Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not what I signed up for

Yesterday morning was NOT my finest hour.  On Monday my daycare provider was sick, so munchkin girl spent the day traipsing about the nearest large shopping city with my parents.  I was/am totally fine with this.  However, she did not get a nap.  Given the same set of circumstances with me around, the same lack of nap would have occurred.  That night she woke up from a "bad dream".  I should have recognized the portent of things to come. 

The following morning, when she finally woke up, nearly 2 hours later than her usual time, she had ZERO interest in getting ready and leaving the house.  She repeatedly asked if we could stay home and snuggle in the chair.  I can promise you that there's nothing I would have liked better. But, someone has to make the donuts.

At this point I began a process that I had never before had to undertake. I physically hauled my child from the bathroom into the living room to get her dressed.  I held her down, or at least parts of her, while I removed her Pull Up, put on her underwear and shorts, took off her pajama top, put on her tank top, and foolishly attempted to get her shoes on.  A kick from a 4-year-old can be very painful.

Then I began the process of getting her in the car.  This involved an action that I can only describe as similar to trying to keep a cat in the bathtub. Eventually I did manage to get her in the car with her screaming bloody murder all the way. She cried and screamed most of the way to daycare. And the screaming began again when we pulled into the driveway.

I got to try to fend off blows while unbuckling her and getting her out of the car. Then I had to pick her up and carry her into the house.

Once I was on my way to work I lost it. I began sobbing and grabbed my phone. While I know it's not a wise idea to even talk on your cell phone while driving, let alone while visually impaired from crying, I needed reinforcements.  I called my parents and begged them to tell me I'd done the right thing. I felt absolutely horrible because the one thing she wanted was within my power to provide. However, this was an opportunity to teach her about obligations.

I assume this was all brought on by lack of sleep and her trying to adjust to me working a 40 hour week after nearly a year of working 11-5.  The poor thing has had a difficult time trying to adjust. 

My parents said all the right things, including, "Pull the car over before you crash." But I swear to you, the one thing I could not do that day was take my mind off the feeling that all she wanted was some time with me and I didn't give it to her.  I want it to be very clear; SINGLE PARENTING IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR. Say all you want that I'm strong. That you couldn't do what I do. That you would give up. But the truth of it is, I feel like I did. I feel like I gave up on reasoning with her just so that I could move on with my day. I put her needs aside to deal with my own.  I feel like a bad mother.  I feel like they'll be calling me to take away my mommy card. Part of me really does know that I'm a good mother, but this emotional outburst absolutely broke my heart.  It won't be too long and she won't want to snuggle any more.  I know I did the right thing in teaching her a lesson that she'll someday understand. But how do I tell my heart that?