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Pardon me, I'm just having a moment

Let's get real.  There are some days - a lot of days - I just want to scream.  Most of the time this happens in public settings (i.e, grocery stores, restaurants, walking down the street, or in the parking lots).  But, then I remember my manners and that people will hear me if I actually perform this act.  Therefore, I just scream internally.  You'll know when I'm doing this when you see me clench my eyes shut, tense every single one of my muscles, my face will turn a deep shade of red (you might even think it's purple), I'll take a deep breath in, and then you'll be able to see my entire body shiver as I slowly - oh, so slowly - exhale.  Internally, it's a very loud scream. Very loud. Very.

My husband has been known to make me internally scream, as have traffic and inanimate objects (mainly of the technological type).  However, nothing causes me to internally scream more than my kids.

I love my kids.  I really do love them.  I'm not just saying it.  But, man, there are days, weeks, months, and years that they just exhaust me.  I'm completely and utterly exhausted after the 542nd question in a single day about what bees eat or why we can't go "that way," not to mention the 73rd time I've had to tell a child the same direction to try to get them into the car.  I'll sometimes attempt to fake them out that I'm going to leave them home (no, I wouldn't actually do this), but they ALWAYS call my bluff.  So, I go back inside and give the direction another 20 times before I finally get them out the door, hopefully, dressed in something that resembles an appropriate outfit.
To be completely honest, there are days I wonder what I've gotten myself into.  I wonder what part of my sanity has been lost.  I wonder how I'm ever going to make it through the day, the week, the month, the year...Then I feel guilty because I truly do love my life and my kids.  I truly am blessed, and they give me so much joy.  The small moments when I get a hug and kiss, and "I love you" or "You're the best mother," and the moments when they're sleeping and I can simply wrap my arms around them and enjoy the little being I've brought to life.  This is my happy.

My husband and I often joke that you get more direction on training a puppy or putting together Swedish furniture than you do on parenting.  The sad thing is, it's true.  Sure, relatives, friends, strangers, professionals, and everyone else will give you advice (solicited or unsolicited) and, for the most part, it's quality advice.  However, Murphy's Law proves that once you've determined an appropriate course of action to rectify the negative or inappropriate behaviors of your child/children, then they will change their behaviors to that which requires a completely different course of action.  Children are quick adapters. 

I recently watched the movie Moms' Night Out and have to admit that I left the theater in tears.  No, it's not a sad movie.  It's absolutely hilarious...probably because it's my life.  I've had my "moments."  I've come downstairs to - thankfully not salmonella - my children making their own breakfast of goldfish drenched in maple syrup.  I've cleaned up one mess of chalk on the leather couch only to find that the kids have been "bathing" their stuffed animals in the bathroom sink.  My oldest has asked the person at the table next to us if he was a boy or a girl.  My youngest has yelled, "I pooped" in the middle of a crowded restaurant.  They throw tantrums at inopportune times and behaved badly in public.

My kids are not perfect.  Neither am I nor is my husband.

The fact is, my kids are still learning.  None of us were born knowing proper behaviors.  The behaviors are learned through example and experience.  Let's face it: I don't always give my children the best examples.  I get frustrated, so they get frustrated.  I get mad, they learn to get mad.  But, they also mimic the good, the kindness, the empathy, and all the other goodness that lies in our actions.  But, just as with training a puppy or putting together Swedish furniture, it takes time.  Sometimes, lots of time. A whole lot of time.

So, in the meantime, just ignore me when you see me internally screaming.  I'm just having a "moment" and then remembering it's just a moment.  My kids will learn.  Lessons will grow and expand.  Life will go on.  In the end, life isn't defined by my "moments" but rather how I moved on.






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