Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mom fail

I'm a stay at home mom.  I love being with my child but I also go absolutely nuts everyday.  Especially during the winter when we get less exercise. Any mom who says she enjoys staying home is either insane or not paying enough attention to her child.  Although I can't help but wonder how peaceful my house would be without three hard-to-handle dogs.


These are just a few three dozen incidents which happened this week, things I remember being frustrating.  I'm sure I could come up with more if I tried. Feel free to bypass the whining and just skip over this entire list:

  1. The dogs bark.  Loud.  A lot.  At everything.
  2. This computer plug falls out of its socket and the computer shuts down instantly, losing every photo edit/blog entry/upload process possible.  Somebody accidentally pulls the plug, oh, about five times a day.  Drives me crazy.
  3. 80 lb dog scratches at the couch because he wants to lie down.  Even if we're sitting on it.  Even if there is one tiny toddler sock on the cushion blocking his desired space.  He will scratch until you move that sock.  
  4. A dog gets in toddler's face and tries to eat his food.
  5. Toddler then hits dog for constantly being in his face.
  6. The dogs go outside and attack the fence because our neighbor's tiny rat dogs are challenging them to a duel.  Two dogs jam their head through the fence and get cut.  Badly.
  7. One dogs actually listens to me calling for them to stop trying to break through the fence and comes in the house, but in the process of running so fast and being 80+ lbs runs directly into the Christmas tree and shatters two glass ornaments all over the den into a bazillion pieces.  While the other dogs still attempt to break the fence and cut their own faces outside.
  8. I fence off the den to clean up the shattered ornaments because the 80+ lb dog is terrified and tries to attack the vacuum.  Said dog barks in my face the entire time I vacuum up the glass he broke.
  9. I blow a fuse in the living room vacuuming because I forget to turn off the electric fireplace.
  10. Toddler throws ball at everything breakable in the house.
  11. Toddler kicks while getting his diaper changed.
  12. Dogs continue to bark constantly from the hours of nap time until my husband comes home, when they will be perfect angels and sleep until morning.  Because they are tired from all of the barking they've done all day.
  13. Toddler comes over to the computer and pushes all buttons.  Computer eventually shuts down because the plug falls out.
  14. We try to go out to get away from the barking dogs who are now humping each other and trying to break into the kitchen to eat any crumbs left behind by the toddler.  Car stalls every time we start it.  And it rattles.  And smells like ozone layer destruction.
  15. Toddler fusses in the store until we leave.
  16. Toddler then refuses to walk into the house by himself because he wants to drive the car instead.  I either carry him inside kicking or chase him around the yard.
  17. We go in time out.  But the toddler doesn't want to sit in time out.  He makes a game of escaping and making me chase him.  Dogs bark in my face as I wrangle child.
  18. 80 lb dog has a yeast infection in his ear and makes a terrible slopping sound when he scratches and licks at it.  It sounds like he is smacking peanut butter.  This is almost worst than the barking.
  19. Toddler will not nap.
  20. Toddler naps but is awoken by barking dogs.
  21. Dog eats toddler's sippy cup when I am not looking.  Or one of his toys.  Or a plastic cup or snack wrapper.
  22. Give toddler a bath.  Toddler flails when I remove him.  More kicking.  More dog barking.
  23. Dogs scratch at back door as soon as I sit down.  They must hear the neighbor's rat dogs.
  24. Everything I clean is instantly destroyed.
  25. Please God, no more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
  26. Another time out issued for toddler for not listening to Mama.  More barking.  
  27. There is no use crying over spilled milk.
  28. So tired of hearing the word "NOOOOO!" and more tired of having to reprimand three dogs and a baby all. day. long.
  29. A solicitor knocks on the door.  The dogs lose their minds.  The toddler cries.  Go away.
  30. Dog jumps into gated play area in the backyard.  Cannot get back out without me walking barefoot across the deck to open the gate.
  31. The doctor's office calls.  Forget talking on the phone.  I apologize a hundred times to nurse for the barking dogs.
  32. Friend wants to stop over.  I tell her it's easier to meet somewhere else. 
  33. We're out of milk.
  34. Husband finally comes home to save me.  And then I will count the seconds until the weekend starts.  Our weekends are amazingly stress-free

This is blurry.  You're welcome.

And honestly I think I have a really great and sweet kid.  However, I am not in denial that I have three very ornery dogs.  I won't deny that we are way in over our heads when it comes to having two too many dogs, but they are our family and therefore we will continue to work with them daily.  Re-homing is not an option for us.  Dealing with the daily stress is a small price to pay when I think about where these poor rescue dogs come from and how they will never be put in that situation of abuse again and how much joy they bring to our lives when they are behaving.

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I'm pretty sure this extreme frustration is due to my ridiculous pregnancy hormones.  I'm tired.  Always.  I also love a routine and dogs and toddlers don't operate on a tight shift.  Add to this I can no longer reach my toes without feeling uncomfortable.


But despite it all I usually feel like I am a really good mom. I work hard to always be there to listen to my child or give each dog equal attention during the day. I set boundaries, tell jokes, nurture, cuddle, and praise. Today Dylan hit another child at our library playgroup and I felt like a total failure of a parent. He made a small boy cry for absolutely no reason. Today I wanted to give up. Throw in the towel. Hand the keys to someone else and walk far far away from my house.

When Sean came home he took over for me. I drove to the store for some bread and milk and a much needed break while he and Dylan did the dishes and cooked dinner, danced their daily Daddy's home from work dance up in our room, Sean changed him into pajamas and put him to bed. Can we say hero? I saw a van in the parking lot on my milk run that had "Smile and Laugh, it is the best medicine!" written on the back of it in that car window chalk paint and almost cried. For lunch I crammed a half box of Chips Ahoy and most of a bag of Funyuns in my mouth to drown my sorrows. It was that kind of day, folks.

Tomorrow will be a fresh start, a new day, a new dose of patience. Tomorrow I will start with a blank slate and work harder at my job of raising and loving these four little handfuls. After all, being a mom is one of the most important jobs a girl can have.

Please tell me I'm not alone here. It's normal for two year olds to not be perfect, isn't it? It's normal for moms to not have all of the answers, right?