It shattered. ALL OVER THE FLOOR. He held it up so happily, “wook at dis, mom!” The little pieces of glitter shifted about in flight. From his hands to the floor. The snow globe didn’t even fight it. It shattered immediately upon smacking against the hardwood. And it was Glitter City.
He cried immediately as I asked, “okay. Whose was that?” Because obviously my first thought is, “who else is gonna start crying because their snow globe met an unfortunate fate?!”
“I NOT KNOW!” He said, his face warming. His cheeks turning a bright hue of pink.
“Hey guys, who got the St Louis snow globe,” I yelled down the stairs.
There was a little chatter back in forth and then a collective, “I don’t know.”
P H E W.
That immediately took a layer of complexity out of the glitter-soap extravaganza that was happening in my kitchen.
Now. How to attack it? I wondered, looking down at the glittery glass mixture.
The huz grabbed a broom. I grabbed paper towels. In moments it was gone and only some of the shimmer was left behind. A little unicorn trail, for a reminder, I suppose.
Three years ago I would have LOST MY SHIT watching the globe falling from his tiny hands to the floor. I would have raised my voice in complete frustration. I would have punished the Littlest in that very moment. I would have stared at the mess wondering just how in the world I was gonna tackle that with only one and a half cups of coffee and less than an hour of daylight under my belt.
But today it’s different. I don’t lose my self in motherhood as often anymore. I don’t have the energy to. Partially because my energy level is zapped by post-chemo meds. Partially because I just don’t want to expend my energy fighting the little moments that are inevitable when we have little people.
I haven’t completely mastered the art. I still, on occasion, find myself heated. Generally when that happens, I say to OUT LOUD (quite loudly): “OKAY AND NOW IM YELLING AND I HATE YELLING!”
Real life truth: we’re all gonna raise our voices and if we don’t, our kids will think there is some universe where people never get in trouble or get told that life isn’t perfect or that they are not perfect.
But today, I breathed in the scent of soapy glitter and I exhaled the negative vibes… how very hippy dippy of me, right?
Sometimes we’re gonna lose our shit. And that is pretty much a human happening. But nowadays… now that I get sleep and I get to choose when I eat and I am not encrusted in spit up and sour milk, I find myself in a more “emotionallly manageable” state of motherhood.
When the snow globe shatters on us, we have three choices:
1. Lose our shit.
2. Breathe in the glittery soap. Breathe out the bull honkey.
3. Run away and hide in the closet.
(There are probably 100 more options but I’m not sure they don’t require a visit from CPS)
Our reaction or our choice often depends so much on where we are in the moment of shattering. Is there another kid begging for a paper to be signed? Has a kid just run up the stairs and slammed her door? Is there a baby in one of your arms and another one at your ankles? Are you home with your last just savoring the moments as the rest have gone by in a blink? Our reaction depends heavily on our current place of motherhood, life, human-ing.
And THAT IS OKAY.
Today I didn’t lose my shit. It is noteworthy for me because I realized how I have changed since my days of early motherhood. The days that did not suit my personality. The days where exhaustion and milk shrouded my desire to not lose my shit. We all find ourselves among those murky moments in mothering. The moments where we are not really sure why we can’t just breathe. Or figure out where the paper towels are to clean up yet another addition to the pile of messes.
And THAT IS OKAY.
WE ARE MOMS BUT WE ARE STILL HUMAN.
Maybe you are at the hide in the closet stage? Or the lose your shit at every turn stage? Girl. I feel you. Been there. Done that. Have the T-shirt. Still wear the T-shirt some days.
But I am also in a sort of easier stage. One where my children are independent in so many ways that they weren’t three years ago. I go to sleep at night at close my eyes and barely get up at night unless it’s to groggily traipse to the throne. My children get their breakfast out of the freezer and pop it in the toaster instead of nuzzling up to my chest for their meals. I get to shower every so often without a time constraint. I know. It all sounds magical, right?
It is magical. And you will be here. But where you are is HARD. LEGIT HARD.
SO. All that said, if you lose your shit when the snow globe comes crashing down, it’s alright. And even though people keep telling you that it will get easier and you will miss this, I know that you can’t miss it while you’re in it and it’s all-consuming and feels like so much more than you. So it’s okay if you lose your shit. Or hide in the closet. It’s okay if you yell at your kid for playing with something that was breakable and it meets its demise. It’s okay if you lost your shit yesterday. Or if you lose it again tomorrow.
But someday, you will find yourself breathing in and out, grabbing some Bounty, and handling the mess. And it’s okay to feel like you rocked that mini moment of motherhood, too.
The small victories are the bigs. They come over time. And before you know it, you aren’t going to come unraveled every time the globe drops.
And that will feel nice, too.
If your moment shatters in front of you today, know that while the moment feels broken, you are not. While the moment feels hard, you are not. And that a gift of motherhood is the millions of moments we are given to figure out how to handle all the things… big, little, and in-between. And the way we handle them does not break us apart but over time, make up our hearts.
Today I didn’t lose my shit. I’ve been on a good groove of that for awhile. But my kids know I still might blow. And that they will still be punished. But my moments of hiding in the closet are minimal. And it feels like this part is easier than the last was. And that’s a nice little place to get to be.
Like the lyrics say about pimpin’, mommin’ ain’t easy. But it sure has taught me a lot about life and myself and my marriage and my children. It sure has been the very BEST hardest work I’ve gotten to do. And the thing that makes me both content and crazy, every darn day.
What. A. Ride.
Today you might lose your shit. That’s okay. Another time you won’t. Know that. Your kid will be fine.
Today. You might hide in the closet. That’s okay. We all need our time. Your kid will be fine.
Today. You might not lose your shit. You might pat yourself on the back for that teeny tiny victory and stand at the top of your stairs as Eye of the Tiger plays in the background and you wait for cheers from the crowd. The cheers… they will not come. But your victory is still legit real.
Today. It’s one day with a million moments. Don’t let one, break you. But let the good ones make you, Mama. Because those are the good stuff anyway.