Today has been one of those days. You know, when you start off three steps behind because you didn't do your to-do list the night before and the day just goes down hill from there.
I am currently on maternity leave and I use the term "maternity leave" loosely because I'm a teacher and maternity leave doesn't really mean that much. It does mean I do not have to report to work but I do have to set up my classroom, write all the lessons, communicate with all the parents, grade all the papers and make sure my interim knows what they are doing all while not getting paid. That sounds negative. I love my job and would actually do it without pay if I didn't need the money to survive, but we do.
My husband is also a teacher and returned to work today so today was the first day that I was home with both our newest addition (now 6 weeks old) and our three-year old. This morning I drove 40 minutes to pick up the toddler who stayed with my parents the last two nights so I could attempt to set up my classroom with a nursing infant in tow. The morning was great! We visited with my parents and drove to visit my grandmother so she could see her great grandchildren. We followed this with a visit to my parent's consignment booth and then had lunch in the sleepy rural North Carolina town.
Then we got home. The toddler fought me on going to the potty, did not want to take a nap and demanded that I return him to grandma and grandpa "at once". After bribing him (I'm not ashamed) to take a nap he woke up saying he "itched all over". Turns out the kid was covered in tiny ticks! I scooped him into the bathtub, called the pediatrician and began to remove tiny ticks with tweezers.
The rest of our evening continued to go down hill. We had a car insurance fiasco that borders illegal behavior, a smoke filled rental car and now a wheezing infant. We ate fast food for dinner, I yelled at my child to be quiet, I lost my patience and had the "eye-roll" tone when I answered his "mom" for the 135th time in 20 minutes.
Then it happened; Both kids are in bed, I finally got to talk to my husband and the house got quiet. The chaos lifted and I began to think about all the things I did wrong today. I wish I could have kept my patience with my toddler. I wish I would have been nicer to the insurance lady even if I didn't like what she had to say. I wish I wasn't so angry at the rental car place because I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow with a wheezy infant that can't ride in that car.
I just want a mulligan; a do-over. I imagine many parents have had those days where they just don't feel good enough. So I crawled into bed and looked at my sweet toddler who was barely still awake and told him that I love him and that mommy was sorry for being frustrated. He simply said "It's okay. I love you. We'll have a better day tomorrow".
Friends, if you find yourself needing a do-over give yourself some grace. Acknowledge your shortcomings, make amends, remind yourself of how blessed you are and decide to make a better choice the next time the opportunity presents itself.
As my grandmother used to say "we were given life; we weren't promised it would be easy".
Hoping you all have more good days than bad and that you can laugh at the chaos when you can!