To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Days I Fail

I could write this post every day, because every day, whether largely obvious or not, I fail. At one thing or all things, I crash and burn and make a whole big example of how not to do something. When I pray to lead by example, I usually envision doing something stellarly awesome, amazingly right, and having people reach their "aha!" moment by watching my graceful handling of any given situation. And taking notes. And saying, "Wow, that Val, she is such an awesome example!" Instead, I usually end up modeling what not to do, how not to handle something, or how to utterly flop a reaction to any given scenario.

Today is that day. Every day is that day. I fail. A lot.

Last night, Little Man went four hours (*cue angels singing*) before waking up for feeding. It was a terrific encouragement, however, it then took me nearly two hours to fall back asleep. Once I did, Little Miss decided she was "starving" and came into my room to tell me so. She was up well before her noted wake up time we have written by her digital clock to let her know when it's acceptable to rise and shine. I very - very - begrudgingly got up and situated her requested breakfast. I all but threw it on the table and somehow, in a hazy fog, made it back to my bedroom where Little Man was writhing in his own starving despair. I changed his diaper, laden with one of the biggest baby poops I've ever had a diaper fully contain (praising God for that small miracle) and he began to cover both of us in a celebratory stream of urine. This made us both pretty upset.

Three weeks out from surgery, and fresh out of heavy-hitting pain pills, I find myself doing more than I probably should. All activity is followed with pangs of aching across my midsection. I try to favor my abdomen by sitting or standing differently, which then makes my back, legs, and feet hurt. I'm in pain almost all of the time, to varying degrees. I'm also sleep deprived. I have always loved sleep - hours and hours of sleep - and when I'm jilted of even a few minutes, I turn into a nasty honey badger of a beast. I haven't had a full-night's rest in a couple of months. You can imagine the torment I'm putting those I come into contact with through, as a result of not getting my mood-beauty-rest. Snap-Crackle-Pop, Mom's lost it.

This morning, all of these little flops came together in a beautifully cohesive bond to form a big, honking, cluster of chaos. Little Man was crying, I was crying, Little Miss ended up crying because I made her wear a neglected skirt instead of a dress, and we were all ready for this day to be done with. And it was only 8:00 a.m.

Don't let his duck face fool you...
If I wasn't holding a crying baby or preschooler, I was holding my head in my hands, muttering something along the lines of, "I can' this...." I begged Brent to come home as soon as he could. Like take-vacation-or-sick-time kind of come home.

I have an infant completely dependent on me. I love it - it's my favorite stage of babyhood. However, combined with sleep deprivation, being attached to a milking machine, and living in cluttered chaos, sometimes having my hands full of an adorable being whose survival depends solely on me makes me twitch. Add to that feelings of guilt for being so inept in adequately appreciating the little life I prayed for. Then, I have a preschooler who's desperate for quality attention from her mommy, to the point where I cannot shower, go to the bathroom, pump, blink, or breathe without having her company and hearing her bazillion ideas for the many things we can play and imagine together. Add to that also, feelings of guilt for not jumping at the chance to delve into her imaginary pleasures and instead wanting ten minutes where I can curl up in a dark closet by myself.

Any other mother would have it together, not be wanting to cry every time the words "I need a nap" cross her lips, and would be a more pleasant and more willing presence in their children's life. Any other mother except all other mothers who have days where they fail, like I am having today. And like I - we - will have many other days.

I remember one night as we said bedtime prayers, it had been a scumtastic day, and sweet, adorable Little Miss uttered, "I want to be just like you when I grow up, Mommy." Cue melting to a puddle of unworthy goo. If she can cut past the malarkey, mood swings, and tears of frustration and somehow still desire to want to be anything even remotely like the mess I am, surely I can't be all that bad.

I have to remind myself - if I feel like I'm doing this mothering thing completely wrong, somewhere in there, I'm doing it right. If Little Miss wants to be with me at all, even when I'm begging her through sternly clenched jaw to give me some space, I can't be a total monster. If Little Man is growing and snuggling and generally content, I can't be neglecting him like I sometimes think I am.

Moms, back me up on this. Sometimes feeling like a complete and total failure is the only way we can measure our success. I am living my dream life, despite the bad days. The good days, memories, and times I "nail it", will (hopefully) far outweigh their counters. I'm an example, whether it's being awesome at one thing, or displaying the importance of trial-and-error at a million things. I wanted to be a Mommy, I wanted to stay home with my kids, and as crazy as they will make me sometimes, (or as I will make myself, most likely) I can do this. I can do this.

I suck at being a perfect mom. I always will. And my kids will love me for it, because by golly, I'm trying.

By the way, she later embraced (and accessorized) her attire and proclaimed queen-hood over our home.


  1. Of course you can do it! I taught you. Oh wait a minute, I had my days, my moments. Sounds pretty familiar. I have to say, I think both you and your sister are better moms than me. I think you're awesome. I think you're human.

  2. Val I love reading your blog. You are such a great writer! You say it like it is and I love that about you. Thank you for being you and documenting the good, bad, and everything inbetween. I have a 22 month old daughter and a 3.5 month old daughter...I can totally relate :-)