I Was That Mother. The Mother You Would Judge0
The other day I had a miserable mama moment and afterwards it made me really despise myself and feel heaps of guilt. Let me set the scenario for you: my ear was on day 5 of a ruptured eardrum and it was a throbbing drippy painful mess. Despite all that, I decided to go on an outing with my two little ones.
I was out walking the neighbourhood with Ben on his Strider bike and Josie snoozing in the stroller. Ben was low on energy from his own previous sickness and was riding his bike painfully slowly and crying out for me to hold him and carry him. I eventually gave him the option to just walk and he decided on that one. So, I pushed the stroller and carried his bike as he walked behind me sobbing about how tired he was.
It was decided that a great distraction was in order, so we headed to a coffee shop nearby. I thought that Ben could have a drink and we could all just sit down and get a break from the wind that was whipping at us. The stop in motion woke our sweet little baby and she was angry and decidedly hungry. I quickly ordered our drinks and collected them and then realized there was no seating inside the shop, so we headed outside to the patio and back into the wind.
Further tears came from Ben as he was distressed by the windy cold and further cries from Josie as she was not wanting to wait to be fed. Further frustration from me as my ear was throbbing and my patience were shot.
So, I scolded Ben and told him off in a mean voice. When he told me that his drink order was wrong and wailed loudly, I got even angrier and told him off again. I did it in a mean stern mother voice and instantly regretted how I was handling the situation. As the words spewed out of my mouth, I knew I must look like ‘that mother’. The one you can easily judge for losing her cool. The mother with two loudly crying children, with a mean miserable look on her face.
As I was bent down to get the bicycle, stroller and Ben into a seat, I heard someone call my name. There was a second of mortification as I looked up to see who it was. Alas, it was a friend! Even though she saw me at the peak of losing my motherly cool it was a great relief to bump into her at this moment! She helped me get everyone settled and even went back in the shop and traded in Ben’s wrong drink order (side note: he didn’t even end up drinking his new beverage!). Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands!
Soon Josie was nursing quietly, Ben was seated nicely and I could just breathe and reflect. I hated how I responded in this moment and I hated taking out my frustration on my child. Ben was right, he was tired and I have been expecting him to keep up with us on our errands all over town. Which is a lot of walking for a 3 year old to do.
When I got home I apologized to Ben for yelling at him. I think it is important to admit your faults and wrong doings, especially to your children. Then I decided to go on line and buy the standing board for our stroller. Something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. The standing board came the very next day and our outings have been so much calmer. Ben loves riding along and I love that I’m not constantly telling him to walk faster to keep up with us as he cries to be carried. Today we ventured out further than we have since Josie was born and I didn’t lose my cool once.
My new view from above!
The boy loves riding along with his baby sister and I love walking an actual pace!
Then like any mother who feels guilty, I brought out the finger paints and sat down at the table with Ben and played one on one with him and encouraged a big painty mess. He declared that this was, ‘the most fun ever’ and I felt like a better mother.