“Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is another day.”
Those words kept repeating through my brain as I experienced what could only be described as one of the most frustrating parenting nights that I can remember. It started with a bad sleep the night before. Work had been particularly stressful with a number of deadlines and important meetings scattered throughout the day. To top it off, my husband was away on business and I was on my own.
It was a sunny day. As I drove home from work I rolled down the windows and pumped up the tunes to clear my head before I walked in the door. That little ritual isn’t unusual for me – I do my best to get lost in music on the way home every day in order to make a smooth transition from sit-at-a-desk-and-work Deanna to roll-on-the-floor-and-giggle Mom.
I knew I was in for a doozy the second I walked in the door. My usual greeting of excited voices yelling, “Mom’s home!!!!” was replaced by two girls tattling on each other. As our sitter left, I was holding our son as he
cried screamed lost his mind about wanting to be outside and the two girls were yelling at each other about who had a doll blanket first.
It only got worse from there.
- A 32lb two-year-old who felt the need to be “uppy” the entire time I made dinner
- One full dinner plate thrown on the floor because he wanted ketchup and then decided he didn’t as I was putting it on
- A war between the girls over who should sit on a particular stool
- An attempt to calm everyone down with outside play before bed resulting in a three-person screaming match over a scooter
- Bath time fights over who gets to sit in the ‘deep end’ (seriously, the ‘deep end’) of the bathtub
- A six-year-old who decides to dump a bucket of water over her brother’s head causing him to snort in water, start coughing, crying and eventually hit her in the face with the spatula he’s playing with in the tub
- A six-year-old who ends the night with a four inch scratch that breaks the skin on her neck
- A stubborn four-year-old who feels guilty after she sees what she’s done to her sister but won’t apologize, admit it or make amends. This results in Mommy wrestling a wet, slippery four-year-old to her room as she screams louder than thirty people on a roller coaster
- A three child teeth-brushing standoff
- 14 requests for snacks and water after Mommy won the teeth-brushing standoff
In the short three hours I have with the kids after work, it was a night of constant crying, fighting, raised voices and discipline. There was no listening, I had no “cool” left to keep and I was done. As the house finally quieted down and the kids were staying put in their own beds, the requests for cuddles started coming in. This is usually my favourite time of night – time alone with each of them to have a chat about their day, snuggle and tell them how much I love them. That night I didn’t have it in me. I said no.
Rookie mistake. The house blew up all over again. Another hour of screaming (from two bedrooms) and crying (from one) about wanting cuddles. To add to it all, as I finally collapsed in the living room after 930pm I realized that every window in the house was wide open.
Tomorrow is another day.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller