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Not too long ago, a fellow writer wrote a beautiful, touching piece called, “Today, Mommy is Sad.” It made me tear up because it took me back to the time when I was pregnant for the second time and struggling to deal with my conflicting emotions.
Today is a different story.
So, I’m writing a letter to my 3-year-old girl, in the hopes that I can come clean about my behavior today.
Today, Mommy is an asshole.
Mommy woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, sweetie. She’s really, really tired, and actually having trouble remembering her own name right now. If you have to ask several times for breakfast, it’s not because Mommy doesn’t love or care for you, it’s because she’s having trouble thinking straight.
Maybe it’s because baby C decided that 2am was a good time to wake for the day, and it took 90 minutes to convince him to fall back asleep. While she was trying/not trying to doze off on the couch during that time, Mommy got a bad crick her neck which undid all the relaxation that her wonderful massage created, yesterday. Oh well, $100 down the tube.
Or perhaps it’s because, when baby C started babbling in his crib and wouldn’t fall back asleep, your Daddy just flopped over and snored even louder. Mommy knows it’s her turn to get up, but she’s allowed to resent it anyway, right?
Mommy is really sorry that every answer to every question you ask right now is colored with sarcasm.
No, Mommy doesn’t mean it when she says that Halloween is never coming again. She’s just unreasonably ticked off that she has to answer this question in April. No, Mommy doesn’t mean it when she answers, “to Hell in a hand basket” when you ask her where you are going today for the 46th time. What she really means is that she has no good answer. What she really means is that she feels like an asshole for NOT wanting to take you anywhere, today.
Today, Mommy is a giant asshole.
Mommy is so fucking tired and no amount of coffee seems to be helping. Today, it may seem like you’ll be sitting in front of the television for longer than is appropriate. Yes, of course that’s exciting for you but it’s a shitty Mom crutch that she will feel guilty about for the rest of the week.
Mommy also may not have the energy to fight you on having Goldfish crackers and apple sauce for lunch today, either. At least there’s some fruit in the equation. Whatever. You can add another notch to the Mommy Guilt Belt.
Mommy’s voice may sound strained when she asks you to stop yelling your play-by-play of whatever show you’re watching from the next room while she tries to get your baby brother to nap. She wants you to know, though, that she realizes how thin her patience is today. She just can’t seem to help it. So she’s being an asshole.
There are a few things that Mommy should admit to, that she may not have been totally honest about today. First, your paint set isn’t at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Mommy just doesn’t want to have to set up all those paints, watch you completely soak through a single sheet of paper with seven layers of paint, and then move on to the next thing, leaving her to clean up.
Also, regarding your favorite battery-operated, noise-making, headache-inducing toy: it’s not broken. Mommy took the batteries out, because yes, she is an asshole today. That horrific tiny voice that sings your ABC song off-key will one day cause Mommy to gouge her eyes out with a fork. But today will not be that day.
Today is not a proud-parenting day. Nothing Pinterest-worthy is going to be created. Mommy may turn her head and roll her eyes when you ask to watch another episode of Caillou. She may put her hand in her pocket and give you the finger when you insist that 5 Goldfish crackers actually add up to 4. But she knows that she’s being the asshole, and not you.
Mommy truly loves you to pieces.
And she will try to do better tomorrow.