Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The Preschool Mommy | Posted on 21-06-2011
My husband just got back into town from being away on business for a week. He was in India – so when I say he was away, he was really away. He was 12 ½ hours ahead of us, starting his new day when DJ and I were frantically trying to finish ours. And let me tell you….I have a whole new respect for single parents.
When you are the sole provider, entertainer, chef, chauffeur, story-teller, diaper changer, tantrum extinguisher, etc – life gets exhausting. I was exhausted. Wait, I mean, I am exhausted…still. It was one of those rare weeks where I thought that having a full time job outside of the home sounded utterly glamorous. As a stay-at-home mom, I am already up to my eyeballs in all-things-kid, so not having another adult to interact with on a daily basis pretty much left me puking Elmo….figuratively, of course.
Last night, after my husband had been home for just over 24 hours, DJ decided to have an epic breakdown. I am certain she was beyond tired, ridiculously hot, emotionally drained and certainly picking up on her parent’s weariness. It was, of course, at the same time my husband left the house to run some errands. Lucky me, after seven days of solo fits, my kid waited again till I was alone to unleash her fury. I tried almost everything in my arsenal to get her to stop, short of putting on clown shoes – but only because I don’t actually own clown shoes – good thing, right? At my wits end, I marched to the freezer, pulled out a grape popsicle, hoisted her up onto our bed, and let her slurp away. Yes, I said “grape popsicle” and “bed” in the same sentence. Did I also mention the solid white duvet?
In those drippy, sticky, messy moments, I realized that sometimes we take the easy way out in parenting. Sometimes the battles we choose not to fight are the holes in our consistency that our children pine for. They are the moments when they realize that Mommy might have weakness, the moments when they get one up on us and forever recall that the rules can be bent. They are the times when our children see us as human, they see us let down, give in, and devour some ill-achieved peace.and.quiet. For crying out loud….some peace and quiet.
Or, maybe they are the moments that draw our children in even closer to us. They are the memories that our children will share with their first teacher about a special time they recall spending with us. “One day when I was in a bad mood, my mommy let me eat a popsicle in her bed.”
I can’t believe I am even going to admit this – but I am reminded of something (the only intelligent thing) that Vicky of the Real Housewives of Orange County said in a finale show not too long ago…..something about how when people break down and cry, and when they become vulnerable and ditch their tough exterior that real relationships can begin and grow. I truly believe that to be true for the friendships in my life, so why wouldn’t the same be true with our children?
We don’t always have to be the “Rule Enforcenator. “ (Yes, poor taste to inert an Arnoldism here). Sometimes, we can be the burnt-out woman (or man) who will do anything to make it just a few more hours till bedtime. And, that’s OK. We forgive ourselves, we move on, and we know without a doubt that we’re doing an amazing job raising these animals….um, I mean, lovely children.