We all have bad days. Days that make you feel like dropping everything and running for cover to a place where you didn’t have to deal with things you don’t have the fortitude to deal with. Days where you feel like screaming melodramatically “I’m just not strong enough”.
I hate bad days.
Back when I was working, bad days came in the form of having to deal with a sick kid on the very day I had an important event, one I spent weeks working my ass off on. Like come on, what are the odds my baby wakes up with a temperature on big-deal-event-day. You have the million-dollar choice of requesting for urgent leave and watching your weeks of planning (and possibly your job) go up in flames or ditching the kid and hating every single moment of your day at work, wishing it would go up in flames because WORK SUCKS and you’re a terrible mother etc etc.
Or when I get a work call at 3 in the morning with a voice at the other end telling me to get my ass out of bed and into office by 5.30am. Don’t ask.
Or when I spend every day of every week resenting the fact that I’m writing retarded press releases and reports for a bunch of folks who don’t even bother to pretend to read them, and then having to be told I can’t write to save my life.
I thought that when I left my job, that would be the last I saw of bad days.
Without having to go into the debate of whether it sucks more to be a full-time working mom or a work-from-home mom, I’d like to state for the record that bad days don’t go away even when you don’t have to put on a proper shirt and step into the office. Whether you work from home or in the office, a deadline’s a deadline and work still needs to be done. Which is kind of hard to do when your kid decides he’s having a bad day as well. And at least, when I’m at the office, I get to sit in relative quiet in my cubicle to bash out the work.
Right now, my working hours take place from 2-4pm when the kids nap and after 9pm when the kids are in bed. On a good day, that is. So when the kids don’t nap, it’s a bad day. When they don’t nap and spend that two hours whining and screaming, it’s an even worse day. When they spend that time making your existence miserable while you’re on the phone trying to get some urgent work done, it’s a bloody nightmare.
Because on top of being stressed and flustered, you get all emotional and guilt-ridden for being a bad mom who doesn’t deserve to stay home with the kids and how maybe they’re better off at childcare after all.
I told myself that the kids were supposed to come first no matter what. That I would be patient and not lose my shit. I had all these images of huggy-kissy time with smily kids in slow motion and soaring music in the background. But you know how life likes to make a mockery of your best intentions? It was like “Ok, here’s a scene right out from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not so picture perfect now, is it?”
After my fair share of bad days, I wish I could say that I’m an expert on how to roll with the punches. Except that I’m not. But what I do now is to take a deep breath, make myself a steaming cup of hot chocolate, hide in the kitchen where the kids can’t enter, close my eyes and drink. Then suck it up and wait for the day to be over. And this thing called tomorrow, it’s usually better.
With that, I leave you with my favorite Shakespearean quote of all time. “Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”