scenes of motherhood via Tim's phone

I was scrolling through pictures on the computer in an attempt to update some frames when I happened upon the pictures above. Most of the pictures are from Tim's phone, but there are a couple of pictures snapped by the children as well.

If only motherhood always looked so happy and fun. Right now I have a five year old upstairs kicking the wall in a rage-filled fit because I won't let her usual 30 minutes of iPad time. She's been a raving lunatic today, throwing a 45 minute fit over a headband this morning, aggressively pitching her too-big coat on the ground when her teacher asked her to get out of the car to go to school, and sulking behind the Pepsi refrigerator at the store when I wouldn't buy her the gum she so desperately needed.

Frustrated that her tantrum over the headband caused her sisters to be tardy and mad when she disrespected her teacher at school, I stepped out of the car and walked over to her and whispered that we both needed to take our time apart as a time out and that we would try to have a better day after pickup. I quickly jumped in my car and did everything in my power not to peel out of the parking lot because I couldn't get far enough away from her fast enough. Upon arriving home, I sat with the babies and read a million books in between taking deep breaths and reminding myself that this too shall pass and that my 5 year old's tantrums do not define me. They do not adequately portray all the fun things I do with them, the good conversations I have with them or the lessons I teach them.

After an hour of reading and building towers for Timmy to knock over, I found myself in a sea of laundry. I folded 8 loads of laundry while bouncing Timmy on one knee from time to time and stopping to color with Birdie every once in awhile. Before lunch I ran upstairs to put the clothes away, knowing well that if I didn't put them away immediately, they would sit there for a week. And then I'd have bigger problems on my hands because a particular 9 year old of mine does not like it when she can't find the pants she has in mind for whatever shirt she chooses each day.

Motherhood is not always pretty or fun. In fact, there are days when it totally sucks. It's just the truth. I often laugh because people always give advice to new mothers about how to get the baby to sleep at night or get through those drooling days, but no one really warns about life after babyhood/toddlerhood. The days when my job is to referee fights or mediate breakups. The days when all I do is hold my kids while they cry because someone bullied them at school. Or the days when they woke up on the wrong side of the bed and just decided to screw the world and you too. Those are the worst kinds of days. Elle's having one of those kinds of days.

And I get it I guess. I have those days too. I just manage them differently, but then again I have 30 or so years on her. I guess the best advice I could give new parents or parents in the same situation as my own is to let time take its course. Phases will pass and behaviors will change, hopefully for the better. And with time, we learn to understand each other more, and with deeper understanding comes love. And love heals everything, even, and perhaps especially, little girls who can't stand their mama for a time.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley