I was not a good mom this weekend.

This was your Daddy’s long weekend, and often on these weekends, I feel completely overwhelmed and worn out.  I don’t get many breathing breaks.

On Saturday after work, I knew we were leaving pretty quickly from GiGi’s house to go get a prize for your excellent behavior last week.  You filled up your behavior chart except for two spaces, so that warranted a trip to the Dollar Tree.  I parked my car and ran in the house, leaving the garage door open, but being sure to lock the house door.  I always do this if we aren’t staying at GiGi’s long.

You weren’t quite ready to go, so I dressed you and took JP upstairs to change his diaper.  GiGi was getting dressed in her room.  You joined me to help with JPs diaper and then you decided to go back downstairs.  I finished getting JP ready and then went to see how much longer GiGi would be.  She said you had not brushed your teeth yet, so I went downstairs to find you.

Your new favorite game is hide and seek, so when I called your name, I figured you were hiding.  I put your brother in his car seat, and started to look for you, calling your name.  I poked my head in the piano room, and you weren’t there.  You aren’t very good at hiding.  It shouldn’t take this long to find you.

I walked past the laundry room stairs that lead into the garage.  The house door was standing wide open.  You unlocked the door and went outside.

I began to scream your name, running as fast as I could down the stairs.

You heard me screaming and met me around the garage door corner.  You were so excited to go to the Dollar Tree, you were waiting by the car door.  Seeing how upset I was, and realizing you had done something wrong, you began to cry too.  I scooped you up and sat you on top of the washing machine, telling you how you should never ever ever go out that door without me.

And as the discipline wore off, the fear set in of what could have happened.

You could have been in the swimming pool.  You could have fallen and seriously hurt yourself.  You could have been in the road.  I could be finding your lifeless body and it would have been all my fault.  ALL my fault.   ALL. MY. FAULT.

I held you tighter that I ever have before and we both cried together.  GiGi had heard all the commotion and found us crying in the stairwell, and immediately made sure all the keys to the other doors were in safe high places for you not to reach.

ALL. MY. FAULT.

We rocked and rocked in GiGi’s chair, and we cried, and I prayed.  I thanked God for watching you, and keeping your little feet from the road.  I begged for forgiveness for my lack of forethought.  I stroked your back and wept over the idea of losing my sweet baby.  I apologized to you for never telling you NOT to do that, and made you promise never to go out the door again.  I told you that I loved you so much, that my heart aches at just thinking of how badly you could have gotten hurt, and how when my heart aches, it makes me cry.

ALL. MY. FAULT.

But the weekend didn’t end just there.  Sunday was awful.

We ran out of time on Sunday morning before we had to be at church, and your poor Daddy, who had just fallen asleep, had to get up to help me get everyone out the door.  Tornado warnings happened all through church, but we HAD to go to the store to get some milk, so I dragged you both to Publix in the rain.  I was so worn out and wet and exhausted by the time we made it home, and it wasn’t even noon.

I put JP down for his nap, then fixed our lunch and got you down for a nap.  As soon as I closed your door, I took a deep sigh…and heard JP crying.  He takes 20-30 minute cat naps usually, but I was hoping I would strike gold because I needed it so badly.  Nope.

So JP and I went into the living room.  By this point, your Daddy was awake.  And he walked into a firestorm in the living room.

I was so exhausted that I was just sitting there, holding JP and crying.  All I wanted to do was nap.  Lay down.  Check my Facebook for three seconds without someone calling my name or trying to grab it to eat it.  I wanted to just sit and rest my aching arms that had worked so hard over the weekend.  I wanted all the noise to stop.

Your sweet sweet Daddy told me he had to take the trash out and work on the bouncy chair, which has decided to stop working, and then there would be a place for JP to sit and I could rest.  And of course, the bouncy seat is dead.  As a doornail.  The only place JP really loves to sit and I know I can put him for an extended period of time while I get ready for work and he’s safe and can’t be bothered is dead.  No vibrating.  No music.  No safe place.

Cue more tears.

By this time, you were back up.  More tears because it was inevitable that I wasn’t going to get any rest this afternoon.

Your Daddy sent me into the bedroom, and I laid down and cried.  You quietly opened my door and walked around to the bedside.  “Mommy, are you sad?  I will help you feel better.”  So I pulled you into bed with me, and you stroked my arm and hair while I cried.  I drifted off to sleep while you watched cartoons and snuggled.

You eventually decided to go play, which was fine.  I was finally getting my break.

Then you opened my door with Hi Ho Cherry O, wanting me to play.  Daddy told you no, that I was resting.  Cue YOUR tears.

So I got up to see what was going on.  I asked you why you were crying, and you said, “Because I want you to pway wif meeeeeeeeeeeeee!”  Guess what?  More tears.  From both of us.  I told you that I loved you with a burning passion, but I was so tired.  So so tired.  I tried to recall memory from you about how sometimes you get so tired that you cry, and Mommy was feeling the same way.  Then I promised to play when I got up.

This appeased you, and I finally got my thirty minutes of rest time in the bed.  And you got your Hi Ho Cherry O game.

And then we went to a party for the church choir, where you proceeded to cry and whine the entire time about everything: wanting to go outside, wanting to carry your cup, wanting to go upstairs, wanting me to hold you (seriously, my muscles are tired), wanting GiGi to hold you, wanting another cookie, getting another cookie yourself and then getting in trouble for it.  All I wanted was to eat my dinner and for you not to make me look like an idiot who had no control over her whiny children.  We ended up leaving early, and you went straight to bed with no story.

I closed the door to your room, and once again, I cried.

I cried because I had failed to keep my cool over the weekend.  I had let my exhaustion rule my parenting, and my attitude.  I used unkind words, and I had let you and your brother down multiple times.  I thought I had given all I had to give, but you still wanted more.  I was depleted of energy and want to be a mom.  I texted your Daddy and told him that weekends like this make me want to quit.  All of this weekend was my fault.  I had failed.  I was not a good mom this weekend.

But then, this morning, you wandered out of your room to where I was fixing your brother a bottle in the kitchen.  You dug your sweet head into my thigh and wrapped your little arms around my leg, and said, “Good morning, Mom.  I sweep good.  I wuv you.”

And it was all worth it.  The tears, the struggling, the exhaustion, the emotions, the blaming myself for all the mistakes I had made, and worrying about how I had let you down.  It was all worth it.  Right there, in our kitchen, with your arms wrapped around my leg and that big smile looking up at me.  All was forgiven, all was forgotten, and our reset button was pushed.

We ate breakfast together and watched Mickey Mouse.  And when I went to my bathroom to get ready to take you to school, you came running in to grab my hand.  You led me into the living room and we danced like fools to the Hot Dog Song.  Arms flapping, legs flailing, and big laughs between the singing.

All worth it.  All of it.

But it didn’t stop me from literally running out the door of your daycare this morning.

I am praying for strength and rest for all my Mommy friends today.  Hit your reset button on this Monday, and remember that you are doing the best you can.  You can’t always be the best.  Those little arms will still hug you tomorrow.

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