This weekend was a shitshow, y’all.
Saturday morning found me dropping off one kid (not my own) who had spent the night at our house and then picking up my daughter, who had spent the night at another friends’ house. We had a busy day planned; it was our last chance to find dresses, shoes, and anything else the girls would need for my cousin’s fancy wedding next weekend. My daughters are seven and nine, and delicate little flowers to boot (except then they’re digging their elbows into my boobs with the force of a WWF wrestler). This sensitivity can make clothes shopping particularly challenging, especially if said clothes might entail any sort of unfamiliar fabric, cut, or embellishment that could potentially brush against their skin at any point.
And don’t even get me started on the shoes.
I’ll spare you the goring (gory + boring) details of the day, but there was whining, snapping, bickering, door slamming, and multiple trips to Costco (don’t ask) for reasonably priced fancy dresses. We followed that up with forty-five minutes spent trying on and summarily rejecting approximately 387 pairs of size 2 dress shoes before settling on sneakers. SNEAKERS. Yes, they are fancy sneakers, but sneakers nonetheless. Sigh.
Oh, and not to bury the lede or anything, but I shut the car door on my daughter’s finger in the middle of a busy parking lot. She wailed, I found a band-aid, and ultimately she was fine, but I felt AWFUL. Really, really awful. Mindful parenting? Yeah. Right. I’d be lucky if I could make it through the day without physically injuring them.
We ended up having dinner at a terrible restaurant, but at least there were screens on every table so we could spend the meal continually rejecting the girls’ requests to pay $1.99 to play some stupid game. Bonus!
Sunday wasn’t a whole lot better. Nobody drowned or lost their sh*t at swim lessons, so that was good, and the Target Gods smiled upon us by having white camisoles and capri leggings in stock (thereby minimizing the amount of fancy dress fabric touching the girls’ skin). Even so, there was still a shocking amount of fighting, nagging, whining, and yelling, and by the end of the day, I was DONE. DONE DONE DONE. Truth be told, I was done before lunch, but we were out in public so I did some serious adulting and held it together.
Once the girls were finally in bed (which in itself was a fairly epic endeavor that did not showcase my finer parenting skills), I retreated to My Happy Place, also known as The Couch. I spent some time trying to understand why the weekend had been so rough, and what I could do differently in the future. Here’s what I realized:
I forgot to look at the big picture.
You can read the rest of this post, including my tips for how to manage difficult moments, over at my Mindful Parenting blog on PsychCentral.com.