The Day I Almost Fired Myself

You know those days when you sort of feel like you’re firing on all pistons as a mama? When you pretty much have things under control and you’re not easily rattled and you manage to meet your family’s needs without feeling like you’re losing your mind?

Well. Today was not that kind of day for me. Today was the opposite of Effective Parenting. Today was Parenting FAIL. Today was PMS (which, by the way, SEEMS TO GET WORSE EVERY YEAR) mixed with a kindergartner who didn’t just push my buttons – he sat on them. And then, when I couldn’t take it anymore and I said something to the effect of, “PLEASE LEAVE MY BUTTONS ALONE NOW, THANK YOU,” he was all, “What? I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about, beloved-mother-of-mine. I’m nowhere near your buttons. Why, I didn’t even know you had buttons.”

And then my head exploded.

Anyway, thanks to our rocky morning and afternoon, I spent a chunk of the day feeling like the worst mama in the world, and the kicker was that feeling that way ended up just making me irrationally angry because of the aforementioned HORMONAL IMBALANCE THAT HAS COME TO ROB ME OF ALL PLEASANTNESS.

It wasn’t until I was cooking supper that I finally started to feel the tension leave my shoulders, and while the little guy was sitting at the kitchen table I caught a glimpse of his face that reminded me of what he looked like when he was about 18 months old.

I found an odd sense of comfort in the fact that even though we may have an occasional bad day, I really can’t stay frustrated with that boy. Not for any real length of time. He’s smart and funny and tenderhearted. He’s delightful. I love him to pieces. And hello, DO YOU SEE THOSE CHEEKS? THOSE CHEEKS ARE DELICIOUS.

Not to mention that if we made it through that 18-24 months phase, we will make it through this one, too. Because do you know what this phase has over that one? THE ABILITY TO REASON – which, my word, cannot be overestimated.

So by bedtime we were back on fine and harmonious terms again, and after we read a book I said, “You know what, buddy? Today was rough. But we’re family and we love each other and we forgive each other and tomorrow will be better. I’m so glad I get to be your mama.”

And God bless him, after a day that had taken its toll on both of us, he hugged me and said, “Thanks, Mama. I’m so glad that you’re my son.”

Quite frankly my mood was so erratic today that I wouldn’t blame him for being a smidge confused, but when he realized what he’d said, he started to giggle. Got downright silly, in fact. And I’m so grateful that we got to end the day with a little bit of laughter. We both needed it.

And tomorrow will be better.

It really will.

I just know it.

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  1. You just hang in there. Parenting is not for wimps! It’s tough stuff and not for the faint-hearted.
    Caring that you had a bad day proves that you are one incredible Mom.
    Now, I’m off to look at my sleeping baby girl who’s 16 but will ALWAYS be my baby.

    Tomorrow WILL be better — and moreso, if you add chocolate to it.

  2. I had a day too. Baseball solves most problems.

  3. This was a great one to read.

    We’re in the middle of the terrible twos around here, and sometimes it’s just not all that fun until bedtime when those hugs and kisses come around. Then it’s pure heaven.

    And, yes. Those little cheeks ARE delicious! :)

  4. I had those days…you have them when they’re small to prepare you for when they’re teenagers. You know, to quote Truvy “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”. BUT…we survived some HORRIBLE mis-matched personality days and, lo and verily I say, my kids are starting to SEE THAT MAMMA MAY HAVE A LITTLE SENSE AFTER ALL!! It’s an ah-ha moment. You just have to wait til they are at least over 21 to see it.

  5. Edit: I think that quote was from Clairee, not Truvy. Sorry, got my southern belles mixed up.

  6. I mean, how stinking cute is he in that picture?!?

  7. Oh, I love it. All of us mamas have good days and bad days. It’s just so nice when the bad days can end with a touch of good! And that picture…. precious!!!

  8. I need to keep cute pictures like that of my kids tattooed to their beings at all times. That might prevent a few thrashings here and there.
    Tomorrow will be better. Has to be, right? I think I tell myself that every day…

  9. I am so glad to see that you think 18-24 months was the worst phase. My son is 20 months right now and I have been terrified of how much worse it can get in the terrible twos. Seriously. Who knew that such a little child could cause such a scene in the middle of a store?! All because of nothing. I am going to remember that it will get better because the ability to reason is one that I cannot live much longer without!

  10. I have never in all of my life seen so sweet a child’s cheeks!! Oh, heaven did a number there. How precious. Downright precious!

    Tomorrow…it will be better.

  11. Colleen says:

    Oh BooMama, I have PMS too and my poor children get a raw deal every time. I love that you shared this today – perfect timing. And now I’m all teary-eyed at the ending of your story. How sweet is that? Thanks for reminding me that the ability to reason is gonna get better for my children as they pass through the toddler and preschool years!
    Here’s hoping that tomorrow is better at both of our households!!

