Today I actually thought to myself that it might benefit my children more for me to go back to work and hire a nanny or send them to daycare.  I really think they would like that better!   Especially after today, which was one of my worse performances as a mother to date.  There will be no Golden Globe nominations, not red carpet dress for Oscar,  and no people who would choose me for a glass statuette.

Take a very tired mother and mix her with very tired, unruly, high maintenance kids and we have mayhem.  There is yelling, screaming, threats, punishments, time outs, and just basic mass destruction.   It was bad.

And I feel like I have no one to blame but myself.  That because I have not been a good enough disciplinarian, parent, and teacher, my children have – even at their young ages-  figured out that my instruction is obsolete, my requests are optional, and my promises to punish are defunct.

There is no joy in this parenting for me today!  No pats on the back or accolade receiving behavior.   There was just bad, frustrating, losing my cool, maybe even the neighbors heard me yelling, despicable bossiness!  And I am ashamed of it.  That I could not keep my wits about me and outsmart or creatively parent three very young children.  I let them get to me.  And I know better.  Or at least I wish better!

This is not how I thought it would be, you know?  This constant back and forth tug of war of wills.  Not at this age.  Not during the precious years.  When they grow too fast and grasping onto every single memory is important.  I don’t want these memories!  These bad days shadowing the really great ones!  And most importantly, I do not want my children remembering their mother this way.  How scared they must be to have me towering over them, wagging my finger in their face, screaming, “Go to your room…  NOW!”

In honesty, I don’t think I did anything any other mother does not fall victim to when things are out of hand and there is no one around to help absorb the blows of constant, never ending demands and frustrations of parenting.  And with my husband out of town, there was no rescue right around the corner, pushing me to stay calm and in tact until help arrived.  But I am  the one who is supposed to be in control and losing it should just not be an option.

So, I take this day and file it in my “I never want to live a day like that again” file and try to take note of my triggers and limitations.  And I will hunt through the bad memories and amplify the good ones.  A laughing breakfast, a day of play outside, and my children happy and running in the yard while I pretend to read a book, but really drink in their beauty.

And try to remember that this is the joy of parenting…  the good, the bad, and the lessons learned!