Posted on | March 14, 2012 | 11 Comments

I’m frazzled.

Yesterday was such a tough day at the office that I was frustrated when I picked my child up from daycare.  He wandered over to me, clutching an ice-filled glove to his head, and explained that one of the other kids threw a train at his head.  He had a giant purple lump just under his curls and he was crying that his head hurt.  And I sighed.  I didn’t scoop him up in my arms and tell him I was sorry.  I didn’t coddle and cushion and love his tears off his cheeks.

I freaking sighed.

We made our way to the car and then to the house with him begging for a juice box and graham crackers and me sighing, again, and giving in, allowing him to ruin any chance at a reasonable supper.  When we got home, it was mayhem and madness with the puppy bouncing everywhere and the dog growling and J complaining that he didn’t want to call his father on Skype, he just wanted to watch a movie.  I went to make dinner and J complained that he didn’t like it.  He pushed his plate on the floor and said he was finished, he didn’t want to eat anymore, one bite of homemade pizza was more than enough.  Pizza went everywhere.  The dogs fought each other for the piece, growling and barking and jumping at each other with a ridiculous ferocity that implied they hadn’t just finished their own dinners five minutes before.

And guys? I lost it.

I’d been going 900 miles an hour all day at work and came home to a house where a puppy was tearing into toys that weren’t hers, a dog was growling and pooping on the floor out of pure hatred for the fact that a puppy is in the house, and my son was throwing food on the floor.

I lost it.

I drew in a breath but before I screamed out obscenities… in Italian… I’ve been learning… I turned and faced my child.  I dropped to my knees and put my hands on his shoulders.  And in the calmest voice I could muster, I spoke:

“This is not the mother I want to be for you, J.  Mommy is very stressed out and you are not being helpful and by not being helpful you are turning me into a mother I do not want to be.  Do. You. Understand. Me.”

He didn’t.

He pulled away and continued to beg for M&Ms and Dora and for Riley to be put away so she’d stop licking him.  He didn’t get anything I said.

But you know what? I did.  I got it.  By leaning down and vocalizing exactly how I felt to my child, I was able to avoid doing what I felt like doing which was slamming a pan down in the sink and screaming “EAT IT OR ELSE, YOU UNGRATEFUL CHILD! AND THERE ARE NO M&Ms. STRESSED OUT MOMMY ATE THEM ALL JUST BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO BE ABLE TO THROW CANDY-COATED LAUGHS IN YOUR FACE.” 

He’s not ungrateful.  He’s two. 

He’s not purposefully pissing me off.  He’s two.

And when I realized that he’s two and it’s daylight savings, and he’s just as tired as I am, somehow I felt better.  Somehow, that gave me the strength to close my eyes to the mess in the kitchen and just go sit down and “enjoy” Dora with my kid. 

I’m frazzled.  I’m overworked in seven different directions, at seventeen different jobs.  But that’s MY problem… not his.

I’m frazzled.

But I hope I can always find the words I need to keep from blaming it all on him.


11 Responses to “Frazzled.”

  1. KeAnne
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    I don’t know why have I only recently started reading your blog, but I love how you write. Your post echoes so many of my own frustrations with being a working mom and toddlers and feeling out of control. I hope tonight is better.

  2. Jana A (@jana0926)
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    How powerful is taking that deep breath and speaking in those calm words, even through teeth that you’re gritting so hard they feel like they may break? ((hugs)) to you, dear. You’re a good Mama and J’s a good kid.

  3. aim
    March 14th, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    you are such a great mama. We’ll try to entertain him this evening on the ‘puter.

  4. Liane
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    I’m wish sometimes I had the strength not to throw my own tantrum when James is in the middle of a melt down! Well done!

    I hope today is calmer for you xx

  5. Jennifer Williams
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    Good job. Very good job. Sometimes it is just so hard to stop yourself in the minute of very justifiable frustration and anger and do the right thing. You totally did the right thing.

  6. YouAndMeBoth
    March 14th, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    You are a Great mom, and you’re a great lawyer for caring as much as you do. Your baby knows how much you love him, no matter what. You’re human, and you’re allowed to lose it once in a while. At home and at work. Once things quiet down, you get yourself an assistant and a raise.

  7. Meredith
    March 14th, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    That’s awesome, it is obvious that you are a good mom and love J so much.

  8. JennB
    March 15th, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    My day was Tuesday.. however, compared to your Wednesday, i failed miserably.

    I “vented” to my almost 2 year old.. vented? what mom vents to a 2 year old? I DO! because the soon to be ex-hubby is gone, the 14 year old is upstairs solving tweenage drama and middle school tragedies (which are the outfits on the other girls, the girls who talked to her boy friends in stead of her group… I mean seriously how can SHE have a few minutes to help her momma when she has ALL those problems? ugh!

    Work is super stressful and to boot, our appointed director who was being investigated by the IG announced she accepted an offer at Google and is leaving tomorrow. I’m starting to lose faith in humanity at this point. wondering if the past 3 years of our work have been somewhat tainted now. (vent again, sorry)

    To the point – I’m VERY sorry about your day! I am assuming the single mother role “again”.. didn’t think I would ride in this rodeo ever again.. and here I am, reluctantly saddled up!

    with the teenager, dog, toddler, new house, day to day life, and thankfully WINE at the end of the day.. we WILL make it through this!

    Here’s to a better day today!

  9. stephanie
    March 15th, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    Just a note of encouragement to say I think you’re doing such a great job raising J! I can completely relate to that overwhelming feeling and this was a great reminder to take a breath and put things in perspective before I let my head explode. 🙂 J is a lucky little guy!

  10. MaconMom
    March 15th, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    So impressed by your self control. I probably would have started crying. So good!
    I so hope today is a better day, albeit at a crazed pace full of chaos.

  11. Lola M.
    March 15th, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Kudos! I need to do the same … but in the meantime, can you teach me some Italian swear words?

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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