Hard day. We’ve all had them as moms, am I right? I had one the other day.
It was just one of those wonky days. Nothing was unusual. But she wouldn’t go down for her morning nap. I couldn’t think why. So after feeding her, putting her down, her getting up shortly thereafter, feeding her again and putting her down again, I go into the kitchen. I don’t know how it happened, but it was already 11 a.m. – my new lunch time. And then everything hit at once. She started crying from her crib … the kind of crying that isn’t just a wimper but little baby shouts without the tears. At that point, I already started heating up my soup in the microwave. Twenty seconds before the microwave goes off, I take out the soup and start inhaling it. All the while, I’m deciding on when I should go to the bathroom and take a shower. OR take a shower. Why was I thinking I could accomplish both? And let’s be honest, the only reason I’m shoveling the soup in my face is so that when my husband comes home and asks me what I ate that day, I actually have an answer.
Baby still cries. Soup is done and bowl is in the sink. I open the door and she instantly stops. She’s playing a game. Just like her sister. Stinker. She looks up at me and smiles. SMILES! As if I could be angry or annoyed. Well played, little one. But still, I feel like death. I turn on her mobile and retreat into the bathroom. She will be quiet for a few moments, right? I vow to take the infamous three minute mom shower.
Can I just pause for a moment and say that it is amazing to me how little a person actual needs in order to take a proper shower. My former single self would bring in the entirety of Body Works for a shower marathon. I won’t even get into how time consuming or expensive or wasteful that experience was for me. My current state looks at showering at the level of an Olympic sport. I have trained for the moment when I can wrestle a solid five minutes of solitude in order to grab a bar of soap (yes a bar of soap, no gel/loofah nonsense right now) and the shampoo and conditioner.
I take my quick shower and turn off the water. I hear her crying, and before my thoughts go to her well-being, I wonder how loud her cries are and how long it will be before a neighbor knocks on the door. I was having a hard day.
I walk into her room and do the infamous “reset.” In towel, I change and nurse her. Then, I properly swaddle her. I turn on her mobile and quietly walk out of the room. Then, I dry off and get dressed. And a magical thing happened: she napped. She napped for a solid 3 hours. She was exhausted, and I just knew it.
During the time she napped, I started to take care of things around the house. I started a load of laundry. I had a cup of tea. I sat down. And my thoughts started to relax and come together.
I wasn’t having a hard day. She wasn’t having a hard day. My baby was exhausted. She was overly tired, and it was up to me to take care of her. I wondered when my thoughts turned a singular moment into an entire bad day. But the truth of the matter is that even a single moment can alter your entire way of thinking. Just like her exhaustion tried to define my entire day, a couple of quiet moments and a cup of tea turned around my “hard day”. It was tough to get to that realization, but I now understand the importance of taking a step back and bring things back into perspective. Give yourself grace.
Give yourself five minutes. Take at least five minutes for yourself during those hard moments and remember that sometimes a hard moment does not make a hard day.