I’ll call it “a moment”, but we all know what it really was. A meltdown, an episode, a momma-is-gonna-lose-her-mind-soon-if-you-don’t-stop-screaming…thingy.
We are in a time of transition. Little Dude is big enough and able to balance well enough to join sister in the bath in the evenings now. Up till now Josh and I were separating bath time. He’d take Squeaks and do bath time in our guest bathroom and I’d take little Dude to our master bath. A divide and conquer kind of scenario. This past week though, we’ve tried combining them. Both kids in one tub with one parent while the other parent gets PJs, pacifiers, diapers, and bedrooms ready for bed time. It looks great on paper. Josh and I get to alternate nights spent bent over the tub wrestling slippery toddlers and get a little extra cleaning up done around the house while the kids are in the tub with the other parent on watch.
Kids are funny little creatures. They just love routine! So far on the nights where I do bath, Squeaks has flipped out because she’s use to dad doing bath, and on the nights when Josh has done bath, Little Dude has totally lost it ’cause he’s use to me always doing it. It has not gone smoothly to say the least.
This last Thursday night was the worst to-date. It was my night for bath and Squeaks immediately made her grievances known. Loudly. Little Dude was so tired (he’s phasing out morning nap. Yay!) and just couldn’t take it. He started to feed off his sisters unhappiness and before both kids were barely in the water we had full on meltdowns.
I decided to join them.
They’re screaming. I’m screaming. Our tiny guest bathroom was transformed into a tiny box of torture. Josh came to my rescue just in time to find me bent over the tub, Little Dude clutching at me, Squeaks clambering to get out of the water as I held her in with my free arm, all three of us in tears. Being the level-headed man that he is, Josh quickly formed a plan. He scooped LD up wrapped in a towel and told us to get out. Fine by me. Josh finished Squeaks’ bath and I calmed LD and got him dressed.
Not much has improved over the last few nights. One child or the other is unhappy at bath time, but we plug away at it, and everyone eventually ends up clean.
All of this reminds me of a conversation I recently had with another mom. When describing recent mothering difficulties the only way she could think to explain it was “it feels like being alone in a crowded room.”
I will be the first to admit, I want people to think I’m an awesome mom. I care. I care what people think of me. Plus, I actually DO want to be an awesome mom, not just look like one. Pressure from all sides! Why do I do this to myself? I am NOT alone. I know lots of other moms. Why must we all act like we’ve got it together?
Raise your hand if you’ve had “a moment”.
Most days I feel like I just barely make it by the skin of my teeth. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Wouldn’t change a single thing about either one of them. This job is no joke though. I know I’m not alone.