Can I get a mulligan for Mother’s Day?

Ah, Mother’s Day.

Sleeping in late.  Breakfast in bed served by a doting husband.  Mom greeted by a chorus of “Happy Mother’s Day!!” and showered with flowers and handmade cards from the kids.

This is not how my Mother’s Day went.

The first part is true, at least.  When Bobo came screaming (literally) into our room around 6 am, I pretended not to hear her and tried to roll back over and go to sleep.  J eventually got up to take her downstairs to play, and I was able to sleep a bit more until the banging of Chip’s feet on his crib woke me up.  Begrudgingly, I rousted myself out of bed around 7:15 which, in our house, IS actually considered “sleeping in.”

We went out to breakfast, where my usually sweet little Chip screamed the moment I plopped him into his high chair, and refused to sit still.  In desperation, I took him for a walk around the restaurant, grabbed a dum-dum from the candy basket near the cash register and plopped it in Chip’s mouth.  My makeshift pacifier worked pretty well, even if I did feel like a pretty crappy mom for giving my kid candy before breakfast.  He ended up only throwing half of his breakfast onto the floor.

After Chip’s first nap, we ventured to the park for some playtime and a picnic lunch, during which Bobo threw a massive fit about the fact that I got her a half sandwich, and not a whole one.  Oh, the drama.  The temper tantrum escalated, and culminated with me finally losing it and hissing, “Stop it.  Just STOP IT!!  We do NOT talk to mommy and daddy like that!!  Just chill out!!”

I realized a bit too late that those words came out in a pretty loud shriek (not what I had intended), which drew some glances and raised eyebrows from the more peaceful picnic-goers in the park.  I wanted to explain to them, “I’m really a good mom.  I don’t yell at my kids in public often.  And I only occasionally give them lollipops for breakfast.”  But I didn’t think that would have helped take away my embarrassment any.

On the way home from the park, we had a screamfest in the car.  The afternoon and evening consisted of:  No naps, meltdown after meltdown, more whining, and green boogies galore.  (Chip seems to have picked some sort of bug up at daycare late this past week.)  Oh, and dad announced he was not feeling so well, either.  Sweet.

I spent the evening cleaning up the huge mess in our house, doing dishes, and packing Chip and I for a week-long, cross-country trip.  As if today wasn’t fun enough, Chip and I are leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow to visit my sick Grandma in the midwest.

That, in a nutshell, was my Mother’s Day.

Not the day where I felt loved and pampered as a mom but, rather, one of those days where I couldn’t help but wonder:  “What exactly did I sign up for?”

In reality, I realize that this is perhaps the whiniest memoir I’ve ever written.  The reality is, today was not entirely different – or worse – than many other days in our lives.  The reality is, my kids and my husband are happy, healthy and I love them with all my heart.  The reality is, on most days I consider myself extremely lucky on so many levels.

But in reality… what probably bothered me most about today is it revealed some of my own shortcomings as a mother and parent.  Today was not the Hallmark, melt-your-heart version of parenting and Mother’s Day.  Today was the plain truth version of what most parents go through, at least to some extent, on a daily basis. 

The illogical side of me still yearns for the Hallmark version.