Back in the days when I was a new mom with only three children under three (not the worldly, experienced mom of four under four that I am now), I made the unfortunate error of taking my newly potty-trained 2-year-old and twin 9-month-olds to a bridal shower. The events were as follows:
- I began the day by laboriously dressing my brood in matching outfits (cute children are better tolerated at such events), which was promptly followed by my boy twin deciding to fish toilet paper out of the potty (note to all: teach potty-training child to flush IMMEDIATELY).
- Upon redressing him, we set off. My 2-year-old promptly peed in her pants on the way there (never mind that she had gone right before we left, hence #1).
- After changing my 2-year-old’s pants at the party, I went back to the car for our two portable high chairs. Carrying one in each hand, I tripped on uneven pavement in front of a passing group of bicyclists, skinning my knees and feet and destroying my favorite pair of shoes along with my pride.
- Regaining my composure and putting on my happy face (you can’t appear weak when bringing your hoard of tiny children to a party), I returned to the shower to be reminded that party fare is always placed on coffee tables (i.e. perfect grabbing height for 9-month-olds).
- I bravely soldiered on in managing my offspring, despite the sinking feeling that this just wasn’t my day. My children calm, I finally sat down with my girl twin on my lap to have an adult conversation. Sadly, I realized too late that the horrified look on my friend’s face was her reacting to my daughter reaching behind me to grab my full cup of coffee, which she then spilled all over me.
On this day I realized two important things: I would NEVER bring small children to another shower (it just isn’t fun for me, no matter how baby friendly the group is) and bad days as a mom of small children are not just bad, they are hilariously bad. The bad days are so bad that you cannot help but laugh at them later. And this, as it turns out, is a precious gift.
Bad days in the adult world are just bad most of the time. When another adult is a jerk to you, you’re just left with hard feelings and the need for a stiff drink. While I might still need a stiff drink after a particularly “exciting” day with my kids, their innocence, joy, and the fact that most of the time their naughty behavior isn’t particularly intended to hurt me, means that I can move past my feelings of frustration with them to laughing at their antics pretty quickly.
As I was regaling my mother with the day’s events later on, I formulated a mission for myself: when I have a bad mom day I turn it into a funny story and I share it with as many others as I can. In doing so, I put a little laughter into the world, I gain perspective on the events, and I regain a love for mothering my little stinkers. So embrace the bad and let laughter ring!
Since Catherine Pearl was quietly raised as the only child of well-established 30-something parents, she thought she would throw sanity to the wind by embracing four children under four in her twenties when the budget is small and the house is smaller. Baby #1 and the Twins were gestated and raised to toddlerhood while finishing her master’s degree (she had a full-ride so the Husband wouldn’t let her quit in a fit of morning sickness induced exhaustion). Currently Catherine spends her days enjoying a ridiculously easy Baby #4 (thank goodness!), taking kids 1-3 up to the bathroom 10,000x a day, and supporting a pretty great husband who’s got big aspirations with love and clean laundry.