parent of the year


Seems like lately I have been sharing a lot about the perks of living here. It comes from my marketing background- you know I put on the Public Relation face most of the time and make sure the talking points are positive, but don’t get me wrong we have bad days too. We might want to forget them, but when Coco is my age, has a bad day and decides to drop her kids off at the orphanage, it might be helpful for her to know that I wanted to do the same thing and I somehow got through it. I just hope that’s how the story ends. The day started wrong and kept getting wronger (I know that’s not a real word, I just felt that I needed to punctuate it some how, more on verbal punctuation later). Looking back I think there may have been a few mitigating circumstances.

1. I don’t sleep well. I went to bed too late, I woke up a lot because I was roasting hot or because my muscles were sore, or because Spartacus snores like a chainsaw when he lays on his back. When I wake up at night I fan myself, push Spartacus to his side, get up to use the restroom, and fantasize about Ambien . I don’t think Sparticus even wakes up, but I lay wide a wake for a long while.

2. Dreading the start of the day I coaxed Coco to cuddle and we lingered in bed too long, lost time, & felt rushed getting out the door.

3. I didn’t know I was out of frozen strawberries for my smoothie, so I didn’t have one. Then I realized we were also out of wheat bread, so all I ate was a banana and it was not enough.

4. Already at least an hour behind I rushed to get Coco to Gymnastics and ended up missing my run because I was chatting with another mom who lives around the corner from us, and who is Italian, and who I would really like to be friends with; However, today I probably needed to get my run in because some extra endorphins would have come in handy later when:

  1. Axel came home upset for the 2nd day in a row, having been in trouble at school and for having gobs of homework. All kids in Switzerland  get out of school at 11:30 on Wednesday. I’m not sure why exactly, but I know it’s not so they have time for 5 hours worth of homework (literally!).
  2. I went to do some errands in the nearby town and the freakin Ludotech (toy library) was closed (opening hours in Switzerland are very different from the states, they are constantly closing for things like lunch, vacations, potty breaks?) Axel had to run in to return the toy to the Ludotech because there is no parking nearby and I didn’t want to pay and schlep the kids a few blocks for what could be a quick errand.
  3. Then we were heading to the cell phone store to add minutes to the phone when Axel remembered that he forgot the cell phone. I went home with nothing done- waist of time put me even further behind on what I needed to get done that day. To accentuate my frustration I might have been expressing some anger.
  4. I discovered how much homework Axel actually had and realized his anxiety was not an overreaction. Feeling overwhelmed at my own lack of accomplishment, I  begrudgingly started to re-prioritize the rest of my afternoon giving him a few hours for writing letters to the teacher, reminding him to stay focused and trying to translate homework.
  5. Coco drew on the patio with markers and color pencils while I was dealing with Axel, remember the permanent marker on the door incident? Why can’t she remember to color on paper?!
  6. The neighbor who kindly gave us her trampoline key (yes there is a key to the trampoline and a LONG Freakin list of rules- welcome to Switzerland) asked to borrow it because the sun had suddenly come out and every one wanted to enjoy it. It was then that I discovered that my children lost the key a few days ago when they were last downstairs in the courtyard playground. Here’s when everything really went south. I mean really, really south. I lost my crap. Went down stairs, apologized to the neighbor, looked all over the playground for the key and determined that someone else must have found it and are hopefully keeping it safe for us.
  7. I had to make a notice, then translate it- which I am sure is barely understandable, then hang it on every door in the apartments surrounding our playground.
  8. At the time I am hanging the notices I am also feeling very nervous about being yelled at about taping up signs on the door, who knows if there is a “note” rule, or a “tape” rule, or a “use-of-white-paper” rule that I am breaking- don’t laugh- it happens! As my anger and anxiety comes to a rolling boil, Coco skips and sings next to me seemingly oblivious of the irritations. Why aren’t I more like her?
  9. Here’s the part I am most ashamed of, but I am writing it down so that you know I am human. So that I can remember this crappy day and never repeat it. So that when other people have crappy days they can hopefully do better at dealing with them. When I get home I flip out some more, screaming at the kids for all kinds of things that boiled up to the surface. I also punctuated the rant with words that I don’t let them use. It’s awful I know. I hate it- I hate screaming- I hate cussing (actually i hate cussing when I am angry, I secretly find cussing can be really funny – did you see ” This is 40″?). Your right, I should not try and be funny during a really serious confession, it’s a self defense mechanism.  I know it was a major screw up- massive actually. After all I just got done reading this and this earlier in the week.
  10. I loaded everyone in the car – again- to return the toy to the Ludotech in the town nearby and we ended up getting there 10 minutes too late. It was open for less than 2 hours! Axel had misunderstood the times on the window- which can be confusing because they use a 24 hour clock and we all have to think about it a for a minute when we read the times (so not only do we translate the money, and the language, but the time too- it can be exhausting). But during the moment of my ongoing frustration and lack of accomplishment I just continued my tirade and tried adding erratic driving to punctuation my anger. I realize how completely idiotic it is. I was actually supper mad because I hate driving here- it’s stressful, even after 6 months. When I have to drive into the stress twice for no point AND still pay the overdue fine, I just didn’t dig deep enough to control my disappointment. I really sucked.
  11. I forgot to mention it but at some point I called my husband to warn him that he had to be nice to the kids when he got home because I was really horrible and because I wanted to put them up for adoption- I really did. I also used a generous amount of cuss words to punctuate it. I think he did a pretty good job of listening quietly and reminding me to calm down with out further agitating me. I knew I was making a mistake, many, many mistakes. I felt trapped, I felt trapped in the situation, trapped in the anger, trapped because I can’t just send them out to play because they will inevitable loose something or end up arguing or doing something to “break the rules”. I felt trapped because I have to be responsible for my children’s mistakes. Trust me, being responsible for my own is heavy enough. Some of you might be thinking that it was my fault for letting them go down with the trampoline key while I was fixing dinner, instead of sitting at the playground and watching them play. Maybe your right. I just know that if I went down and sat at the playground when ever my kids wanted to play- the homework, and dinner, and laundry, the errands, and the other crap would never get done. I wish I had an assistant, someone to run the errands so I could stay home, safe in my bubble, talking through my computer and occasionally wasting the afternoon at the playground downstairs (this is only slightly sarcastic, maybe I need mental help too) (FYI- I do take them to bigger beautiful playgrounds by the lake at least once a week, but the one downstairs was/is supposed to be our “back yard”). I wish I could sit and do nothing and feel okay about it. But I don’t. Don’t send me hate mail. Just know that it’s not a vacation around here every day.

