Bad Day

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Yesterday afternoon I was reflecting on what would have been my worst day at work when I was a plumber. Most of my bad days were at Tafe when I was doing my apprenticeship but there were some classic work days where I got splattered with crap or would have to deal with unreasonable clients or trades.

The last few days being a mother has tested my emotions. A defiant and disobedient three year old has brought out the worst qualities in this mum.  On Tuesday at playgroup I was talking to another mum about how great my Esther was at playing with her sister and helping me.

By Wednesday, I had a different child on my hands. Tantrums and talking back were as consistent as the ad breaks on TV.  No was screamed back at me when I asked her to do something like pick up her toys. Complaining and nagging when I wouldn’t give into her demands of chocolate for breakfast. You don’t imagine these days when you plan to have a baby, but they are all part of the package of being a mother and raising a child.

I’ve yelled. I’ve screamed. I’ve dragged Esther to her naughty chair. I’ve given her time out in her room.

By 5pm I’m exhausted and I know in my spirit that I haven’t been the mum that I have wanted to be and I’ve cried and thought how the blank am I going to cope with THREE children?

I don’t want to say that Magdalene has been an angel. The thing is she has and I don’t want to jinx her behavior. But she’s also been laughing when Esther has been throwing a tanty and I worry that she is going to learn her sister’s bad behavior.

Yesterday morning was going like a dream. The girls were happy to play while I vacuumed, washed the floor and cleaned the bathroom. I feel so much better when I have a clean house even though I know it won’t last for long. But it wasn’t good for my back or my belly.

By the afternoon, there was butter popcorn thrown all over our leather couches while the girls were meant to watch Frozen. The kernels and little white popcorn bits stuck to the rug. They created an oily mess on my clean floors and on the black leather lounge the girls were sitting on. I yelled at Esther to stop throwing the popcorn and being silly but she continued to throw it as if she was creating her very own snow scene from Frozen.

I chucked both girls outside and told them to play in the jungle (our back garden) which they had played quite nicely in the day before. I sat on the couch for a couple of minutes and indulged in the silence and closed my eyes.

The next thing I heard was my Magdalene about to crawl into the family room from being outside and she was black from head to toe. I cried NOOOOO.

Magdalene covered in dirt
The throwing fiesta had continued outside. Both girls had flung dirt high and far from one of our bigger planter pots all over the alfresco area and all over my clean washing. The dirt was EVERYWHERE. Esther came in and could see my fury and she looked at me with scared eyes. ‘I’m sorry mummy. But I just wanted to play in the dirt’.

dirt everywhere
I bundled both girls in towels and carried them to the bath wishing I could see the funny side of the drama but I couldn’t. At that stage Jacob arrived home and he went outside to clean up the mess.

My beautiful clean floors were covered in popcorn and dirt. My back ached. I wished I could afford a cleaner and I wished that I could be one of those carefree ‘go-with-the-flow’ type mothers but yesterday I couldn’t do it.

We had Vietnamese for dinner and I took a gamble and ordered something different to what we usually ordered and the gamble didn’t pay off. It sucked. I made up for it by making a chocolate pudding in a cup with ice cream. I wished I hadn’t wasted money on bad takeaway.

By the time both girls were in bed all I wanted to do was lie on the couch. I scrolled through Facebook and realized there were many women in the world experiencing worse days than what I had experienced.

The 8 month pregnant woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to death because she believes in God.

Various blog posts of mums struggling with illness or their baby in hospital, not knowing when they will be able to bring their bubba home. Perspective met my reality and I realized my day had been bad, but not as bad as many others in the world.

Today has been a good day. This morning was relaxed with both girls coming into bed for snuggles and cuddles. There was no rushing to swimming and trying to fit in cleaning a house because I’d done it yesterday. (Jacob vacuumed the floors while I bathed the kids when he got home from work.)

Esther’s defiance is a challenge that Jacob and I face as we bring her up. She’s strong. I don’t know where she gets it from.

There will be more challenging days ahead and I just hope that I don’t miss the opportunity to grow fruit rather than a thorn.

How has your week been? How do you cope with bad days?