Yesterday was one of those days that we’d classify as the classic bad day.
Nothing horrible happened, just little things, one after another, like dominoes crashing down happened.
Not much sleep the night before. Too much on the list to do. A dishwasher that’s so broken that I hold it in place with a stool held with weights and if it’s not secured well water leaks. Emails. Many, many, many emails. Mowing. My computer screen getting broken and thus making my computer no longer useable. Time spent trying to fix things. Kid issues.
Kids going to bed issues.
Oh, yeah, did I mention the computer screen thing?
On the computer where my book was stored and where I do all my work? That somehow got broken but I have no idea how? That when I asked my kids how it was broken no one seems to know?
Truth? Bad days happen.
Sometimes I think we as mothers need to allow ourselves the grace to put those kids that we normally look at with great love but who at this moment are pushing every single button that we have, including ones we didn’t know we had, to bed and to let the day be in the pile of bad days.
Sometimes I think we as mothers put so much pressure on ourselves to redeem everything that we forget that sometimes days like this simply happen.
In fact, as I sat in Best Buy with my netbook which held my Finding Joy Book on it I actually laughed a bit about my day. I laughed because just hours earlier I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine joking about how I needed to get my book saved on a zip drive in case something happened to my computer and then four hours later it was smashed.
The irony of the day hadn’t escaped me.
Motherhood will have bad days.
Not horrible days – we’ve all had those – but I’m talking about simply bad days. Days where the washing machine breaks, the orange juice doesn’t make the glass, where you’ve lost track of how many counting to tens you’ve done and have decided to skip count now, where the permanent marker was the perfect choice for wall decorating and brother decorating, where the idea of a shower makes you laugh, where you decide bedtime is thirty minutes earlier, and where, well, when you finally put your head on your pillow you think – thank goodness today is done – in those exhausted seconds before you fall asleep hoping to start again but with a different trajectory.
These days simply happen.
They don’t define.
That’s the absolute one hundred percent truth.
There is not one single parenting book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble that will teach you the forty-two secrets on how to avoid bad days in the next eight days. Not one. There isn’t one with the perfect answer – sometimes whispering works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s charts and sometimes it’s consequences.
You know what book needs to be there?
A book about normal motherhood.
Stories of bad days redeemed and bad days that just are.
A book stating that bad days happen and that they don’t define us. A book that celebrates that amazing awesome strength it takes to survive the two year old who has decided that they are not getting into the shopping cart at Target and you’ve got a baby screaming in a car seat carrier next to you. A book about the single mom who gets up every morning, breathes a deep breath, gathers her courage, and walks down the stairs ready to do another day.
There should be posters showing real cool moms – those moms with a toddler on their hips, laptop bags over their shoulders, grabbing a snack from the fridge, as they race out the door.
That’s the real supermom.
Supermom isn’t the mom who has it all together.
She’s just real. With real kids. And a real perfectly imperfect life.
Supermom is reserved for moms who aren’t afraid to admit that they had a bad day.
It’s for moms who can change a diaper with one wipe, can clean the living room in four minutes before the unexpected company comes over, who doesn’t care that the living room isn’t perfect, who makes dinner with the rice, beans, and whatever she can find and the kids love it – or hate it – but she still made it, who can laugh when she feels like crying, who goes to bed exhausted at night, who works two jobs, who drops that child off at preschool who cries for her but she bravely kisses her goodbye only to come back two hours later and find her smiling, who just, well, just keeps going in this adventure called life.
If there is anything I’ve learned in the bad days I’ve had it’s that there is always tomorrow. Another try, another chance, another day full of opportunity.
What a fabulous and sometimes forgotten word in our motherhood journey. So often we spend time thinking about all we should be doing or could be doing or should have done or could have done that we lose the beauty in the word opportunity. Do you know what opportunity means? It means that now, today, tomorrow, you have a chance to pull up your bootstraps and try again. It doesn’t mean that it has to be perfect – it’s just an opportunity to give it another shot.
Motherhood is full of opportunities.
Every day is another opportunity. So the bad day happens, but that doesn’t take away the opportunity from tomorrow. Or the afternoon. Or the next minute. It’s about learning, giving yourself grace, and letting your kids see you try again. Loving them.
It’s not about making it through motherhood without the inevitable skinned knee or moments where you think you can’t do it anymore or bad days. It’s about trying again. Embracing the opportunity. Being brave.
That’s the real supermom.
Onward, brave super mother.