Thursday, April 22, 2010

The bad morning

As I type this I'm already feeling a bit better. But -

Today was a bad morning.

I try to be a positive person. I usually succeed. I try to appear to have it together. I'm usually a little less successful at that. But I get that there is love and beauty in my frazzledness, I'm good with that. Many of my friends love me for that quality particularly and it has been affirming to know it charms y'all. But -

Today was a bad morning.

I got up before 6am to nurse Bryson, them spend a little QT snuggling and exchanging big cheeky grins. Put B on his play mat kissed my hubby hello when he got out of the shower, and tag your it, I went to get ready. Getting "ready" for me in the morning is a pretty loose term. Perhaps I should call it finding something to wear and brushing my hair, occasionally getting a curl in or some eyeliner on. Today I found something that fit, was weather appropriate, clean, and that I hadn't wore yet this week, so that was success right there. Addie was up by the time I came down and I snuggled with her and read her a book. Lily got up, I snuggled with her and we talked. I had my coffee while they had there milk. It was 7:10 and we didn't need to leave until 7:30 to make my bus.

It seemed like a good morning.

But then somehow it was already 7:30, I had my coat on, Lawrence wasn't quite ready, Lily started crying that I didn't read her a book. Not the kind of crying like throwing a fit, but big ole tears welling up and rolling down. As she stood there holding "Dora's book of manners", and clinging to me, I felt sad and angry. Then I just got angry. Lawrence wasn't ready, we needed to leave right now. I told him that. I told Lily no for the book, now I was going to miss the bus anyway. I begged her to stop crying. I didn't sound like a mom, but like a manic crazed person. I started to cry. I apologized to Sabine and then I didn't say goodbye to the kids, after I kissed Lily's head and threatened to send her to her room until she calmed down. She didn't calm down and I didn't send her to her room, then I left. Lawrence was fiddling with the trip counter on the car and wasn't leaving the drive way and I snapped at him. On the way he said, "Don't worry, hon, she's okay, it's not that". I said, "It's not that for me either". I'm not really sure what either of us meant but I hurt and I was fuming. We pulled up to the bus stop, just as my bus drove away. He apologized, and I got out of the car.

I couldn't get over how this turned to a bad morning.

I sat there in the cold wind for 20 minutes waiting for the next bus, trying to put this all into perspective. Did I really just tell my five year old baby that she would have to go to her room because she was sad I was leaving for work? I was mad at myself for getting mad. And especially mad at her. Was I upset that I would be late? I would still be getting to work by 8:40. That wasn't it. What was it?

I'm still not sure what is up with me, but as I think about it, I guess it was that I get up in the morning before 6am. I shower the night before. I barely get myself dressed and ready. I don't get my kids breakfast or dressed. I read one of them a book. I didn't eat breakfast (though thanks to Sabine reminding me, I grabbed my toast out of the toaster oven before rushing out the door). I plan ahead the night before, laying out clothes and packing bottles and pump supplies. I make a list of things to discuss with Sabine or organize things Lily might need for school. I write down what time Bryson ate, and when he'll need his first nap based on wake up time. And somehow in an hour and a half, I do so much, yet do nothing, and leave my little girl crying with her face pressed against the window because I didn't have time to read a book in my rush to go miss the bus.

I try to be a positive person. I try to keep it all together. I try to remember that I've only been back to work for one month. I try to remember that I only gave birth 4 months ago. I want to go easy on myself, but I can't. So my anxiety builds. I don't have control of my new normal yet. And maybe I won't find that for a while, no matter how much I want to. I'm trying to find patience not only for my kids but for myself. I'm my harshest judge. I don't feel like this every day. But -

Today was just a bad morning.


  1. Oh Jenny...*hugs...we ALL have days where we are less than what we expect of ourselves. You are SO right when you say you ONLY gave birth four months ago, and have ONLY been back to work for a month. It's a huge adjustment and you need to be more gentle with yourself. Lily will forgive and forget and I'll bet she runs to meet you when you get home today. Children are very forgiving, thank goodness...By tomorrow she will have forgotten all about this morning and you will be back into your routine. Hope your day gets much better, don't beat yourself up. You are a FANTASTIC mother, look inside, you know it's true. Sending you my love...

  2. Jenny - My guess is that you don't feel in control. You're not a controlling person. So knowing you it's not something you can identify yourself. There is something about depending upon someone else to help you meet your own goals (reading, feeding, breakfast, snuggle, kisses, lists, etc.) that when one piece doesn't line up just right - it all seems like a failure. BUT - it's not! Think of all the things you did do... Addie had a book, you fed Bryson and snuggled, kissed your husband, etc. Those things are a lot. Coming from a REAL control freak - you do amazing sweetheart. Maybe it needs to be a trade off - one morning is Addie's one is Lily's - and maybe Lawrence can handle the other one - - - open yourself up and ask for a little more help - it's okay to not do it all babe. Love you.

  3. I have had a day or two like that myself Jenny. So I can relate. Life is a constant balancing act. Constant. I'm posting to remind you that You're doing a great job! You are a wonderful loving mother, wife, woman. It took me months to get back to a new norm with 3 kids. Hormones, sleep, details, etc. 8 years later I still have ups and down, but it's all worth it, truly. :)

  4. Wow, Jenny. I didn't read this before our chat online the other day. I am sorry I didn't inquire more about how you were doing. I think you are an amazing woman, wife, mother. You are so much more together than I will ever be when it comes to your family and their food and sleep schedules. I admire that. I hope you enjoy this weekend away. Thank you for the advice on nursing and for always sending loving prayerful thoughts my way. You are one of the sweetest women I have ever met. Love you!

  5. Oh Jenny, so sorry to hear that you had such a bad morning! Your 'new' normal will all fall in to place and reading a book to Addie will fall right back where it belongs.
    Just take deep breaths and remember that you are doing the best you can do. It is such a crazy balancing act and soon you will be a master at it! ;)