Today Was Not a Good Mommy Day

It started with my daughter walking up to me and spitting a mouthful of milk on my face.  It dripped down my neck, down my shirt.

I resisted the urge to rage at her.  I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet.  I wanted to yell.


Instead I said, “go get me a towel right now.”

“I’m sorry mom,” she said, face turned down, eyes averted.

When she came back I wiped the milk from my skin and told her to sit on the couch and not say a word. 10 minutes later, after I felt the anger subside, I called her to sit on my lap.

“What happened before?  Why did you spit your milk on me?”

“I was trying to give you a fish kiss,” she said.

Breakfast was eaten, but we didn’t watch her favorite show.  Punishment.  She understood. The baby’s nap time rolled around and he was angry.  He resisted.  He yelled.  He cried.  30 minutes and a glass of milk later and he finally slumbered.

I emerge from the bedroom feeling as though I’d won one battle for the day to find Hannah eating peanut butter out of the jar.  She’s supposed to ask before she eats anything. It’s a rule and, I feel, a reasonable one.

I grab a snack and a coloring book and a new pack of crayons for her.  Coffee for me.  I bring this all downstairs to our family room – away from where the baby was napping.  “Here,” I say, “take this and sit down and color. Please show me some good behaviour because you haven’t done this yet today.”  She colors half a page then starts playing with the dog.  Then starts chasing the dog. Then starts yelling and throwing toys for the dog.

I lose it.  I order her to lie on the couch and not move or say a word.

I feel the anger bubbling over and I feel myself retreat inside to find some strength only there’s nothing there.  I feel sick, still having not recovered from an earlier illness.  I feel tired.  I feel emotionally exhausted. I want to get away – to run somewhere where I can be still in quiet.

It gets me thinking about how everytime I’m away from my kids I long to be right back at their side.  If I get away for a haircut..I wonder what they are doing.  If I run to the store for milk, I want to be home tucking them in.  If I’m out at an event I look forward to seeing them again.  I realize that I don’t want to get away from my kids, not really.  I’m not running from them.

Instead I’m running back towards myself.   There isn’t a version of me that exists without them any longer. There is no village here.  There’s me. Day in and day out and day in and day out I’m afloat in the ocean with these kids.  These kids who I adore.  Every waking moment is for them, about them, because of them.

I suppose that’s why I write.  The act of writing is a selfish thing.  It’s MY thing.

When the kids are grown and I come out of this day to day cloud of sing-songs and lunches and cartoons and routines I’m hoping that writing will be the thing that keeps my individual self alive.   Because I’m starting to wonder what will be left of me…it’s all happening so fast. When she moves out and he gets married where does that leave me?  I hope it’s not knitting sweaters for cats and pining for grand kids and feeling lost.  Because I’m already lost. I’ve lost myself in them.





  1. Motherhood is filled with so many emotions -and nothing prepares you for the way it can feel so all-consuming at times. (((HUGS))) and just keeping writing your way through all this!

  2. I know exactly where you are coming from Heather. Now that my boys are older and all in school, I feel more lost than ever. I retreat back to the house the minute they are dropped off at school, because I don’t know how to be out in public by myself. I don’t know how to sit quietly at a restaurant table alone, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a single hobby or thing I “like to do” that doesn’t involve the boys. Hopefully when they are grown and gone, I will finally find myself. Having them when I was so young, I don’t think I ever had the chance to find out who I really was.

    • I have to say that I’m glad I waited until I was a bit older. Just because of the type of person I am….it was important to my psyche.

  3. Ah, Heather, I want to give you a big hug. I’ve been there (and you describe it so well) but it was many years ago. I can assure you there’s life after children and there will be lots of you left to enjoy it. But don’t stop fighting to keep that sense of yourself and your worth. I love how you give yourself time to calm down. (And I love the “fish kiss.”)

  4. You will cry when she moves out and he gets married. You will feel like every arm and leg has been pulled out of you and you can no longer function.

