You know what happens when you wake up, as a parent, determined to nail it as a mom that day?
Satan challenges you.
When baby #3 was just 2 weeks old, she had a very important doctor’s appointment with a specialist about 45 minutes away. This was my first outing with all 3 kids by myself and also the longest that baby #3 would be stuck in a car.
I began prepping the night before.
I cut and bagged fruit; I packed the diaper bag; I laid clothes out for everyone.
I woke up the next morning feeling like a million bucks. Up to the challenge. It was a smooth morning- too smooth.
I should have known.
We were on the road with time to spare and there was minimal crying from the offspring.
I made a quick stop at the bank, just 5 minutes from the doctor’s office to deposit some cash and noticed my eye was a little itchy.
As I sat at the stop light in front of the doctors office, the itching got worse.
By the time I stepped into the building, I was sending SOS selfies to my husband as my left eye was swelling shut. I stepped off the elevator and I could feel the receptionist’s concerned look while I tried to avoid eye contact and pretend that this was not happening.
I did not have time for this.
This appointment had been on the books for 2 months.
I had just driven 45 minutes to the place and I was all alone with the kids.
As I sat down with my clipboard of papers, I was struggling to see the paper and my throat was tingling. This had never happened before.
What. The. Hell.
After my 4 year old asked me, “What wrong wiff your eye?” I decided to ask the receptionist for help. A nurse promptly walked us next door to the emergency department, double stroller, 3 kids, diaper bag and all, since I was clearly having an allergic reaction to something. The baby’s appointment was to be rescheduled, because mom was so arrogant to think she had her shit together that morning.
After IV fluids, steroids and Benadryl did not work, I was given a dose of epinephrine which finally stopped the progressing reaction. My kids, however, did not get any Benadryl and we were well past nap time and still barricaded in the small ER room. I was given Benadryl, then a does of Epi that made my heart race and hands shake, whilst begging my 2 year old to stay out of the trash and to quit trying to eat snacks off the hospital floor. I finally resorted to strapping him into the stroller (against his will), with an IV in my arm, butt exposed and all, until help (finally) arrived.
My husband, who works second shift, had to call in to work to come to the hospital and rescue us.
After the reaction was finally stopped, I felt well enough to drive home. But, when we exited the hospital, we were far from where I had originally parked. When the lovely nurse walked me to the ER, we had went out a back door, crossed a street and went through a back entrance to the hospital and down some random hallways.
We spent the next 20 minutes, using GPS to find my car while my husband scoffed the entire time- blown away that I could I lose my own car, as if I had lost it in a McDonalds parking lot.
So, the moral of the story? If you’re a parent you already know.
Parenting is an ever-evolving, chaotic deal. You can “plan” all you want and your day can still spiral out of control. It never fails that the birthday girl is sick for her party or you go into labor in the middle of a snow storm and the sooner you embrace the chaos, and learn that you are not in control, the better mom you’ll be.
As moms, we tend to try to do it all; we try to plan everything, predict the weather and then wallow in our self-inflicted guilt when we fail.
Society doesn’t help, either. Society tries to tell us how we should be parenting.
They tell us “breast is best,”
No, “fed is best.”
“Vaccinations cause autism!”
“No they don’t.”
The mommy-shamers are lurking in the grocery store, on the park bench next to you and they’re just a Facebook comment away from making you feel like you’re doing it all wrong.
And I’m here to tell ya that you’re doing it right. If you care so much what other people say, it’s because you’re a good mom who wants the best for your kids. You understand the immense responsibility that comes with having kids.
But you have to lighten up. Give in to the chaos. Embrace the lack of control and do the best you can.
Just last week, as the kids and I sat down for dinner after a long, bad day, my 4 year old randomly touched me on the shoulder and said, “you’re the best mommy ever.” And I burst into tears. She had already forgotten that mommy said “no” to her all day; that mommy didn’t play games with her and was pretty cranky.
I was the one who remembered.
So, on the days that you feel like you’ve failed, have a glass of wine, a cigarette, or a hot bath and relax. We’ve all been there. And we’ll be there again.
Tomorrow’s a new day and it might be better.
Or it could be worse.
So don’t drink all the wine. You might need it tomorrow, too. 😉
P.S. My husband was thrilled to learn that it was the cash that I had touched that I had a reaction to.