Last night when I was putting my oldest daughter to bed she told me I was the best mama in the whole world. She tells me this often, nearly on a daily basis. She doesn’t just tell me this when I give her a special treat or take her fun places, but also when I teach her rhyming words, help her write her name, or read her a book. I really believe that she is being genuine, although either way, it makes me feel great. We all like recognition and I work hard for that kind. So, it took me by complete surprise when, a few weeks ago, she called me an ogre.
This particular day I was struggling to be patient and maintain my composure. Nothing seemed to be going as planned. I had woken up way too early, my phone was ringing incessantly with calls from needy students, and my girls were destroying the house while I tried to work. All of this was sending me into an anxiety ridden hell. I struggle with this daily, trying to juggle working from home and raising my two daughters. I mean, I was not in the best of moods but an ogre I was not. I walked into her room to find that she was “deciding what to wear” and “putting on make-up.” There were clothes strewn across the floor and multiple tubes of fruit flavored lip glosses opened and smeared everywhere. I think I screamed something to the effect of, “WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED IN HERE!?! I AM GIVING YOU 2 MINUTES TO CLEAN IT UP OR YOU ARE IN TIME OUT THE REST OF THE DAY!!!!” I may have yelled some choice words not fit for repeating. She looked at me, started crying and yelled, “You’re an OGRE mom!” Well that just sent me over the edge. What mom hasn’t completely lost it and screamed at their kids? That doesn’t make me an ogre! I was shocked, heartbroken and mad as hell.
Now, I have seen the Shrek movies and love them. Both of my girls have seen Shrek as well. He is a lovable ogre right? Isn’t he married with kids, living the dream? So let’s fast forward to a rare, lazy, Friday night. It was movie night. As promised we ate dinner, bathed the girls, made popcorn and all cuddled up in our bed. While I was making the popcorn my hubby and the girls were searching through On Demand for something to watch. When I came back it had been decided – we were watching Shrek 4. Seriously? There are four Shrek movies? Where have I been? My husband told me that the girls had actually already seen Shrek 4 but this is what they had decided anyway. Again, where have I been? I know everything my children ingest, wear, or watch and I was pretty sure they had not seen Shrek 4 yet. I asked Piper where she saw the movie and she said, “On the couch with Jaxon.” She was right. We had some friends over one night and clearly I must have had too much wine to remember watching Shrek 4.
So anyway, the movie opens with Shrek and Fiona and their happy little family of five. Just like I thought… living the dream. Only in the movie the dream replays itself over and over and over again. Every. Single. Day. Shrek gets woken up too early by his kids jumping on his bed, one kid burps on him and another kid poops on him. Every day he tries to eat a meal or take a bath and doesn’t have any privacy or peace and quiet for himself. He goes to bed and it starts all over the next day. Welcome to my life, I thought. And then, about 15 minutes into the movie, it happened – Shrek screamed at the top of his lungs in absolute frustration and I saw myself on that fateful day a few weeks earlier. Piper was right, I was an ogre!
After some reflection I realized that these things happen and you can’t beat yourself up over them. We have good mommy days and we have bad mommy days. Some days we have the patience of a saint and other days we are, well, ogres. I am thankful for the lesson I learned from this silly movie and unlike Shrek, I wouldn’t trade a day in my current life for any other kind of day.