No matter how we try to smile through, there are those days that just get to us. The kids are fighting, the word “mom” sounds worse than nails on a chalkboard, and it just doesn’t… let… up.
Usually, I deal with bad days by shutting down. It’s the only way to keep calm and go through the motions until that blissful moment when the house is finally quiet. But then, all I want to do is grab the chocolate from behind the 7-grain loaf of bread (because the kids would NEVER touch that) and curl up in a ball in front of the TV. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to do anything. I am physically and emotionally spent. And as I savor my chocolate and laugh at my show, I rationalize that the “sun will come out tomorrow” and it’ll be a better day.
But lately… I find myself dealing with a different kind of bad day. The bad day that convinces me there’s simply no point.
No one cares, so why should I?
These bad days come after putting in honest effort. My great idea gets rejected. Someone points out I’m wasting my time. It’s hard not to feel worthless. It’s hard to keep holding on to the belief that I have something to contribute and that my opinions matter.
I’ve talked with plenty of people who are so beat down, they are mentally curled up on the couch savoring chocolate. They believe they have nothing of value. They believe that it doesn’t matter what they say, eventually someone will come along and make them feel worthless.
But you know what? Reflecting on all of those people, each person, I am amazed at the conversations and the casual brilliance that comes out. And all it took was for each of them to believe for just a moment that their opinion mattered.
I know that whether we’ve met or not, you are awesome. You have things I don’t have, ideas I would never think of, experiences I want to learn from. And if you have all of that, then hey, so do I.
And I think about all of the reasons why I am a mom and why I keep trying everyday. Because it does matter. It matters that I do my best and keep trying. It matters that I get through those bad days so I can enjoy the good ones.
Yeah, my six-year-old may yell in frustration, “I hate you, Mom!!”, but that doesn’t matter. Because of that day when he comes to my bedside (as I lay recovering from surgery) and quietly whispers, “I love you, Mom.”
That’s powerful. And totally worth it.
I am in this for the long haul. We may have bad days when we feel like it doesn’t matter, that we’re too far gone and everyone is just yelling, “I hate you!” But I know there’s an “I love you” out there somewhere too – right along with “I understand where you’re coming from” or “I never thought of it that way, but that makes sense.”
Bad days will keep coming, but that’s okay.