it also meant cleaning cat pee off my bed while taking care of one sick kid and entertaining the not-sick kid…it hasn’t left much time for me to take care of myself. So this weekend, I lost it. The kids were fighting, they were hungry, I was literally sick and tired, and they just wouldn’t listen. “Listen to me!” I bellowed in a far-too-harsh tone that left the kids looking shocked. “I am sick and you aren’t listening and I can’t do this anymore!”
What happens when mommy just can’t even?
We all have these days, mama. Those days that kick you right in the tush and knock you off of your “I’m-an-awesome-mom!” throne.
When you feel like everything is caving in and you just can’t do it anymore, it’s a sign you need to stop. It’s okay to let yourself stop. I had been running around all Saturday playing with the kids, taking them to the store, trying to feed my picky eaters–I had completely neglected the fact that I was sick. Standing alone in that dark bathroom, I knew it was up to me to fix this.
Here’s how I did it:
After my outburst, I immediately retreated to the dark silence of my bathroom. I shut the door, turned out the lights, and tuned out the world around me. The first stop in calming yourself is often isolating yourself in a quiet space where you feel safe.
Acknowledge your mom-guilt:
After some deep breathing, the nasty little voice of mom-guilt arrived. How could I yell at my kids that way? They weren’t really too out of hand. They were hungry because I had barely cooked dinner. They were bored. They were tired. Yet I just couldn’t seem to do anything. I acknowledged the guilt I felt in screaming so harshly, but reminded myself that the kids will survive one night with popcorn for dinner instead of a full meal. They will survive a day where mommy doesn’t tend to their every need.
Tell your kids what’s up:
Once I calmed down, I called the kids into my room. I told them that I did not enjoy yelling at them earlier, but that I really needed them to hear me. I told them mommy is sick, mommy is tired, and mommy needs them to respect that. I told them that I LOVE taking care of them, and that they could take care of me too. This, they finally understood. My mom-guilt was lifted.
The next day I forced myself to rest and it. was. glorious! I told the kids in the morning that I would be staying in bed all day and to please not disturb me unless they really needed something. While I did get up several times to fix them some simple no-cook meals, I succeeded in spending my day in bed reading, napping, and catching up on Homeland. The only productive thing I did all day was write this post.
After spending the day in bed, I finally started feeling a little better. I still have a nasty cough and sore throat, but I felt somewhat renewed from my rest. I decided to give myself a manicure, a simple action that was like a treat at the end of my day. Find something small that doesn’t take too much effort and treat yourself with it — after a day in bed, you will feel so much better.