Snot and smeared mascara

There are nights when you have the perfect harmonious evening with your child in which dinner, bath time and bedtime are a breeze. Your little one laughs, plays and responds eager to please when you tell them it’s time to wash up or get in bed for a story. You then nuzzle up and enjoy each other’s company before sending them off to Sleepytown. Thankfully, this is how most nights go.

But then there are nights that make you question your abilities as a mother.

The nights when your sweet little gift from God does the complete opposite of what you ask them to do. Nights that you have to hold them hostage in the bathroom while they scream bloody murder because you won’t let them out until all the bath toys are put up. Nights when your precious angel is throwing a fit in your arms, smacks you in the face and you have to put her down, leave the room, and pray to resist every natural urge to smack her back.


And then come the waterworks.

I’m crying because I only get a couple hours with her in the evenings after work and I don’t want to spend it like this. Because I’ve tried different approaches and none give me a different result. Because if this is what she dishes out at almost three years old, I’m in deep crap when it comes to the teen years. And because, regardless of this “terrible twos” phase, I still feel like its somehow my fault and I’m failing her.

And she’s crying. Crying because she doesn’t want to take a bath, read a book, brush her teeth or go to bed. Crying because she knows I’m angry with her. Crying because she’s exhausted and because she wants more of my attention in the evenings than time will allow.

This, of course, is where the working mom guilt hits me where it hurts.

Which means more tears.

And snot.

And smeared mascara.

Because I haven’t had a chance to wash my face yet, what with the Battle of Wills and all.

It’s so hard to stand your ground when it would be easier to give in and make her happy. I mean, after all, it’s not like I couldn’t pick up her toys for her or let her read 15 books before bed.

But she’d never learn that I mean what I say. And she’d never learn that blatant defiance or throwing a hissy fit to get what you want isn’t going to work.

So, in the words of my mother,
“I love you enough not to let you act like that. And I love you enough to let you hate me for it.”

(I was really hoping she’d be 12 before having to use this particular mom-ism)


Tomorrow’s a new day. Hopefully without the Kleenex.

Happy blogging,



8 thoughts on “Snot and smeared mascara

  1. Love what your mother said and it’s so true!
    Hang in there. I’ve been having a rough couple of nights with my 2 year old super hero as well. The last couple of nights after he has fallen asleep I look at him and feel guilty that I was so hard and unpatience with him. Ugh! guilt, one of the great gifts that come along with motherhood.
    Best wishes to you!

  2. In the amazingly simple words that my Mamadot said to me repeatedly….This too shall pass. I promise. And when it does pass, another one will hit you smack in the face. And you will endure, and grow and your heart will melt and you will be so angry that you might just have to hide in your room and scream into a pillow…..I promise you are not alone. But I also promise that you will continue to feel this way when nights like these happen….and that every single word I’ve said won’t matter because what you really need is a hug, a nap….and a margarita. Love you!

    • She was a wise woman, that Mamadot <3. Thank you for this… It really made me feel better.
      Love you!
      Oh, and we need to get together for the hug and the margarita. We can nap together once we're in the nursing home and run out of things to say to each other. You think that could ever happen? 😉

  3. I have felt this way on so many nights. It’s tough. I did the math and I figure if I have to be at work for 9 hours, commute to work for 1-2 hours, get ready for work in 1 hour, get ready for bed in 1 hour, AND my kid has to sleep for 12 hours, I better find some more hours somewhere.

    By the way, I love your blog and I’ve been meaning to comment. It’s good to reconnect with an old teammate through this medium.

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