The awful, wonderful day.

2:08 PM

It was certainly, definitely, positively, "one of those days".

   Jocelyn flounces into my bed at the crack of dawn and announces that "There is a spider."  I fling off the covers and freak out to find....there is a spider.  But it is far away on the wall, close to the ceiling.  Crisis averted, sleep ruined.

   Then she didn't want to wear her dress.  They fought over the farm animals.  They wanted to watch a show.  They couldn't seem to figure out how to play, and seemed singularly focused on ruining my morning, and came pretty close to pulling it off.

   We scrambled to get ready to go out the door and to the park to meet a friend.  I set out the swimsuits.  They lost the swimsuits.  I fixed their hair.  They messed it up.  I put on shoes.  They took them off.

  And finally, when I'd just about had it, (and you know what I mean by "had it") got just a little bit worse.

   Whoever it was that said, "People are more important than things" had probably not just witnessed their two-year-old peeing/pooping onto their favorite rug.

   So then of course I spent the next 15 minutes when we should have been going out the door on my hands and knees, trying to scrub and clean and spray and completely remove the germs and the smell and the......wait a second, what is this water on the bathroom floor?  Is it water?  Is it pee?  And while I'm standing there contemplating the Great Liquid mystery, Jocelyn kicks a beach ball right at me, into the bathroom, splashing and bouncing through aforementioned Mystery Liquid and into my face.

I thought I'd had it before, but now I had truly, thoroughly HAD IT.

  I let out a strangled sort of screech/scream, (you know the kind) and felt my cool, calm collectedness just vanish in a vapor of steam.  I hollered at Jocelyn to remove herself and the ball from the premises, I ushered Charlotte out of the bathroom probably a little too hastily and I tried to keep myself from launching something through the bathroom window.

   Much later, when we were all still in one piece and in the car headed toward our destination, (although missing the hidden swimsuits) I passed a pile of roadkill that looked suspiciously like one of our chickens.  Great.  Just fantastic. (It turned out later to be a false alarm, thank goodness)

   Then we reached the park, but the girls didn't really feel like playing, because Jocelyn had a runny nose (which is the end of the world for her) and they were both feeling a little bit shy and clingish, and let's be honest, no one's in a good mood after that kind of a morning.

   So my friend and I tried to talk, and our kids tried to play, but Jocelyn was drinking her coffee (not her coffee, HER coffee.  My friend's. Grrrr.)  and my girls were whining for lunch and it wasn't even 11:00 am yet.

This is always the point in time where I wonder incredulously why I ever even leave my house at all.

   So we proceed down to the river to swim, which of course they have no swim stuff for because they LIKE TO HIDE THINGS.  So I just let Jocelyn wear her dress (white, of course) and Charlotte wear nothing but her diaper.  Neither are too happy about the situation.

   They complain about the tomatoes in the wraps.  (they LOVE tomatoes)  The sun is in their eyes.  The rocks are hot to walk on.  The water is cold.  On and on it went.

   In spite of it all, we actually managed (miraculously) to have a really, wonderful conversation and left feeling very uplifted, and very encouraged.  I am so grateful for friends I can be real with.  I can be vulnerable with, I can share with, I can identify with, and I can walk through the trenches with.  Thank-you Jesus.

   Before we parted ways she gave me a LOVELY gift, and I gave her a loaf of homemade bread. Which would be a great idea except for the fact that she is eating gluten-free.  *smacks forehead*  How could I forget that?!

   I was all too eager to see that day come to an end.  But before the day was over, and the goodnights were said, I snapped the picture above and posted it to Instagram with this caption:

  "Today was definitely 'one of those days'. It was hard. Bone hard. Leaving me drained and empty at the end. I met a friend at the park and those moments spent together sharing about our lives and being real and vulnerable about our struggles were glorious. But it seemed on every other front, my day was dead-set against me. I feel so often lately like I am completely failing as a mother. I lose my patience, I show my frustration, and I flail wildly in the dark for wisdom. Help me Jesus! I need you to help me be the mother they deserve. And when it's all said and done, help me remember this day, not as the day that I was at my wits end with Jocelyn, but as the day that the light caught her hair and shone golden as she, clad in princess dress and rain boots, tried her best to help her daddy clean up outside."

And it was in that moment that I knew.  

   I knew that in 10 years from now I wouldn't remember any of the runny noses, lost swimsuits, whining and frustrations.  I wouldn't remember the spoiled plans, melt-downs, or the bone-dry exhaustion at the end of the day.  

I would simply remember being their mama, and I would be grateful for ALL of it. 

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  1. Shells, you're the best. That sounds like a rotten morning, but I appreciate how you found the silver lining in it all.

    Also, you can send me any extra homemade bread that you have, and I would put it to good use. :)

  2. If you can't comment on my blog, maybe I can still comment on yours! My only reason for wanting to remember the hard days is because it will make us GREAT grandmas someday. We'll be fabulous at helping out our daughters/daughters-in-law and giving them breaks. At least that's what I'm hoping. :) And we'll be great friends, too; taking dinners, offering babysitting, etc., etc., etc., to offer our friends little breaks. Anyways, that's how I try to think about it. Doesn't always work as I'm crying to myself in a corner. Haha.

  3. Oh wow, I can just feel with you that sense of having just HAD IT. The beach ball flying into the puddle in the bathroom is CLASSIC. I confess I had a few occasions with little children where I felt I could. not. handle the moment and prayed that God would keep me from murdering my children. Maybe it was meant to be this way--just by definition more than we can handle. And, just sayin'--those children with lots of personality (and Smucker genes) and stories to tell later come with the price tag of using up your emotional resources. Surviving is an accomplishment.

  4. great post! I love your honesty... we all have days like that. I laughed out loud at the stories, I can relate! and I too was blessed to see your perspective on the day!

  5. It sounds as if you had a stressful morning! Bless you honey, I think we've all had moments like this. Don't be too hard on yourself. Those little girls are blessed to have you as their mom. I love reading about your day to day life. You can paint a good picture with your words and make us readers feel as if we were there. Hugs to you dear Mama. Merry, p.s. I read every single one of your post, so keep em coming!!!

  6. So I may have had tears prick my eyes as I read this... because from one mother to another, I think we have all had days similar to this and wonder if we've survive to the end. Or if our sanity will survive. Ha!

    But I hope I'll always remember this kind at least a little. Just enough to remember to encourage another mother right now; and I've already vowed that when I'm a grandmother I'm going to HELP out my kids with their kids if I possibly can. And rather than remember only the good times, I want to remember enough of the hard so that I can empathize with those awful, wonderful days instead of the sometimes discouraging, "Carpe Diem!" :) xoxo

    You're such a good mama.

  7. I just started following you (from Nicole's blog) and you have quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. Thank you SO much for your honesty here. I can't tell you how good it is to hear that I'm not the only one who has a finicky little girl (sun too bright, too cold, too hot, oh yeah), and who isn't always patient and calm. Mothering is way harder than I ever imagined. Just this morning I was reading and came across Psalm 103:14. "He is mindful that we are but dust." It came as a great encouragement to know that God realizes I'm inadequate, yet still offers steadfast love. I am going to be clinging to that verse, and the hope that He can use my wimpy loaves of bread (maybe even gluten-free) and fish. :) Thanks again, I look forward to reading all your posts.

  8. All you have to say is, "It was one of those days!" and I know exactly what kind of day you're talking about! By God's grace, we will survive!


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