“breaking” point

Jenn, over at Mommy Needs Coffee and Mommy Bloggers, has motivated me to tell the truth. I do not have it all together. When I don’t get my solitude (or any help), I reach my breaking point. So, in the spirit of honesty and solidarity, here are the events which led to my literal “breaking” point last week.

But first, a trivia question: What’s the difference between dropping your phone and heaving it forcefully to the floor? See the answer at the bottom of this post.

Back to the (humiliating) story.

FirstHusband left town on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and I drove him to the airport. (He returned Friday evening and we picked him up at the airport just in time for rush hour.)

I am taking iron pills because my blood work shows my iron stores are “depleted.” (“Iron stores?” I never shopped at an iron store.)

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, alone with the kids. The kids do their chores, pack their own lunches, do their homework, pack their own backpacks, lay out their own clothes, bathe and dress themselves, but not without . . . encouragement. (They might call it nagging.) Through it all, I’m patient. Pleasant, even. When they want to stay up late on Tuesday night to watch American Idol “because EVERYONE will be talking about it tomorrow and I won’t know what they’re talking about,” I LET them stay up! (Have you ever heard the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished?”)

So, Wednesday morning comes around and I have comatose children. PinkGirl didn’t even move. No groan. No turning over. Just dead weight. FavoriteSon is too heavy to drag downstairs and, while still in a coma, he pitifully BEGGED me to let him skip P.E. The fact is, I was wiped out too. When FirstHusband travels, I don’t sleep so well.

So, I did the UNthinkable. I let the kids sleep in an extra hour. I let my son miss 1st period P.E. and my 1st grade daughter be an hour late for school. I can’t remember, but I think my husband will learn about this as he reads this blog post. (Remember the family rule, hon. No helping. No complaining.)

Anyway. I drop the kids off a little before 9:00 a.m., go back home to shower, eat breakfast and work a little before I go BACK to school to have lunch with PinkGirl at 11:15 because the new girl is giving her a hard time. Get back to the house around noon. A little more work (and probably a little blogging, I don’t’ remember) and then it’s BACK to school to pick up the kids. I get PinkGirl and two friends at 2:40 p.m. and then wait for FavoriteSon to get out at 3:10 p.m. Everyone is hungry, so it’s off to McDonalds. I’m keeping PinkGirl’s friends for the afternoon and drop FavoriteSon off at the house to do homework while I take the girls to a park. While they play, I sit on a park bench, reading a book and taking notes for a seminar I have to deliver next week. Every 30 or 45 minutes I call home to ask FavoriteSon how he is doing on his homework. I’m patient. Pleasant, even.

After nearly two hours, the girls get bored with the park and want to go to our house to play for a while before I take them home. No problem. No big deal. Sure. We go home. FavoriteSon has finished his homework. The girls play upstairs while I respond to a client email request. I was supposed to take the girls home around 6:00 p.m., but it’s 6:10 and they just put Chicken Little in the DVD player. I let them watch Chicken Little sing “We are the Champions” before we go. I’m patient. Pleasant, even.

I tell FavoriteSon I’m taking the girls home and he can play video games until I get back. When we arrive at the friend’s house, I let PinkGirl walk them to the door and then, I even let her go inside for a few minutes. I’m patient. Pleasant, even.

When we get back to our house, it’s 7:34 p.m. So far that day, I’d been in a pretty good mood. I was feeling pretty good about all the nice things I’d done for my kids. I mean really. You read the post. I was great, if I do say so myself. Cool mom. Nice mom. Pushover mom.

So how do I know it was 7:34 p.m. when I got home? Because, in our house, we have a family rule: All electronics off at 7:30 on school nights. (American Idol was a test – which they failed.) So I say, “okay, guys, it’s 7:34.”

I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught. The screaming. The stomping. The sarcasm. The insults.

THIS is what I get from them after saying “YES” to them over, and over, and OVER all day?

I wasn’t patient. Or pleasant, even.

I had an armful of stuff from the car (and not all of it MY stuff either). Picture it. Ever seen a little kid stomp their foot on the ground and thrust curled up fists down at their sides? That’s what I did. But remember. I was holding stuff. And my Treo.

Amazingly, what I actually said next was, “Well, that’s got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” followed by, “PinkGirl, go to your room right now.”

Then I logged into ebay and sniped a Treo.

So what’s the answer to the trivia question? That would be $93, plus $15 shipping (If you have an ebay account and know how to use it). See, when you just drop your phone, it doesn’t always break. But when you throw it at the floor really hard, you have to buy a new one.

Yo, Jenn. Mommy didn’t have coffee Wednesday night. She had cabernet sauvignon. With dark chocolate.

5 thoughts on ““breaking” point

  1. How easily we forget that if you give ’em an inch, they’ll want a mile, inducing as much mental anguish on pushover mom as possible…

    What a day! I’ve SO been there!

  2. I love the way you so aptly described the “breaking point.” Those days make me weep inside and out for all that I’m trying to do right and still end up feeling like everything went all wrong. It’s an endless frustration. Keeping my eyes on Jesus and His call to be a mother, remembering to season my words with grace, negotiating the balance of discipline and training—I’m constantly reminded of my deficiencies. But He is faithful to pick up the pieces that have broken over the point. May He gently restore you!

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