October 14: Bad Mother Days (aplenty)

As a result of what I shall refer optimistically to as my “passionate” (read: impatient) nature, I tend to be a somewhat volatile person under pressure. Which translates to the the fact that I have many triggers, all of which do not necessarily have a delay switch. Mix that up with a healthy dose of the inexplicable guilt that all mothers from our culture are hard-wired with and voila, you have a BMD.

Bad Mother Days are horrible. You feel taut and tense, pulled in all schizophrenic directions that we women call our own. You want the children to be happy shiny busy and quiet. Not happening. You want the inspiration to strike now, in all its glory so you aren’t left doing some quick usual version of your typical style. Sorry, not happening. And you want the food to cook itself, the house to be clean and you to be sparkly witty and sexy just in time for your guy’s arrival. Nope, nope and nope. So although we title bad mother day, it also turns into an average designer, snappy wife and general crappy person day in the blink of an eye.

Now of course, BMD’s don’t suddenly show up unannounced. In fact, they are quite well known for slowly simmering to the point because of environmental factors. The key is in being able to recognize that build up and somehow, with support, diffuse the factors surrounding it. The advantage of being a second time mom should be that you have learnt how to tell that a storm is brewing- that somewhere on the horizon, you can sense the pending arrival of one of those days; one of these days when you will either explode, spewing a vertiable psyche class of issues at your poor befuddled 3 year old or you will quietly and dangerously simply curl up into a ball, switch off all semblance of thought and shut down. Yes, we can sense it with our infamous sixth sense, and yet, caught in the blazing headlights of the moment, more often than not, we simply freeze, unable to stop the gales of wind from carrying us, tossing and turning into the BMD zone.

The good news is these forays into BMD-land get better and shorter with time.  You have to know who you are, what works for you and find the tightrope you are happiest tackling. And as you learn to distinguish between the priorities and the super-priorities, you are better able to sift and sort through the clamour, holding onto the things that you absolutely must do to nourish your soul and sustain that sense of self amidst the dulling mundanity of this role, and letting go of those things that do nothing for you, that simply hold you back from truly making the most of this also brilliantly amazing time.


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