Not My Best Moment

For those of you who have used the word “saintly” when describing me, or somewhere close to perfect, or always perfectly calm and collected, this post is for you.  This post is to debunk such opinions and falsehoods.

First, the background:  I am extremely tired and stressed and spent from the stress and efforts needed as I try to fix Chloe’s education.  I’m spent.  And tired.  And sometimes appear to be at the end of my rope . . . of sanity.  (insert sheepish grin here)

Next, let’s recognize and point out the things I did wrong yesterday.  I did too much — that’s the bottom line.

***Paul had an appointment with a friend yesterday so I got the kids ready for church and took them to church.  I taught in children’s church like I do monthly.  Then the kids and I went out for pizza.  So far so good.

***Well, perhaps where I went wrong was working so hard with Zippy on a home project from school.  I don’t mean a project on our house . . . I mean a project from school that is to be done completely at home.  (NOT my favorite type of project, as you already know)  Zippy worked hard on this project all weekend, but it takes lots of hard work from me, too, nearly every moment that he is working.  It takes lots of energy, tons of patience, gobs of creativity, and an abundance of grace to work with Zippy towards success on something as big as a do-at-home project.  We split it up into 15-30 minute chunks, taking frequent breaks, but the truth of the matter is that he worked on this project most of the day yesterday.  (Disclaimer:  The teacher who assigned this project happens to be a teacher I admire personally and professionally and has already proven to be quite understanding and caring of my boy.  And this teacher also has made it very clear that she wants to know when things are too difficult for Zach so that she can do whatever she needs to do to help.  While do-at-home projects are NOT my cup of tea, this project was a reasonable one that I feel like Zach was successful with even though Mom had a hidden bad attitude about it.  Also, Zach had plenty of time to do this project so that it wouldn’t have to be done all in one weekend, but his Mama tends to shut down and procrastinate when a job seems terribly daunting so he had pretty much just this weekend to complete the project . . . .)

***Then, Chloe had another run in with diaper cream — every bit as messy as the first.  This “run in” occurred whilst I was preoccupied helping Zach with the do-at-home project above.  This “run in with diaper cream” reiterated for me my feelings on do-at-home projects.  Thankfully the diaper cream of choice this time was Balmex instead of Desitin.  While Balmex is a decent diaper cream, containing a high concentration of zinc oxide, it lacks the amazing ARMOR quality of Desitin.  Thank. God.  Seriously.  The mess was huge (and I was in no state to take photographs this time) and covered lots of carpet, walls, clothes, toys, skin, and hair just like last time.  The great news is that unlike Desitin, Balmex pretty easily wipes off of skin and toys and walls.  However, Balmex flaunts its amazing ARMOR quality as it clings relentlessly to hair and carpet — neither of which will ever be the same.  I have spent lots of time, muscles, sweat, and tears scrubbing on Chloe’s carpets the past couple of days.  And it is so bad that until some of the Balmex comes out of the carpet, Chloe can not even play in her room.  Lovely.  (Another disclaimer:  I am pleased to say that Balmex does not have the unpleasant fish smell that a room full of Desitin has, and Balmex has turned out to be quite a lovely treatment for both my and Chloe’s skin — we are both truly soft as a baby’s bottom!)

***After a long, hard day working very hard on a challenging do-at-home project, Zippy went out to play football with Elliot and a couple of neighbor boys.  They played out there until it was getting dark.  About the time the boys were coming in from playing outside, my phone rang.  Since I didn’t recognize the number, I didn’t answer it — choosing instead to continue scrubbing the above mentioned carpet.  When I listened to the message, I discovered that it was the mom of one of the neighbor boys calling to talk to me about something.  (cue the major red flags here since this mom NEVER calls me)  I immediately called Elliot in and asked if there was anything I needed to know about what happened outside.  After a little prodding, he admitted that Zippy had exhibited less than exemplary behavior outside.  My next meeting was with Zippy at which time I gleaned some more info about the unpleasant behaviors that had occurred.  The truth was hard to hear.  He had messed up outside.  To say my blood was boiling at that point would be accurate.  I. let. him. have. it.  In the midst of my rampage, the doorbell rang; it was the mom who had just tried to call.  She was there to get details about what had happened.  At that point I decided to keep myself surrounded by carpet cleaner and Balmex and to continue to let out some of my frustrations while scrubbing with gusto at the ruined carpets.  The meeting at the door between Paul, Zippy, and the neighbor mom carried on without my input which probably would not have proven very helpful at that point anyway.

So there are the events of the day.  The day that I did too much and was pushed too far.

Finally, let’s examine the result of my day and the current situation in which I had landed.  The truth is:  at this point I was spent.  I was done.  I was tired.  I was very, very angry.  And I was having a hard time breathing.

I sat down on the couch (realizing perhaps I should have done a little more sitting / relaxing throughout the day) and tried to focus on the World Series.  Forget the world.  Forget my anger.  Forget my stress.  Forget my disappointment.  Forget the mess.  Just watch the game.  But I couldn’t breathe.

I got up and walked to my room to be alone for a moment, thinking that would help.  But I was still having a hard time breathing.  I was right smack dab in the middle of a full blown panic attack or nervous breakdown or rage attack.  Whatever it was, it was not good, and I needed some fresh air.

I put on my tennies and grabbed my jacket.  I grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and announced as I walked toward the front door, “I’m going for a walk.”

Ears perked up all over the house, as this is not a common occurrence for Mom to just up and leave.  I kept walking.

“Want some company?” asked Paul, curious what in the world was going on.

“Where are you gonna walk?” asked Elliot, trying to convince himself that this was normal and nothing to be concerned about.

“No thanks.  And I don’t know,” I answered as I pulled the front door shut behind me.

Once outside, I tried to breathe.  That was my number one goal — to stay gone long enough to be able to breathe.  And then I just walked and walked.  I wanted to just keep walking.  The breeze was fresh; I was able to hide in the darkness; and eventually I was able to breathe.

I walked nearly an hour, and then I found a bench to sit on for a while.  I just sat and tried not to think.  The moisture from the air soaked into my clothes and skin.  I wanted to sit for hours and not think for hours.


I needed to go to the bathroom.

I had downed the whole bottle of water and was in need of the little girls’ room badly.

So I went on home.

The rest of the night I breathed, watched the World Series, and breathed.  When my emotions would come back to the surface, I would make myself breathe again.

And my little fit was over.  Just like that.

Today’s a new day.  This is a new week.

And I have lots of things to do:

  1. I have several meetings with school personnel this week.
  2. Zippy and I still have to finish his project — the drawing / artistic part of it that is usually the worst part of all for him.
  3. I still have lots more elbow grease to utilize on Chloe’s carpets.
  4. And I need to buy more diaper cream.

Yes, today is a new day, and I can do this.  🙂


4 responses to this post.

  1. Loved this post and your vulnerability. I myself have had very similar emotions lately. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Thanks for your comment, Michelle. Thankfully these emotions come in seasons – this just happens to be a hard one. I know it will soon level out a little bit and breathing will be easier. Again, it’s so nice to know I’m not alone . . . and I’m not a freak! 🙂


  2. Of course it didn’t help that your lazy husband got home, sat in the blue recliner to watch the Cowboys, and scarcely got out of the chair until after the end of the Rangers’ game.


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