United in Laughter

We all have those days as moms where every possible thing seems to go wrong. Kids also have that amazing ability of helping us crash-land right back in our place when we get too confident in our abilities. Those moments are dirt-covered gems, really dirty and unrecognizable gems that make us humble and relatable. I have come to realize that the best way to cope with those days is with laughter, even if that laughter is someones else’s. 

I posted something about a super chaotic day that I had recently, and my best friend messaged me and said that she could not stop laughing because at least it wasn’t happening to her. Another person commented and said that my post made her feel really good about her life. OK…cool. If my crappy day can help another mom have a better day, I’m OK with that. So here’s a story about motherhood to help lift your spirits. Perhaps you can say, “At least I’m not alone,” or like my best friend, “That’s hilarious because it didn’t happen to me.”

It all started like any other day for us: my then four- and three-year-old woke up around 6:15 A.M. and walked down to their play room while I nursed the baby in my room. All was going well until I heard arguing and then yelling. Oh nooooo, we are not starting the day like this. I got up out of bed with a baby still latched and made it downstairs to tell the girls to work it out and that they needed to pick something quiet to do. The two-year-old woke up a few minutes later and was not happy. Coffee and breakfast happened somehow amidst terrible attitudes. By 9:00 A.M., everyone was sick of each other. I had probably most likely yelled at more than one kid by now. By 9:30 A.M., everyone was dressed, and I took them to the post office and the grocery store to get a break from life. Yes, the post office. That is the level of insanity we reached before second breakfast. We got through the grocery store with a few “wow, you have your hands full” comments and got back in the car. My four-year-old whined about everything on the way home. I pulled into our neighborhood and A SPIDER FELL ON ME IN THE CAR. I repeat, A SPIDER FELL ON ME. I couldn’t even find it to kill it. Surely my day could not get any suckier.

WRONG. Never say that, sweet reader.

I unloaded kids and groceries, and by 11:00 A.M., I thought that although attitudes were off, we could certainly get through the rest of the day if we just took it easy, played outside, and avoided schoolwork. I should have humbly accepted defeat and not attempted any form of work at this point, but I was arrogant and ambitious. I saw that the lawn needed to be trimmed on the side of the house, so I pulled out the weed eater, which of course, would not start. I decided this was just a small setback and would not be deterred. My solution? Garden shears. I will say no more.

I took a break because the kids seemed to be playing nicely outside in the sand box and went inside for a drink. The baby started to wake up from a short nap, so I was holding him when I looked out the screen door to see my three-year-old hoist a Tonka truck over her head and throw it over the fence. I should note that there is a small lake in the middle of the neighborhood and our house backs up to it. I placed the baby in the Rock ‘N’ Play, summoned the four-year-old to come give him his paci, and marched my way to the fence. I told my daughter to go inside because that is not what we do with toys. I looked over the fence and saw the truck lying in the grass, harmless. I looked a little further and saw most of the toys from the sandbox and all of the balls we had in our yard floating down the lake—nearly a perfect line of toys bobbing up and down in the water as the slight breeze carried them away. It was almost peaceful, which made it hard to look away and back to my reality.

Alas, I snapped out of it and whipped my head around. My daughter and I locked eyes, and she shrugged. I grabbed a fishing net that just so happened to be by the back door and set out to fish toys out of the lake. My two-year-old was running around the OUTSIDE of the net on our trampoline yelling at me because he thought I was intentionally excluding him from the fun. I paused for a second, looked at him, and said, “Please don’t fall,” but mostly it was a plea to the universe to give me a break.

I ran down to the lake, fished out some toys, and ran back to throw them in our yard. Repeat this process about seven times. The baby was crying throughout most of this, just adding to the madness. I’m sure the neighbors thought I’m crazy. By 12:30 P.M., I had finally accepted defeat, texted my husband a few expletives, and started to put kids down for naps whether they wanted to sleep or not. By some absolute miracle from heaven, all four of my kids took naps that even overlapped for a few minutes, which offered me a blessed moment of silence to hear my own ears ringing and to think of nice ways to describe my kids besides using words such as “savages” and “barbarians.” The silver lining is that I did not see a roach. Those that know me know that roaches have the power to completely undo me. That would have absolutely sent me over the edge, and I would have thrown myself in the lake.

Despite the madness, we survived. My husband came home with wine and flowers, and we had a fresh start the next day and an opportunity to fill it with as much chaos and life as possible.

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