05/23/2014 12:06 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2014

Perspective on the Bad Days

Today, I threw a party. It was a pity party.

Today I cried because my 3-year-old wouldn't eat her peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch -- the one she had insisted I make for her.

It got thrown in the trash and she had a nap with no lunch.

Today, I wished desperately for some "alone time." Today, my soul died a little bit because the only "alone time" I'll get this week is a late-night trip to the grocery store with just the baby and because I want to be "alone" even from my husband, who has been working 14-hour days this week.

I lusted after something that wasn't my husband today. It was the boxed wine in the pantry that I haven't broken into yet, today. Yet.

My husband called on his 8-minute lunch break to see if there was anything he could do to help. He suggested giving me a "day off." I wanted to laugh and cry and punch him in the face, all at the same time.

I threatened to keep my daughter home from soccer this afternoon if she didn't fix her behavior. She agreed that she didn't want to go and now I'm worried I'm going to have to follow through with the punishment (if she's agreeing to it, then isn't really an effective punishment, is it?), which is now worse for me than for her in that I will be stuck in the house for another hour instead of enjoying the sunshine.

I resented my 3-month-old baby for wanting to be nursed to sleep at nap time. How dare my sweet little thing want to be coddled by her mommy?

Today, I wished I had never even had children. Being a mother is all I have ever really wanted my whole life.

Today, motherhood defeated me.

Being a parent is hard for me. There is great dissonance between the mother I want to be and the mother I am. I'm a work in progress, and as often as I remember to remind myself of this, I could do with a reminder that my children are as well. Of course, I'm thankful for my children because they truly do bring an indescribable happiness to my life. But on days like today, I'm even more thankful that the good days outnumber the bad, even when the intensities often feel lopsided. I'm a big believer that experiencing trouble helps you keep perspective on the blessings in your life, so on days like today, even though it's a struggle and I fail miserably at it most of the time, I try to stop for a moment to breathe and regroup.


My children are healthy. My children are happy. My children are beautiful. My children are curious. My children are insightful. My children laugh. My children kiss. My children sing. My children are independent. My children are thoughtful. My children are emotional. My children forgive. My children think. My children learn. My children snuggle. My children are fighters.

My children are reminders of all that is good in this world. The bad days that I face, I face because I am human, and I am imperfect. The bad days are opportunities for me to lead by example when I can do almost nothing else. The bad days are drills that help strengthen our family's bond. And even though the bad days get to me, they (thankfully) don't have to control my life. There's always a chance to start again. There's always a reset. What happened yesterday doesn't have to happen today, and what happens today can be forgiven by the time tomorrow rolls around.

I don't have even close to all of the answers. I have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. When days like today creep up on me, I take them one at a time. And I have to make the admission that I know I do the best that I can for my girls, and I hope they know that someday.