I have sucked as a parent lately. Truth. ‘Tis the season for holiday lights and wrapping paper and for mom to be a stressed out asshole. That should be a Christmas carol.
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaayyyyy. My mom’s annoyed at everyone, please bring her a spa day.”
I don’t know, you guys, sometimes it’s a lot. That’s all I’ve got for you. This month has been a lot. Last month was a lot. Sometimes I look at this shit show I signed up for and say damn girl, this is a lot.
This too shall pass (when I take a few days off and reset if history repeats itself), but I’ve been living large on the stress scale. I seriously and crabbily announced that the ice maker in our fridge was too loud the other day. Like, I literally blamed the refrigerator for my anxiety.
Jax woke up a few days ago and asked if I woke up in a good mood. What he means is mom, are you going to yell at the fridge again?
I apologized. I’m a big believer in apologizing. I’m sorry, buddy. I’m stressed out, not with you, and I just messed up. And apologies are all it takes when it’s a one-off.
This hasn’t been a one-off. Apologies just aren’t enough for a consistent problem.
It’s time for a change. One of those changes that involve all the things we know are good for us but that we don’t do because humans are weird.
Like I usually do, I’m picking a theme for the year instead of a specific resolution. I spent some time on this. I thought about words like strong and centered and flexible.
I landed on the word better. I knew it was right because my eyes starting to sting. My word of 2020 is better. I want to be better.
A better mom, yeah. But also better at being nice to myself, a better friend and co-worker and listener, better at recognizing big problems from small problems, better at being a little more self-aware so I can stop shaming my fridge and start concentrating on the real issue.
I’m going to improve in 2020. Without shame or judgment or any goal posts, I’m going to be better.
Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, follow her on Instagram. Or sign up for her newsletter.