Every mom has those moments—those frustrating, messy and horrifying moments when you feel on the brink. When you question if you can get through another minute of all the drama and demands of life with small children. When you fantasize about running away, preferably to somewhere quiet and warm, for just a day (or two…maybe three tops).
Here are eight recent times when motherhood may or may not have tempted me to catch the next flight to Anywhere But Here. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t. You gotta hang in there, friends.)
What are yours?
1. You have a great idea for the story you’re writing. Breathlessly, you divulge the details to your 4-year-old (as usual, she’s your primary companion). She nods and then nods some more, without looking up from her dollhouse filled with the blended-family casts of “Doc McStuffins” and “Frozen.”
“Remind me about this later, OK?” you say.
Finally, the 4-year-old sighs. “No, Mom. Try to remember yourself this time.”
2. It’s 7:45 a.m. You’re a mom, and so of course you’ve been up for several hours already—yet you’ve only managed to consume about two teaspoons of coffee from your 30-ounce “Death Before Decaf” mug. You put the mug in the microwave (again). Heat it up (again). The microwave buzzes, done (again).
You open the door, just as you notice your 1-year-old underfoot, crushing Rice Krispies with a meat tenderizer all over the tile floor. You trip. You accidentally knock the mug over. Coffee spills across the microwave and onto the floor.
Sigh. You really needed that caffeine.
The 1-year-old begins tenderizing Rice Krispies in the spilled coffee.
Yeah, you really needed that caffeine.
3. “Whoops, Mom.”
“What? Whoops, what?”
From the hall bathroom, your 4-year-old reports: “I dropped your car keys in the toilet.”
4. About five minutes later… “Whoops.”
“Now what? Whoops, what?” Can’t you have just one minute to renew your expired driver’s license online?
“I forgot to close the front door, and Anna just crawled out it.”
What the…! That’s the 1-year-old.
5. You’re late for the 4-year-old’s dentist appointment. She doesn’t want to go—big surprise. We have to go, you tell her. NO, she replies. Finally you bribe her to get into the car with promises of unlimited screen time for the rest of the day.
OK, where’s the 1-year-old? There she is…and she’s unwrapped one of your feminine-hygiene products. Where she found it, God only knows, but within the past minute and a half, it’s become her most prized possession on this earth. She will not let it go. Let it go, Anna; please let it go.
Whatever. You load her into the car too. And then the three of you arrive at the dentist’s office, your 1-year-old still proudly clutching the aforementioned unwrapped feminine-hygiene product.
6. You finally find a babysitter you love. Your kids seem to love her too. Then kid No. 1 asks if you’re going to have the babysitter come again. “Do you want me to?” you ask.
The response: “No.”
What’s with all the “No” and “Whoops” around your house these days?
7. You’re returning a stack of “Curious George” DVD’s and one board book to the library when you notice a sign for Early Voting for your state’s primary election. You happen to have your voter registration card on the floor of your car, along with a pile of other unopened mail. You decide it will be a good idea to do your civic duty early, even though you have the kids with you.
Reality: It is not a good idea. The line is longer than you thought and is moving s…l…o…w. The 1-year old begins literally climbing the walls of the library/polling place. The 4-year-old, meanwhile, leans against a chair and crosses her arms. (This is an eerie reenactment of yourself, circa the teenage years.)
In a moment of genius, you hand the 4-year-old your driver’s license and voter registration card. “These are super important, and it’s your very important job to hold them and take good care of them,” you tell her. She looks mildly interested, and you pat yourself on the back for inventing such a fun game while you grab the 1-year-old off the walls and distract her with YouTube clips on your phone.
Almost an hour later, you’re at the front of the line. You smile at the 4-year-old. “OK, honey, where are those very important things?”
The 4-year-old smiles back. “I hid them,” she says.
8. Your husband returns from a five-day, four-night business trip. This, of course, means you’ve been dealing with the kids, the house and the general everyday life stuff for roughly 112 hours solo too. So the hubs walks in the front door at 8:30 p.m., seconds after you finally got everyone to bed.
You greet each other, hug. “How are you doing?” he asks.
You shrug, exhausted. “How about you?”
“Man, I’m tired,” he replies.
You glare at him. You must look homicidal because he backs up a bit.
Sorry, buddy, but you have *no idea* what “tired” means. Moms do, though. And this is why we (sometimes) want to run away.
Like what you just read? Then check out Melissa Leddy’s e-books, available on Amazon.com. Writing at its most heartfelt.