    These days of little children merely change into days of older children and then teen-age children and then, horror of horrors, young adult children. They may not spit milk in your face anymore, but I can guarantee you, they will still find and do whatever they think will annoy the hell out of you. Simply because.. they can. They know now and they will forever know, they are your world. No matter how infuriating they can (and will) be, you will love them entirely and you will always see things differently the next day. They won’t do this out of spite or maliciousness, but simply because it’s their way of acknowledging just how much you love them. They aren’t quite able to express love back the same way, they are kids and kids are meant to drive us crazy. And so they do.

    You will get increasingly angry and frustrated but then, grade school ‘graduation’ comes and your heart will break. They are clearly getting older. You will resolve to not let ‘the little things’ get to you anymore but come jr high grad, you will already know they aren’t ‘little things’ anymore but you will still cry because the day is again closer that they will leave. And come high school grad.. you will be a mess. Trust me.

    If you’re like me, they won’t move out then. They will be in their 20’s and still at home. Still driving you crazy. Every ounce of you will beg for your own space, your ‘identity’ back, but the second you catch them looking at the apartments for rent ads, your heart will break and you will again resolve to not let ‘the little things’ get to you and subconsciously make things better so they won’t ever leave. Your heart will do true battle with your head and quite likely, your husband. You think you’re going crazy now.. just wait 15 more years..

    Ok.. I know you completely hate me now, and I understand. But, you need to know this. No one prepared me and I think it’s full chemical warfare between my heart and my head (and soon to include MY husband! lol).

    One day we will look back and wonder what the heck just happened and where do we go from here. But.. isn’t that what we did when it first registered that we were about to embark on the Motherhood trip??

    Tomorrow’s another day. Hide the milk, put the dog out, turn on the tv, make the popcorn and when nap time comes, bring out the ‘learn to knit’ magazines!! LOL

  5. Oooh how did you take the words out of my head and heart and write them down? I started crying a few paragraphs in and my cheeks are wet with tears. All I can say, Heather, is…I know. And I hope, too. For you and for me…

    • Oh! I’m sorry to make you cry but it seems this whole post and the comments has me teary too. I’m glad there are others who ‘get’ what this is like. ((HUGS))

  6. What a day! I am so happy to no longer have days like those…instead, I have days where my 14 year daughter wakes me up at 7 am screaming at me that I wore her black skinny jeans and that she’s never going to school again. LOL Being a parent is one of the most frustrating jobs in the world!

    • 14. Wow. I can’t even imagine what life will be like for us when she is 14. I’m sure it will be a huge challenge!

  7. Your post and the comments bring back so many memories. Kathy Grill really covered everything I would say… all my fish kissers have moved out and are on their own, starting their own lives and it is not that I do not love every minute of it.. but I had not been prepared at all for the roller coaster of emotions and all that comes with my babies being grown up. There is no switch that flips… it is all just a bit different but still there. Do write and be selfish and do and have your time.. you will be a stronger mom for it. Taking the time you need for you… teaches your children not only that you are important as a person but that they are too and that taking time for themselves is important 🙂 One of the most awesome things about being a mom.. is all of us moms have a bond and can relate.. so remember, when you are sitting there waiting for your towel and wanting to rage.. you are so not alone.. we have all been there and will be there and we have your back!

    • I’m so glad you’ve got my back!! All these ladies do – It’s an incredible thing to bond with ‘strangers’ this way isn’t it?

  8. Its like you read my mind with this post. You are not alone. I always say that I want a weekend to myself, in a hotel room all alone with my thoughts, but I know, without a doubt that once I am there, my thoughts will be of my kids.

  9. I love this – and I love that you are blogging and getting some community to share these moments. You wrote this beautifully. There are definitely those days in motherhood, where a getaway sounds really nice, until you’re driving out the driveway and every part of your heart is tugging for you to go back. I know it well. And yes, embracing these crazy children and their outlandish antics is the only way to stay sane, I think. Because – all these laughs and all these timeouts for poor behavior really add up to a lifetime of memories and stories and hugs to keep us warm when we get old. I think the thing I love more than anything is that most of the time they are teaching me.

  10. I couldn’t have found this post on a more fitting day. Today was a hard day.

    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling and experiencing. This is the most rewarding, yet isolating, jobs I’ve ever had in my life.

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