Mom Stuff // Pity Parties

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I don't know about you, but I like to throw myself pity parties sometimes. Lately, most of my pity parties have somehow related to my kiddos, but I definitely threw these wild shindigs before I had little ones.

This morning felt like a real doozie. We went out for a friend's birthday last night (yes, involving a babysitter!), getting there after a rush back from Molly's 4 month check-up (including shots and subsequent nursing, 30 minute drives each way), trying to bathe and get her to sleep before leaving, getting Juliette situated, etc. We had a great time at dinner and stuff, notwithstanding both girls waking up while we were gone for odd reasons that NEVER happen (you know), and got home late-ish and were both beat, having gone marathon all day long from early hours. Things can get hairy when I don't have much time to accomplish household tasks in the evenings and prep for the next day, and so I had to go to sleep relying on the clean dishwasher the next morning, and also looking for a specific shirt for Juliette that we hadn't seen in a while (dicey).

Jonathan has had to leave for "work" at 6 AM for several weeks now (the quotation marks are no offense to him, but he is still in school, and doing rotations, so it's like practice work. It's definitely work, it's just not work he gets paid to do...he pays to do it in fact). This leaves dear ole Mom riding the morning train solo (this situation in itself deserved its own pity party which stretched over several mornings, did you get the invite?). My children currently attend two separate day cares (this will change August 5, I cannot wait), and I am supposed to be at work by 8 AM. I've actually gotten semi-OK at doing this (I mean, as much as you can I guess)...but as with all things infant/toddler related, things don't always go according to plan.

Things you think would be totally simple can turn into time-sucks fast, which is why I try to prep as much at night as I can (bottles, pump parts, bags packed, clothes mentally picked-out, etc.). Things like getting clean bottles out of the dishwasher, filling them with milk and screwing on a clean top can eat up a million precious minutes somehow, when you're simultaneously placating babies, finding stray shoes and filling sippy cups. You never know, perhaps your toddler will knock over an entire 5 oz bottle of liquid gold (THAT HAD A CAP ON IT--THE CAP WILL PROBABLY BREAK SOMEHOW ANYWAY?) all over your kitchen floor, leaving you frozen in stunned silence at first because you really need to leave in 17 minutes and you're not dressed, have no makeup on, neither kid is dressed, and here is a new mess to clean up.

You may be blessed to have an infant with a remarkably good temperament who doesn't mind being put in her car seat a million minutes before it's actually time to leave (thank you sweetness!), though your toddler loves to "watch" you put your makeup on (this involves lots of grabbing of contraband items, things falling off the counter, climbing on the toilet seat, etc). You throw on eyeliner attempting to hide your 3 AM rendezvous with the baby, masque a ponytail into a side-braid (does this actually work or am I forcing this one?) and find two matching shoes for the toddler, but you just cannot find that exact shirt she's supposed to wear for spirit day today. Thank goodness they have some new ones for sale waiting at school---just add it to my tab! Oh wait, TWO packages of diapers need to get in the car on one of your trips packing up everything.

You get to the toddler's school and she wants to take in her book for show-and-share...awesome! The infant you're carrying in her carseat can carry it in on her lap, so you wedge the diapers under your arm, and get the toddler to carry your keys. Just grab the special school shirt from the front counter on your way in and she's good to go. Thank goodness, there's her teacher, in the hallway to the rescue!

Back to the car with the infant to go to stop #2 and you have 26 minutes to deliver the baby and be at a meeting 20 minutes away. Oh great, your car remote battery is on the fritz, so you've gotta walk to the opposite side of the car to unlock and then back around to put the baby in! (I can't make this stuff up!) By the time you plop into the driver's seat, you may thinking to yourself over and over, "this morning SUCKS! Stressville! Woe is me!" etc etc etc etc, BUT, as you're pulling out of the parking lot, what do you hear on the radio when the dust settles and your brain can process things again?

Your ole Top-40s pal, Kelly Clarkson belting at just the right moment, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! blah blah power singing!" and then you feel this solidarity filling your heart! Moms hooray! Unite! Rah rah rah, you are DOING THIS! Tiny humans are depending on YOU for survival and you are MAKING IT HAPPEN! Sure, it's silly small thing, but maybe this is God's little gift to you to make it through this morning.


Sooooo....hearing this song, my pity party promptly shut down, and after depositing Molly, I got back int he car and Lady Gaga power music greeted me on that same radio station for my drive in to work, where I arrived three minutes before my meeting started (enough time for coffee!).

But deeper than Kelly's mantra, what I've learned from today is that being a mommy is hard. Period. It doesn't matter what your work situation is, what your financial situation, housing is always hard. Because it's not about you. It's about those babies.

(To be fair, all pity parties are probably some sort of lesson in it's-not-about-me, whether they relate to having children or not. That's a very broad blanket statement I probably need to think through a little more.)

It should be noted here:
I wrote this earlier today, and still had another pity party (or two/ten) afterward, and thus hesitated posting this because I am still obviously learning these lessons moment-by-moment.

But dang if I didn't go to Target for milk tonight and get the #1 parking spot!

Thank you, Lord, for getting me through today.


  1. Thanks for sharing so honestly. You're right, this motherhood gig is tough stuff regardless of individual circumstances. BUT, I do think there is a special hero's league for working mothers of multiple children whose husbands are medical students :)

  2. Leslie! I agree with Leslie above! You are a hero! Being a mom is hard! Being a mom of two or more is hard!! Working and getting everyone out the door is even harder! And, having those hubbies in school and never around and doing it solo so often just plain stinks! I nearly lost my mind our first year here! You are free to have a pity party anytime you want! And, call me anytime you want!! I totally understand. I was laughing reading everything you wrote because I totally related to every single situation! You go girl! You are totally rocking this motherhood thing! Miss you, friend!!! Love, Carrie

  3. Your honesty is refreshing and relatable. Thank you for putting it out there. Indeed, as a parent there are some days that I am just happy to survive. Illness, temper tantrums, kids fighting, discipline, etc. When I have to deal with such issues, I throw pity parties for myself. I am not having fun, I want to escape, and I want someone else to deal with it. That's where it's hard, I think. We can't hand it off - the kid is my responsibility no matter what. When I was in grad school I studied the French philosophers, and I took away one thing from them : Il faut tolérer le bon et le mauvais. {You probably can do this, but it means... You have to tolerate the good and the bad.} I wrote it on my laptop wallpaper, so I have a constant reminder that I have to tolerate the negatives in parenting, teaching, life. There's probably a good Bible quote for this, but I spend all my church time in the nursery (so I've got nothing). Finally, I want to say thanks for the reminder that it's not about me. I've been having a bit of a pity party lately for being pregnant. I dislike it. While I am the only one to deal with the symptoms of this condition, this pregnancy is not all about me. I appreciate this reminder. I hope you have a lovely weekend & I apologize if this is too long-winded. Take care!

  4. I have read this five times already and it is just as moving as the first time. Love you Les. You and JJerkins are superheroes.

  5. I LOVED this post so much. It made me laugh and made my blood pressure rise just imagining/knowing how stressful that day must have been! I know the feeling! I've been having quite a few pity parties myself—thanks for being honest and reminding me its not about me! (that's a hard one to swallow sometimes) you're such a great mom and I love watching your little ones grow up!


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