  12. I just consider the whole “PMS Gig” excellent future-spouse-training for our boys. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

    Honestly, I have spent a good deal of my life wondering what it’s like to be a man. Not WISHING to be one, just wondering.

  13. Were you looking in my windows yesterday?

  14. Heather U says:

    I think it is safe to say that we’ve all had those kind of days as moms of little ones. It doesn’t make it any easier mind you, and the guilt can most definitely take over if we don’t keep it in check. I’m so glad you ended it on an up note!

    It’s like Anne Shirley said in Anne of Green Gables, “tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it!”

    To which I would add, “well… with no mistakes in it yet” ;).

  15. All I can say is I completely relate to this. And all I can say to that is, thank goodness they grow up–and so do we. Being a mom is not for the weak, and this post proves that. Sending mama love to you today!

  16. Hang in there, girl. This parenting gig is a roller coaster sometimes. But there are many gifts along the way…many gifts. And it flies by at warp speed. My oldest son is 15 now, and grumpy and doesn’t like hugs. It’s much easier to smooth out a bad day when they are small and forgiving (and don’t already know EVERYTHING!). Sigh. Every season of parenting holds it’s challenges…and it’s moments of pure joy. As for the PMS…mine keeps getting worse, too. What is up with that? Lord have mercy on my family when it comes. I’ve learned not to make any serious decisions during that week, because…seriously, it is like rational has left the building! Thanks for sharing this piece of your day to encourage the other mamas who are waging the battle with PMS and little ones. We all have our days…and it helps to know, we’re not alone.

    Hang in…After all, tomorrow is another day.

  17. Hang on to that picture, and hang on to this post, because you’re going to need them again when he’s about 14. That ability to reason… it goes right out the window. And the hormones… yours, his, ugh. Let’s just say that 14 makes the 18-24 months phase look like a cakewalk. Sorry about the bad news.

  18. Cute post, for sure. And ohmyword, I might need to gobble up those cheeks. Instead, I’ll go kiss on my babies. Yum.

  19. For a second, I thought you were going to say that 18 -24 months was bliss. Shucks. I wanted you to say that. And I wanted to believe it.

    Gotta run, my 12 mo. old is drinking from the dog bowl.


  20. i certainly feel for ya, but this was hilarious to read! and your angel is precious. it is so hard to stay mad at those cheeks, isn’t it??

  21. I hate days like that. And we all have them.

  22. I can see how you would melt looking at those cheeks and those eyes! He is adorable! Have a good day!

  23. Some days are like that. I think my today is going to be like that because it’s already started with the 6.5 year old, and I’m very pregnant. He’s on track to spend most of the day sitting on his bed unless he decides that obedience is more convenient than defiance.

  24. And we all feel more normal now. During those days it’s great to know you’re not the only mom planning their high school graduation just so we’ll have time to have a bad day :)

  25. So glad that I am not the only mama on this earth that has days like that. Thanks for being an inspiration! I only hope next time I have a day like that I don’t let the kids knock the buttons completly out of me.

  26. THOSE CHEEKS!!! Oh, those cheeks. I’m so glad that baby wasn’t around me…..I would have just eat him up. I’m just speechless….I really am. I can’t believe the cheeks. Every time you post a baby pic of Alex….I just lose it!

  27. It does get better. You will look up, and he will be sitting at the table and you realize he is 20 years old…and where did the time go…?

    I’m sorry. MY boys are cute, but my word, that picture is the most precious thing I have ever seen! I don’t know how you disciplined him at all when he was that age!!

  28. Boo….
    It seems when I’m my most on fire…or have encountered a really good Jesus weekend event. Satan sneaks up on me and does his best to wreck my happy life. PMS, little frustrations, sickness….something comes along and tries to rob me and make me feel like I just STINK!
    Don’t let him have the victory.
    These days are few. Cling to the cross!
    And remember, God always forgives us and makes us new.

  29. Yee-haw! We must be on the same cycle!

    Sigh. Some days I’m grateful that my earliest childhood memories begin around age 5. I figure I’m in the clear for most of my bad moods until my kids are at least that age.

  30. Okay wait. That had to have been a typo. 18-24 months? You mean, oh gosh …. it’s going to get worse? We are at 26 months, and I’m telling you, my weeks are like your yesterday. Oh no. The Hubs and I have talked about straight-jackets. Matching ones, for me and Little Bit.

