By Christina Dunn of Stay at Home Mom With No Job
The most epic of my mom meltdowns always have a good build up. It is usually in hindsight that I am able to identify the crescendo, never in the moment. Had I seen to this one coming, perhaps I could have done something to stop it, or at least diffuse it. In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t, because I would have missed learning an invaluable lesson involving a sprinkler and trip to Costco.
When I yell because of momming, it’s on a Friday. When I cry because of momming, it’s on a Friday. When I convince myself that the tiny humans that I have created and are attempting to raise are conspiring against me in an effort to make me lose my mind, it is on a Friday. Fridays can be tough, particularly if you are a stay-at-home parent. Friday afternoon feels like I’ve worked a 40-hour week, plus 20 hours, minus compensation and any type of weekend break to look forward to. Naturally, the following events occurred on Friday.
Per usual, I was counting down the minutes until my husband came home. He had been traveling that week, so the family balance we usually had was off a bit. The kids were tired of me, and the feeling was mutual. Arguments between them, followed arguments between myself and my three-year-old, followed by doorbell ringing, dogs barking, and a shortened nap led me to quickly formulate a plan B to get us through the rest of the afternoon. Naturally, it involved Costco. Costco was halfway between my husband’s office and home, so the plan was to meet there. It gave the kids and I a purpose, got us out of the house, and meant I didn’t have to cook dinner. Win.
There is a reason I insist my car is parked in the garage. Inclement weather, yes. But the number one reason is because it minimizes the chance that there will be drama or refusal to cooperate when I tell the kids to get in the car. They won’t be tempted by the neighbors playing outside, or their outdoor toys, and we can continue on peacefully in the direction of our destination.
On this particular day, timing wasn’t on my side. As I opened the garage door, my neighbor started up the driveway. I knew why she was there — she needed to borrow a stroller — but I knew if I even took a moment to engage with her, the kids would likely get distracted and I would have a battle ahead of me.
But, for fear of being rude, I turned around to get her the stroller, and it was at that moment the sprinkler system went on. The lawn had been aerated that day and the landscapers set it to start, something I never do during the day for this very reason. Exactly two seconds after that occurred, the kids bolted and were soaked in seconds. “Thanks so much!” my sweet neighbor called as she walked away, her toddler skipping behind her, shoeless.
Car running, kids soaking wet and mud coated at the other end of the yard, cue my meltdown. I stood on the driveway yelling at them to come back, to at least let me take their shoes off. Knowing I had lost all control and all hope of perusing moderately priced wine and bulk cheeses, I called my husband nearly in tears.
“Are they having fun?” he asked. “I understand why you’re upset, by why not take this moment and enjoy them enjoying themselves doing something really silly.”
Then it hit me. The fact that he was so right, followed by the sprinkler, right in the back of my head and all the way down my back. The damn thing rotated farther than I had anticipated.
When mom life doesn’t go as planned, it is easy to see things as they are and no more. As I watched my kids run through the yard, I saw two mud-covered messes in need of a bath, ruined sneakers, at least two loads of laundry, and a lost trip to Costco.
What I had missed, as my “right more than often than I allow him to believe” husband pointed out, was that these kids were happy. Overjoyed actually. They were having the time of their lives running around, being kids. They weren’t touching each other, tackling, wrestling, or arguing, but truly, genuinely enjoying each other and enjoying life. It was what they needed.
What I needed was to step back, let go of my expectations, and enjoy the moment. But of course, this doesn’t change the fact that in a perfect world, a block of Havarti and bottle of pinot grigio while I was doing so wouldn’t have hurt a bit.
About the Author
I am a stay at home mom of two awesome little boys and two elderly chihuahuas residing in Charlotte, NC. When I am not taking care of little bodies, I am busy taking care of my own by cooking Italian food and drinking wine while I do it. I have a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and a background in Insurance Sales. https://stayathomemomwithnojob.com/ https://www.instagram.com/stayathomemomwithnojob/ http://www.facebook.com/stayathomemomwithnojob/ https://www.pinterest.com/stayathomemomwithnojob/