Spartacus came home and took over- I barely had to speak to the kids for the rest of the night- they probably appreciated it more than I did.

The running will hopefully keep me sane and healthy. The blog helps me feel like I have something to show for the day, today it’s therapy . 1600 words later I think it’s time to say goodnight, go for a long walk, cry for a while, maybe bathe, or meditate and pray really hard for forgiveness and strength. I will apologize to the kids tomorrow and hope they don’t turn out to be serial killers because I lost my s*!t today.


6 thoughts on “parent of the year

  1. I wish I had more time but I have to go volunteer soon and I have a house to clean before….so much to say…so little time…but I will say this. I’ve had days like this…almost an out of body experience…knowing I’m out if control and fell as though I can’t stop even though I want to. I hate those days too. Know you are not alone, and that I love you… And so do your kiddos…and so does Heavenly Father. Repent, apologize to your kiddos (I do more than I wish I had to, but then they see we are human too), and move on striving to be better the next day. Thanks for sharing yourself with the world…or at least with me. It helps me to know that others feel like horrible parents some days too. I really do love you!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I actually love reading posts like this. It helps me to know that I’m not totally crazy(like I feel when I ranting and raving at my own kids because of my own stress and frustration), because everyone has days like that. The sad thing is I have days like this way, way too often. Hang in there you are doing a great job! I miss hanging out with you. I wish we could just meet up at the beach and let the kids run til they are good and tired, while we talk and laugh.

    I also liked your post because it sounded just like a regular crazy day in the states, just with lots of extra foreign frustrations. It made me laugh cause I could totally see myself in your situation. 🙂

    • Oh My how I wish we could meet at the beach and talk and laugh and let the kids run! We miss you guys too! The beach has always had a magical ability to wash away the stress when the breeze blew and the rythmic sound of waves drowned out all the other noise. Oh how I miss it! THanks for you note- love that its real. I love that your note doesn’t sound like you feel sorry for me- but that you relate. I always picture you quoting the prophet when thing get stressful, so to hear that you also freak out is really nice, not that it makes our actions okay, but just that its normal. Love you!

  3. Way back in my mind, I remember some of those hazy-crazy days. I felt that a wacky woman had taken possession of my body and my mouth. I, too, knew that I wasn’t being myself, but I couldn’t slow the train down. Not to say that I haven’t had a really bad day in the last seven days where I just had to separate myself from the people I love. I miss you & love your blog! You do it so well. Hugs.

    • Okay, when I wrote my first comment the other day, I wrote from the position of vaguely remembering a crazy day every now & then. TODAY THOUGH? I relived it!!! Maybe I was okay to my kids this time but I YELLED – at the dental insurance lady, the school district lady in charge of math for Greenville County, and the receptionist at the middle school. (“What? you know my voice! I call you & act crazy once or twice every year!! Today counts!!!” – at least she remembered my crazy days & laughed with me) I was hungry & tired & hormone-fueled but I still feel really, really terrible at the end of the day. To make it even better, my husband prayed that we would all feel the Spirit & be examples of the gospel in our lives for our family prayers tonight. Yes, Thanks babe. I am wicked because I had a bad day. haha. I would have yelled at my kids if they would have been around too. Hoping your days ahve been better – your vacations look so amazing! I wish we had money for vacations instead of dental procedures and running shoes. Miss you lots & love that you’re a professional blogger.

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