    So, yes, I feel your pain. Every Single Day. But it’s good to know that it will get better. It will, right? :)

    Cheers and lots of hugs, Kiy

  31. Thanks, BooMama.

  32. He was and is so dang cute. Sweet post!

  33. As the Mom to a 17 year old daughter I’d like to second what Cathy said…I’d take a two year old in a HEARTBEAT!

    Two year olds are a cakewalk compared to teenage girls because not only does Mom have PMS, so do they! And…I’ve got a twelve year old daughter waiting in the wings!

    Pray for me ;)

  34. How precioous and he’s soooo cute!!! :O)

  35. Read this.
    I just blogged about the same thing.

    AND OH MY AT THE CHEEKS. He still has some good ones, but nothing like that squishy baby picture. Yum.

  36. oh friend.

    well, at least one or THIRTY-FIVE PEOPLE ALREADY may or may not feel the same way.

    praise Him for the blog. for the sense of normalcy every once in a while, right?

    um, the cheeks? look delicious.

    if they weren’t so cute, we’d be in trouble, right?

    here’s to your little man. and your buttons. and nighty night giggles.

  37. New mercies and all that…

    Yep…I’ve been there. Glad you ended on an up note.

  38. Augh, how I hate days like that. But what a beautiful opportunity to teach our kids about God’s forgiveness and love- because even when they’re monsters we still love and forgive them! ;)

  39. I had that very same day yesterday! I wish you lived closer b/c I would take you out for some SBUX today! And yes, his cheeks are delicious : )

  40. I LOVE what you said to the little guy at the end of the day. I have a 5 yr old boy who sounds very similar (button pushing is his favorite sport but dang, if he doesn’t melt your heart just as intensely). And the PMS DOES get worse every year. Lord, help me when the dreaded men-O-pause hits. Thanks for your honestly! God bless you and the little guy, too! :)

  41. Tomorrow is always a new day. Isn’t it great how God worked that out for us?

  42. Reason? Oh, how I long for reason! Somehow, my 18-month-old sweetheart is just not having any of it.

    I’m glad your day ended better than it started!

  43. LOVE this post and absolutely relate all the way from my head to my toes!!! Amen and Amen!!!

  44. Oh heavens…I’m sorry for your misery, but it does love company, and I’m happy to feel assured others struggle once in awhile too.

    I’ve been there and continue to go there every so often. Peace be with you sister!

    God bless us mothers-we try so hard and fall short so often, but I’m always praying God fills in the gaps where I mess it up.

    Kelly in Michigan

  45. Those are some serious cheeks! LOVE the picture. :)

    I sigh as I read this….I’ve just kicked my bickering little blessings to the backyard. (and question why in the world do I homeschool!)

    I’m sure before dinner time, they will have me laughing hard at something, they usually do!

    have a great afternoon

  46. Yesterday was a day for me that I’m soooooo very glad we didn’t have a “nanny cam” because I would have been busted on bad behavior.

    It happens to all of us. Thank you Lord for the love of our children and another day at it.

    Love ya girl,

  47. You produced a child with the best tot chin I think I have ever seen. Maybe that’s where HIS button is.

  48. I keep little guy pics of both my now-a-little-bigger and a lottle more ornery boys (7 and 11), just to remind me of the sweetness that is still in there somewhere.

    I just remind myself that the more obnoxious they are, chances are they want me with them a bit more, so I plop on the couch and will have someone in my lap pretty quick. Every time.

    Hang in there, we all have those days!

  49. There was a full moon for the past couple days…it produces some weird moods for us as mommies :)

    God Bless you and your little guy!

  50. OhLordhavemercy with that FACE!! I could just eat him up. In a way that means I’m not as creepy as that sounds.

  51. Oh, I have days like that too! Glad I’m not the only one. I’ve always said parenting is the GREATEST and the HARDEST job I will ever have or do!

  52. CarolinaMama says:

    That is precious and you are so right. Those sweet little cheeks.

  53. Man. I can totally relate to this post. I’m in the 18-24 mo old phase… WHEW. Some days are just plain tough… But when I look at his face as I rock him to sleep… I’m reminded of his goodness. And I’m reminded that tomorrow is a new day. Thank God for new days.

  54. Ha! Those are the days I would say to my hubby “I’m leaving!” And what I mean by that is I am going to Starbucks to drown my sorrows on a latte and pumpkin scone.

    Then I come back and tweak some chubby cheeks and fall in love again.

    Hang in there!

  55. Thanks for keeping it real :)

  56. A….


    Feeling the same way, sister. OH YEAH.

    The threes will KILL me.

  57. Oh Sophie, what a great post. Those days are so hard, but I think they also provide wonderful opportunities for everyone involved. Several months ago, while trying to have some fun with my 14-year old and 10-year old sons, I ended up losing my temper and was barely able to rescue the day. That night, my oldest son, normally one of few words, came into MY room to talk to me and share his perspective on the situation. Talk about powerful! I was humbled, yet so very proud of this boy-man. I realized that I can learn from my son, and he learned that I was willing to do so. That just proves that God can take a terrible day and use it in a way we would never have envisioned. (And that our kids are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for!)

