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Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

Motherhood, Compared to a Bad Day on the Golf Course

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Here I am with my leggings that have been on for over 24 hours, a toddler taking up ¾ of the king-sized bed, a nursling snuggled to my left, kids on bunk beds one room over pretending to be asleep, and a husband starting to snore. This is when I have a million tiny thoughts scroll through my crazy head:

  • Crap, Laundry.
  • We could have died on the highway when my tire exploded.
  • I wonder if I can just order a new tire on Amazon?
  • Ooooooh Epsom salt, I can get that on Amazon too.
  • Pick tomatoes and make sauce for dinner.
  • We all need dental check-ups; we also need a dentist.
  • Is it too early to buy winter clothes for the kids, what if feet grow?
  • No gluten or processed foods starting tomorrow.
  • I wonder if Emmett’s sensory meltdowns will ever get better?
  • I wonder if his speech will ever be easy for him?
  • Scarlett was meant to be his big sister
  • I don’t do enough for Scarlett; she is always sacrificing.
  • Did I spend enough time with Lyle today?

And then this thought comes:

“The worst days of motherhood are like a bad day on the golf course. You have a crappy game, but you are doing what you love.”

A friend told me this earlier this summer as she was passing through town with her three small children. For some reason, it has not left my mind.

I woke up this morning with mastitis. I feel like I was hit by a mack truck (that backed up and hit me again). I have been swallowing garlic cloves every few hours (my husband has yet to kiss me), doing castor oil compresses, breastfeeding like crazy, and doing every trick in the book to beat it. Somehow I still had to be a mother; these tiny humans needed to be kept alive today.

I trusted my 7-year-old to prepare breakfast, and asked my middle boys to play kindly. (Cue the recorded laughter.) I asked a 5 and 2.5-year-old to ‘play nice’ while unsupervised. Out of bed I went, with a six month old in tow. I swallowed some garlic, washed the dishes, nursed the baby, played Uno, read a book, diffused several arguments, and dreamed of sleeping the day away. I popped another garlic clove, buckled everyone in the mini-van and headed to the auto-shop to pick up my tire that exploded yesterday. We had just gotten back from a 25-day road trip so no one wanted to be back in the car. I had also forgotten to grab snacks. Oh, and my left breast was on fire – thank you mastitis. At this point, I needed a La Croix.

We swung by the grocery store, where I said “Screw it” and bought all the kids sushi from the sushi station for lunch – because let’s face it, I was still in yesterday’s pjs (leggings are the best), I was not about to prepare a gourmet meal of ham sandwiches. My head was pounding and my throat was starting to really hurt. I raced around the store for every organic, fresh-looking chicken noodle soup ingredient possible (and 2 cases of La Croix) and checked out.

I only had to threaten my 2-year-old twice that I was going to leave him at the store if he didn’t sit down to get buckled. At some point the toddler begins screaming that his toe hurts, and sure enough, he has an infected ingrown toe nail (or something else nasty looking that I’ll just call an ingrown toenail). At least we have a doctor appointment already scheduled in about 40 hours. Hopefully, the toe won’t fall off.

OH.MY.GOD. My breast HURTS. Can my head pound any harder? I’m starting to cry when I swallow.

I prep everything for soup and realize that the tomatoes we picked earlier had been over-roasted, so now there’s no pasta sauce for tomorrow. I could not really care less though because that glass jar of sauce from the store will still feed us all. I pop more garlic and crush some for the soup. Garlic will save the day.

The 5-year-old is making the 2-year-old cry somewhere in the house. The 2-year-old then runs and bumps the hurt toe and the crying turns to shrieking, and I must somehow ninja myself up the stairs fast enough to get him, but slow enough as to not set my head into a spiraling spinning motion that will make me puke. Oh, the 6 month old is in an Ergo on my back (at all times on days like this).

Apologies are said between the boys when my daughter walks out of her room completely dressed as Princess Jasmin. She was supposed to be doing school work. Whatever, maybe she’ll entertain one of these boys so I can sit down – CRAP, the soup is boiling.

We read a few books, played a game with mermaids and sea witches, and started laundry. Then I quit. I was physically done. I handed over remotes and let my children be babysat by technology while I enjoyed my soup and the baby. It actually felt rewarding to do this. I was off my game all day, and I felt like crap, but everyone would live to see another day.

I’ve had worse days, of course. But today just drove the whole ‘golf course’ saying home. Even on days like this, I would not trade my job as a mother. I can’t win every game, I can’t birdie every hole, and I sure as hell cannot walk the course day after day without getting a bit tired of the walk. Those missed putts make the holes-in-one feel so much sweeter.

Who is the Author

Elizabeth is a passionate writer at My baby’s Heartbeat Bear, focused on educating those open to learning. She is also a pre and postnatal exercise specialist, natural childbirth educator, former teacher and current homeschooler to her 4 young children. Check out Elizabeth's week by week pregnancy tips and parenting insights at her Pregnancy Blog.


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