Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Thoughts on Sanity and Soured Milk

I'm amazed at how calm my friends can be.

We went to a birthday party today for a 2 year old, and everything was so organized and calm. The parents were there smiling and socializing. The newly-turned-2-year-old was running around and happy. I look around and see these amazingly calm people in a stressful (throwing a b-day party for a toddler and 25 or so of their friends, is indeed stressful to me) situation, and I wonder what's wrong with me? My time is spent running between my two kiddos. . . one's yelling that she's hungry. . . one's yelling that he wants to ride the big metal horse. One is trying to ride a pony and the other is yelling that they want to feed the goats. One is running this way and the other is running that way . . . In the midst of juggling my purse, my camera, the diaper bag, sippy cups, two heavy kid coats, my heavy winter coat, two new cowboy hats that the kids say they want but refuse to wear, all the while trying to keep my hair out of my face and look like I'm not 3-ticks away from a complete mommy melt down. How in the world? Of course I want my kids to be able to go places and do things, but seriously it stresses me when I'm by myself.

I hope no one could tell that I was about to explode - all Mommy Dearest style at my kids. . . "Why can't you sit still?" "No, you can NOT eat another cookie." "No, you've already had 2 bags of Cheetos." "Go to the bathroom right now." "No, no, no. . . don't put that in your mouth." "Seriously? I just lifted you on that horse, and you want back on again?" All said only in my head, I promise . . . except for the Cheetos comment . . . really, that's all they would eat if given a chance.

I know, I know . . . stop my belly-aching. I truly love my children and love hanging out with them. They are amazing little creatures. If it comes down to a day of shopping alone or spending time with my kiddos, I'd much rather be with them . . . but there are times that I just feel completely stressed out. Like I'm juggling each kid and despite my best efforts to keep them going smoothly in the air, I just keep dropping them. I feel like I should be able to control their every move and emotion and it just doesn't work that way. Ever.

While we are at the party I stand behind some other parents while the kids are playing a game (OK, really, while my son is watching the game, and my daughter is hanging on my pant leg), and I smell the most amazing scent. It smells like soap - fresh, clean soap. And I begin to think that I don't I ever smell like soap. How do these parents have time to shower before a party while getting their kids ready at the same time? Oh, man . . . what it must feel like to smell like clean soap. And again I wonder how do these amazing, calm parents who smell of fresh, clean soap do it? And then, I wonder what do I smell like? So maybe it's not a good idea that I know . . . about the smell. I'd still like to know how they (the calm parents) do it (not become a screaming, yelling monster in public with their children)?

We came home. My boy fell asleep in the car, and my little lady is convinced that she doesn't need a nap. I put him in bed and then chase her around the house until I catch her so I can put her down as well. Once the kids are down I start cleaning the house. I find an old sippy cup - one that I'm guessing was discarded months ago. I discover our own little science project growing in that cup. The good new is, I think I can clean it with bleach and maybe some lemon juice. The bad news is, I think I found the reason as to why I never smell like fresh, clean soap. *sigh*

Seriously, all you calm parents out there . . . . how do you do it? What keeps you calm when really, you just want to throw up your hands and yell . . . or am I the only one that feels that way?

Sorry for the lack of pictures today - and all the run-on sentences. I'll post some pretty pics soon. I promise.

Here's to keeping my sanity . . . hopefully. :)


Anonymous said...

Wish I were there to give you a hug and to babysit the kids. :-)

April said...

I wanted you to know that you are not alone! I actually will avoid situations like that because they are chaos to me and I really don't like chaos. I also noticed that while parenting that I am more of an introvert than I realized. Before children I would go out do things, come home with kids doesn't lend to recouping as quickly from chaos, so it makes me a little more crazy at times. I still go out and venture into crazy situations, but only when I know it and I can intentionally pretend that all is well and I live in peaceful land. When I have hosted a party, I actually turn off my "I care that this is crazy" button in my head and just plug a head without thinking about it. It is the same button I turn off when I clean up throw up and cleaning the toilet. Anyway, as soon as everyone walks out the door, I breath a sigh of relief and realize that I can do it, but whew it takes a lot out of me and did you see all the chaos! WOW!

I do know though as my kids have gotten past the preschool age (okay, Will is still technically a preschooler, but at 5 he is nearly out of it) and are and above, the feelings of chaos have diminished and they can fend for themselves a little more. It actually does help a lot and make outings like that not seem so tough. Now my only challenges are making sure that Will is safe and away from nuts. Now that is a whole 'nother level of chaos I feel when I go out, but that is another story :)!

I know your sanity will remain, I have hope for you and all the other mothers just like you and me :)!

Have a great Sunday! Blessings to You!

Anonymous said...

(from Mandee): Oh Marla, your honesty and sincerity cracks me up!!! The party was not a calm event- I was in the back wiping sweat away with napkins and I had a whole army of "Helpers" that were all tired of me bossing them around! I was having such a stressful day at work and just randomly looked at your blog bookmarked- mostly because seeing pictures of your happy moments with your kiddos destresses me a bit- thanks for giving me a laugh out loud! We should all write the honest comments about how stressful events like that are and then we would reduce our judgment of one another (and ourselves) because we would know that others are not as perfect as they may appear in a moment :)

We feel blessed to call you (and your family) friends!