In honor of Mother’s Day, and, more specifically, motherhood – the greatest job you’ll ever love and sometimes still fall short in. … Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, keep on keeping on, and, most importantly, keep on laughing at yourself:
I’m banking on the fact that my indulgent, but unabashedly honest, temper tantrum last night in front of my son and husband, while disgusting, is at least relatable. And, I’m banking on the fact that my follow up performance from this Mother’s Day morning is the sign of a healthy, though perhaps slightly dysfunctional, mom.
I wince when I think of my crestfallen son’s little face as he watched me carry on last night, wailing about when I’d get the chance to sit on the couch and zone out for a mental break.
The details are fuzzy, but I do recall my tantrum involved some stomping and over-exaggerated slamming of various kitchen items, as I bitched through the evening clean up and bedtime routine. There may have been some yelling too – and possibly an overly-dramatic proclamation to the effect that perhaps in 18 years I might be able to sit on the couch and watch a television program and finally –finally - rest my mind.
All this nonsense performed much to the horror of both my seven year old and husband, a husband who sat there in his recliner, mouth agape, attention momentarily turned away from his beloved Sportscenter. To be fair, he was taking a much-deserved break after a day’s worth of household projects. But the problem was, why wasn’t I?
It wasn’t my finest moment, certainly not something to wail on and on about in front of my children. The truth be told, Billy could have cared less, too engaged in his five year old shenanigans to worry over some “minor” family discourse. But Eddie, my sweet, faithful pal, was another story.
And, on the night before Mother’s Day, the very day when the stars annually align and all the men and children in your life revere you, kowtowing to your every whim…theoretically, at least. The shame of it!
So, I guess I’m also hoping that it’s not so horrible if I followed last night’s performance this morning with a cleverly-executed plan to plop the boys in front of the television for a movie and shutter myself in my bedroom for a café mocha and writing time on my far-too-often neglected blog.
While other moms were likely out brunching with their families, I, instead, choose to put my headphones on full blast, loud enough to drown out Emilio Estevez yelling at his Mighty Ducks, and the occasional scream match my boys seemed to resurrect every couple of minutes.
The truth is, the break was long overdue, and, unfortunately, the meltdown too.
My world rises and falls around my family. If I do one meaningful thing in my life, I hope it is to raise happy, well-adjusted boys who grow up as loving, respectful and functioning members of society. If so, I will have done my job here on earth. It’s a simple truth.
Still, with the chaos and general busyness of life – and despite loving every moment with my boys – I have craved a break for quite some time, a break I rarely take – even when I have the opportunity.
Most moms can relate; it’s the mother-balance conundrum.
So, when you look at the bigger picture, this behavior – even the occasional and inappropriate meltdown – are normal, perhaps even dysfunctionally healthy. Possibly, the only thing healthier would be to actually take more breaks when those occasional opportunities arise in the first place. Surely, it’s something to strive towards.
In the meantime, these few moments of selfishness are a lifeboat meant to maintain any semblance of sanity. Better yet, perhaps they are not even selfish at all. Moms, after all, are notorious for actually being too selfless.
Best mom ever? Maybe not. But, that’s okay. I’ll settle for great mom, usually.