This room WAS clean 10 hours ago.
My daughter and I have a schedule. I’m a single mom and she splits her time evenly between me and her dad. It has been an adjustment, we’re still working things out, but We have a schedule.
Her and I wake up, I set her down with a bowl of cereal and a TV show while I try to get my life together. I drink my coffee while I prepare outfits for two people, lunch for two people, and try to find matching shoes for two people.
Some days go as planned; she sits quietly eating her breakfast until I tell her it’s time to get changed. We leave, we stop and get donut holes and an iced coffee, we make it to school and work and tell each other we love the other, and start our respective days.
But then there are days like today where I spend five minutes getting myself dressed, and she detonates a bomb in her room right before we leave for school.
I haven’t always been a neat freak. (Just ask my parents, or my college roommate). But something about single motherhood prompted me to take more care of our individual spaces. Everything else in life could be a total mess, but as long as our rooms are clean and tidy, it feels like we have something together.
Having Abigail blow up her room right before we leave the house can send me into an emotional tailspin pretty quickly. Instantly I’m stressed out, filled with self-doubt and fear, I’m upset. Am I going to be late for work? Is She going to be late for school? Am I going to have enough time to stop and grab the second coffee that I so badly need? I’m pissed. Sometimes I feel like I can’t hack it. But then...
I see her face. She knows I’m upset. But she’s a kid; She doesn’t understand that creating a war zone in her bedroom has consequences. She doesn’t know that mommy has an important meeting this morning. She was just looking for her favorite stuffed animal to bring to school. The stuffed animal that reminds her of her mommy.
I’m an emotional person… Even more so when I’m overworked and overtired. Sometimes I feel like a rockstar mom and everything is great… and other days, like today, I feel TOTALLY INADEQUATE. But, such is motherhood; I guess.
The thing I need to be more mindful of is creating more of a buffer between my emotional self, and my daughter. I need to practice in pausing before reacting; and gain perspective into the eyes of the little girl who just wants a memento of her rockstar mama when she is at school. I ALSO; need to look at myself in that same light that SHE does.
So. This room was clean 10 hours ago... but It isn’t now; and it wasn’t clean when we left for school. And that’s ok. Everything’s going to be ok.
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