Ramen and Wine… it’s what’s for Dinner..
I know that somewhere, I just made some moms cringe. But I’ll admit it, I’m not the type of mom who buys everything organic. I’m just not. As much as I can, I do make sure my children have healthy food to eat but yes, sometimes we skip making dinner and eat at a fast food place. Why? Because I’m a real person, that’s why.
But my lack of good homemaker, organic buying skills aside, I’m speaking to the mom out there right now, who is sitting, maybe teary eyed, and staring at her kitchen, thinking, all I want is a glass of wine and for the crying to stop. I’m speaking to you, to tell you, go ahead, pour yourself that glass. I can’t make the crying stop, from either you or your child, but what I can say is that you aren’t alone in your feelings.
What about our society makes women feel guilty for admitting that sometimes, they just want to not be “mom,” “mommy,”, “momma,” for just a moment? As much as I love my children, I would love some privacy when I go to the bathroom or a moment to sip my wine in leisure without someone else being hungry, stinky, or having a last minute homework assignment.
I want those moms out there who have a melt down when they drop the dinner on the floor, forget the laundry in the wash, buy the wrong shampoo, or don’t charge their video camera when filming their child’s first school play, (yes, I’ve done all of these and many many more) that it’s ok. It’s also good to know that when your child, who is now tantruming on one side of the door while you’re on the other crying because you are a “terrible” mom, that you’re going through the same things as the rest of us moms out there. It’s times like these you need to remember that it doesn’t last forever (though I know it doesn’t feel that way.) Soon enough, they will grow up and (secretly) you will be hoping that they have at least one child who gives them a small amount of grief like they have given to you.
Just in case you’re doubting we all have moments we can’t consider our finest hour, I’ll share with you a story (and I know I’m going to get some judgement for this one) about a time where I certainly would NOT have won mom of the year award. It happened with my second child and one would think that by the time you have raised your first to 7 years old that you would know how to deal with a toddler. Sure, in a perfect world, where one child is exactly like the other, I would’ve known how to handle this particular day. Of course, because the world is not perfect and my youngest has not acted anything like the oldest since the day he was born, I feel as if I’m relearning all the parenting things one should know.
Anyway, back to this particular day. The little one had woken up in a foul mood… the kind that makes you cringe the moment you get them out of their bed because you know it’s just going to be one of those days. Now, at first, I did try to be the good mom. I checked his temperature to make sure he wasn’t sick, checked his teeth to make sure he wasn’t getting in any new ones and set him down at the breakfast table. By the time I had heated up the water for his oatmeal, I was met with no less than four (how long does it take for water to boil??) tantrums. I couldn’t say what all of them were about, one was about the milk cup he dropped on the floor (which from his low table, he could lean over and get) one was about the cat coming near him and I believe after that, I just started to try to tune out the screaming.
I should probably make it clear at this point that tantrums in my house are not met with a reinforcement of said tantrum. What I mean by this is that my children will not get what they want due to throwing a fit, no matter how many subsequent fits may be issued when I declare they may have their (milk cup, blankie, toy, whatever) when they can ask me nicely.
This went on for the entire day. The hours were ticked by as the number of tantrums grew, whether they were from him tripping over a toy, to his train coming off the track, to me handing him exactly what he wanted then deciding that was not the right thing. My responses ranged from making him stand in the corner, placing him in his room, trying to hug it out, to threatening to place him outside with a sign which read “for free to anyone willing to take him.” Finally, at the end of the day, probably about 15 minutes before my husband came home and freed me of the toddler I finally looked him dead on and said, “You know, I really don’t like you today.”
Some of you may gasp.. and yes, in retrospect, it wasn’t the best thing to say to him. And most likely, he didn’t understand fully what I was saying to him. (At least that’s how I make myself feel a little less guilty) I knew, even at that moment, that the more appropriate response would’ve been “I don’t like your behavior today.” However, by what felt like the millionth tantrum, I was beginning to wonder if I did like him. And I was sure, in the moments that followed when the guilt and frustration overcame me, that I was the only mom in the world who had said something so horrible to her child.
Thankfully, that’s when my neighbor showed up and probably seeing the look of exasperation, dread, guilt and frustration in my face, as well as the fact I had a beer (I’m a wine drinker) in my hand at 5pm, knew I’d had a bad day. She promptly let herself in, took the screaming two year old and marched out of the house with him. I didn’t need her to say anything… she could tell, because she’s a mom of two children as well, that we’d had a day. There was no judgement; she just knew I needed a break from him and he probably needed a break from me.
After the hubby came home, he removed the Jade in a neighbor exchange (we swapped places and I stayed with the neighbor), and I spent some time with her crying and laughing about the day I’d had. I confessed to her that I said I didn’t like him and she assured me I wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last mom, to say or think that.
So the point is, we all love our children. We all want to be perfect parents who handle every tantrum with the grace of Mary Poppins but the fact is we can’t be. And in those moments, I hope every mom knows it’s okay to have a meltdown and hopefully, you have someone close by in your life who will tell you it’s all alright. And hopefully after the children are finally asleep in their beds and have returned to their angelic looking state, you can go in, give them a kiss, and say to yourself that you will do better tomorrow.
And just in case you’re wondering.. ramen and wine was my dinner.. because sometimes, those are the sacrifices we make for our kids after we’ve made their three course meal, read them bedtime stories and tucked them into bed. Sometimes.. it’s not even with Ramen.. it’s just the wine.