Yesterday I wrote a post about mistakes and how I want to use those situations to teach and model for my kids how they are just opportunities for growth.
And then this morning I fucked up pretty badly
And after that whole post yesterday, I’ve spent most of the morning beating myself up!
It’s so annoying, because I know better.
It’s Number 7’s birthday today. She’s 5. I’m sure I’ll write more about that later.
But since this is her first birthday where she’ll be in school all day and she won’t be home to do fun stuff until about 4:00 and I didn’t have my act together enough to pull her out of school early and do something alone with her, I figured there were other ways I could make her birthday special.
I would make her birthday morning as perfect as possible.
So I got up early.
I made pancakes.
I even made chocolate chip pancakes.
I made bacon and cut up oranges and was feeling really on my game.
Number 6 came downstairs and said, “Wow! This is a yummy breakfast today, Mommy!”
A little while after that, Number 7 came downstairs.
I wished her a happy birthday and gave her a hug.
Then Number 6 walked over to her and, unprompted, gave her a hug too.
It very Norman Rockwell or Beaver Cleaver or whatever, and everything was going according to plan.
Numbers 2, 3, and 4 had already left for school.
A little while later Number 5 came downstairs.
With at least 40 minutes before the buses were coming, Numbers 5, 6, and 7 had already finished their breakfast and all they had to do was get dressed. The morning was going perfectly.
And then Number 5 yelled down the stairs, “MOMMY! WE ALMOST FORGOT! TODAY IS MY PICTURE DAY!”
I forgot about the damn picture day.
And Number 5 is the kid who is the most concerned about what she’s going to wear and how her hair looks and all that stuff.
We hadn’t picked out an outfit, and she was going to want a special hairdo…
I felt myself immediately tense up.
I told her to figure out what she wanted to wear, and about five minutes later she came downstairs and told me she had no pants at all. She also had nothing “nice” to wear.
At that same time, Number 6 informed me he didn’t have any clean pants.
Thankfully, Number 7 had gotten herself dressed during this time.
But that Norman Rockwell atmosphere had pretty much evaporated at this point.
I went upstairs to help Number 5 find a picture day ourfit, and she wasn’t really exaggerating. I looked in her drawers and in her closet, and she really didn’t possess one single thing to wear that was kind of nice. She had some jeans, but no tops that weren’t t-shirts or tank tops.
She has a couple super fancy dresses that were handed down to her from friends, but nothing that was appropriate for school.
So she started crying.
How could this happen?
Number 5 used to have a ridiculous amount of clothes. Now she had nothing to wear.
How did I not realize this?
She was freaking out. I was trying to stay calm.
I went into Number 6’s room to find pants. I couldn’t find any.
He had two pairs in the dirty clothes (and they were seriously dirty so I couldn’t pull them out and throw them on him), one pair that “don’t feel right” and another pair that he ripped holes in the knees the last time he wore them and completely destroyed them.
So now he was in the same boat as Number 5. I told him he’d have to wear the pants that didn’t feel right.
Now he was crying, too.
I went downstairs to see if there were any stray clothes that would work for either of them in the dining room.
As soon as I got to the bottom stair, the commotion upstairs started.
Number 5 told Number 7 what Number 4 got her for her birthday, and Number 6 was really not okay with that, and they were totally yealling at each other and approaching the I’m-going-to-kick-your-ass stage and Number 7 was just standing there like What the fuck? Can I get those Shopkins right now?
And then 5 and 6 were crying and not dressed and, well…
that’s when I lost my shit.
I totally snapped. And I screamed at Number 5.
SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!!! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! SHUT THE HELL UP!!!
Oh boy. The words were coming out of my mouth and I couldn’t stop them.
That kind of ramped things up and now everyone was (understandably) seriously losing their shit.
So much for that perfect birthday morning for Number 7.
Actually, she was the only one who wasn’t having a meltdown.
She looked at me and said, “Mommy! At least I’m not crying, right?”
What a trooper on her birthday. And instead of pointing out how much of an a$$hole I had just been to them, she was trying to find the good in the situation.
It was not at all how I envisioned the morning going.
Not at all.
So I have spent the last few hours really feeling badly about it.
I’ve also been trying to find the learning opportunities here.
And I’ve realized a couple things.
While I lashed out big time at Number 5, the reason I was so upset wasn’t really because of what she was doing. It was because I was mad at myself. I felt like I let her down. I should have helped her get prepared for picture day ahead of time. I should have realized she didn’t own anything that she’d feel really good about wearing to school on picture day.
And I should have known that Number 6 didn’t have any pants to wear because I should have had him get that stuff ready the night before.
And ultimately, the biggest thing that I was beating myself up over is that now that all the kids are in school during the day, I should be on top of all this!
But there I go shoulding on myself again.
Shit happens. Transitions are hard. Apparently.
For me they are a tough, anyway.
This transition from having to operate in extremely chaotic conditions 24/7 to not being under constant pressure at all times is really challenging me. And I feel like it shouldn’t be.
But it is.
And that’s okay.
So I’ve learned a couple things in the last few hours.
I need to do a clothes inventory for the kids and figure out what we need to get so we don’t find ourselves in this situation again.
I need to get back on track with making sure we are ready for school the night before. I need to stay consistent with having the kids be responsible for getting their things organized.
Monday we didn’t have school and I let all of our routines fly out the window. Then last night I didn’t get home until 9:15 and I didn’t hold the kids accountable, and it came back to bite all of us in the butt this morning.
So the lesson has been learned.
I already knew all this, which is another thing that frustrates me.
But sometimes you forget and sometimes you need a gentle reminder.
Other times you need a huge slap in the face.
I guess today I needed a slap.
I’ve got two hours before the kids come home.
Just like I know I need to do with the kids, I’m going to hold myself accountable for the things I need to do if I want the rest of the day to run smoothly.
When Number 5, 6, and 7 get off the bus, I’ll give them all a hug. I’ll apologize for yelling. I’ll let them know what I learned from my mistakes this morning and last night.
And then we’ll start over again this afternoon with a clean slate.
Cause we’ve got a birthday to finish celebrating.