Dear Diary, it's day 4,778ish and you did not cut me any slack. Not that I'm owed any... But am I doing it right? God, are you watching me and am I doing this thing right?! Nights like tonight I can't tell.
It's dusk... I look back through the rearview and the two youngest are loud and fighting in the way back. Braxon, my middle child is glaring at me... "Mommmm... Make them stop." I sigh... I call my husband to say I'm on our way home. He tells me he can't hear me. Of course he can't hear me. I can't hear me. I yell through the car "YOU GUYS CAN YOU STOP PLEASE" ... They do. Briefly. Briefly enough for me to say how tired and irritated I am. I have nothing important to say other than that. I tell him about dinner. I had to order it. Again. Eating on the go. Again. In the car running children around. Again. Brewer and Winnie happily ordered grilled cheese but when they got it... Yeah... they didn't really want it and proceeded to chew it up and rip it up and toss it around. Paul and I tried to discuss the coming weekend plans and the following but... It's too loud still so he tells me to call him later. (The man goes to work for 12 hours... He's been working so much and really letting me pour it on thick with the bitching.) I can't even focus on that so I put the phone down to "really yell" which mean throwing in 1 or 2 cuss words while yelling. Works every time. You'd think by now I'd have picked up a parenting book. I'm sure they don't suggest cussing out the kiddos but, I was out of resources at that moment. We pull up to the dark house and it's the usual. Garbage out of the car, let the dogs out, go through backpacks, get ready for bed. (As soon as they get off the bus, we have enough time to grab a snack and it's out the door we go.) By now I'm washing the dishes from the day and Brewer and Winnie both shuffle down the stairs together... "M a m a... W e'r e h u n g r y..." Winnie said it in her I'm so cute and sweet voice. Then I bellow back like some crazy Mom demon, "Oooh well.. I am not surprised... But you wa wawa wa wa waaaa wa waaaa." I can see it in their eyes, they can't understand my frustrations. They only hear my anger and not my reasoning behind it. I make them resentment filled chicken sandwiches and tell them to eat quick, it's past bedtime. They are happy and eat it. Even giggling back and forth at each other as they chomp away. I watch, furious. "Everyone is sleeping in their bed tonight... No one is cuddling Mommy." There. I said it. That'll get them. Now maybe they'll listen... They both looked at me... Eyes wide like saucers. Brax goes "It's about time..." We make eye contact and he slowly turns around and heads up the steps. He's good for a jab or one liner in all the right moments. Love him for it. I took Winnie up the stairs by her hand... we walked each step very slowly. "Mommy..." she said "but I will be scared." I said "No, you will be brave and you will be good. You were really naughty tonight and it hurt my feelings. I want you to sleep in your bed like a big girl." She goes, "But I am so sorry and I will miss you"... "If you are sorry then try this for me." I tucked her in and she clutched her mermaid doll... she used the dolls arms to wipe her tears away and my heart about broke into a million pieces. I hugged her and held her and kissed her, I told her "I will be scared too, I will miss you too. But we will both be brave." She has been in my bed every night and morning for the past 4.5 years. If you've ever shared a bed with a toddler... well you know what we're going through then. Brewer, has never slept alone a day in his life he's either on our floor, at the foot of our bed, or in his brother's bed. I had to go to his room next. He was inconsolable... Crying "Don't leave me in here..." I went through his list of demands, probably a mistake but I did them anyway. Turned on his diffuser, picked his favorite color night light for it. Shut the closet doors. Turned every toy around that was "looking at him"... And finally fixed the curtains so that he could see none of the window behind it. That still wasn't enough and he continued to cry. He still cries when the bus comes to pick him up for school. Of course I question myself... What did I do to him? What have I done as a mother? The other two weren't like this. Brogan and Braxon were so good... like angels. I also didn't drag them around every evening for hours... Life was much calmer then. I'm sure that's part of it. I told Brewer to pray. I said, "Ask God to calm you, ask God to keep you safe, pray to Pap Pap, you know he's with you right now, he's watching you cry he wants you to feel safe." I had to reassure both Brewer, and Winnie I would be back in to give them one last kiss once I finished washing my face. They both then promised me that they could try to lay there and be brave. I figured they would come into my bathroom at some point... they always do sneak down when we try to say "Okay it's time, you're going to sleep in your bed!" They always come down to find us... they always pout and they always get their way. Tonight was different. I went down the stairs to chat with Brogan while he made his sleepy time tea and stared at his phone... I asked him about his day, and about practice, but he slowly made his way down to his room to go to sleep. I made my way upstairs to say goodnight to Brax. He did everything I asked, hung up his laundry, picked up the bathroom. He's pretty good and he's very patient. I hope he knows how much we love him... you know what they say about those middle ones. Hopefully he doesn't grow up and leave the house with too much baggage. 😆😕 So then, I peeked down the hall... to Brew and Wyn. They're out. They're asleep. No one came looking, no one came crying. Many would call that a success. But then why do I feel so sad. They did exactly what I told them to do... why does that feel so... Not right? I stood there staring in both rooms. The guilt washed over me. Did I shame them into sleeping in their beds? It hit me harder "Oh my gosh... I was so mean to them... And they laid there trying to please me, and they fell asleep." I cried... shit, I'm still crying. I've been crying all day because of these damn documentaries I watched while I was folding laundry. Why do I do that to myself? We can save that question for another day. Motherhood. No one gifts you a handbook. No one pats you on the back. Sometimes you don't even get a good example to go off of and you're just out here, winging it... I'll be saying my own prayers tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. 🙏