  58. Wow, bedtime can make everything all better, can’t it? A little relaxing snuggle time, a good story, sweet “good night” exchanges. When I’ve had a rough day with Kaya, I really NEED to be the one to put her to bed so that we can smooth things over, forgive each other, and love on each other.

  59. WOW! What an absolutely adorable child. :) I’ll be you hear that often.

  60. Boy, I sure hear you about all that head-exploding motherhood stuff . . . I remember days when about the only thing I could positively report to my husband at the end of the day was “we’re all still alive” – enough said!

  61. I read somewhere that in parenting, the first three minutes and the last three minutes of each day are the most important. And if we can just pull it together for those 6 minutes of the day and make them positive, we’ll be doing OK. It sounds like you rocked on those last three minutes. Hope your day is better tomorrow.

  62. My daughter cried all the way home after saying a final farewell to our old house. . .we’ve been in our NEW house for four months, but the old one just sold and is no longer ours (hopefully) tomorrow. She was mad at us–furious–and just let the fury flow down her cheeks. She would not eat dinner. She would not speak. And she came home and got straight into bed.

    I keep reminding myself that she loves our new home and our new church. Her Daddy and I love each other and her and her brother. We are a happy family. She will remember the pain of this move, but the happiness far outweighs it.

    Your little man is too cute for words.

  63. WHat I’d love to know is HOW you kept from biting those precious little cheeks right off when he was a baby?? He’s adorable!

    We have had THAT week here, too. I’m pretty sure I’ve worn out my welcome with Jesus, what with the praying “Dear Lord…” all week!

  64. Thank you for being so real and honest about things in a way that makes us all laugh at ourselves. Mercy! Those blue eyes and those cheeks are just adorable!

  65. We had that day at our house. I pray that both of us have a better day tomorrow – I know I sure need one!

  66. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and this was my favorite post so far. I have 4 kids and have been known to have a short fuse every now and then but I always try to say exactly what you did…cuz it just makes everyone feel better…and it’s the right thing to do.

    So grateful for your honesty (“today was rough”) and so happy for you redeemed the day. Always go to bed laughing I say!

  67. Oh BooMama, you sound like the best mama ever!

  68. I don’t know how you didn’t gain 35 pounds every day by EATING HIM UP.

    He was the most precious thing. Still is, but that picture – oh heavens.

  69. Thanks for ending myday with a little laughter.

  70. I just read your post and I am laughing so hard!! You are so funny. I had one of those days last week but I handled it way worse. I just kept kicking myself for being a doo doo head whereas you recovered much quicker. I needed to hear that somebody else goes nuts sometimes too. I have a 2 and a half year old, he is the last of 4. I’m 39 and tired. Need I say more? Oh, that Braxton. The 2’s are tough huh?
    And that PMS thing? What’s that all about anyway? I never had PMS until I had Braxton and it has gotten worse this year. Yucky.
    Anyhoo, you crack me up.

  71. Have you read Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes? It contains my most favorite line ever, after Lilly has been a pill for her lovely teacher all day long. Mr. Slinger tells Lilly, “Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better”. This was my mantra with my oldest son and still makes me tear up every time I read it. Check it out from the library today! Alex will love it.

  72. Giiiirl, I totally know what you’re talking about.

    And yes, the PMS and all things hormonal DO get worse with age. My Dr. flat told me that a month ago when I said that I felt even moreso like a crazed maniac right before my period than I had for the past 20 years of my life.

    On a lighter note, I’m glad to see y’all have power. I wondered if you’d lost it with the whole “gravity wave” and all. :)

  73. And the MOY (Mom of the Year) goes to…(drumroll)…__________! Let me tell you, my day is starting out similar. My 2 yr. old brought me a bag of wipes and said, “Change a diaper, pease?” Stinky, poopy and VERY wet. I had sorted the laundry, started one load, drank a cup of coffee and checked facebook all before putting clean britches on that poor boy! Oh well, “It’s just nice to be nominated.” Right?

  74. Love this post, BooMama. I have more rough days than I like to admit, but like you, I can’t stay frustrated with my boys for long, and I am so blessed to be their mom.

    And that picture of Alex? Too adorable for words!

  75. Goodness…sounds like my Monday. Thank goodness my husband took over child-duties at bedtime. Every little thing my kiddos did got on my nerves, not that I wanted them too, and normally they would not have. Maybe it was too much Easter candy?

  76. Oh my word! I gasped out loud at those cherub cheeks! Yes, everything’s gonna be alright :)