I Totally Failed the Grump Out, But I Think I Became a Better Mother

I wrote a big long post on how horrendously I failed at yesterday’s Great American Grump Out. About the anticipation, the stress, the reality and ultimately, the guilt. Full of shame and sadness, I deleted that post before it was published.

The truth is that even though I’m not a grump all the time, I am a grump more often than I realize.

This motherhood business is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. And the additional stresses we all face (work, family, finances, school, running a few websites, whatever), just compound it.

I couldn’t keep it together. I started the day just hoping I could keep my mouth shut, even if I was meh-ing inside. By about 6 pm, after everyone seemed to push every single one of my buttons, I completely caved and I was huffing and puffing and yelling. Back to normal.

And then, after all the chaos of the evening, there were a few moments of peace. Silly faces and great big goodnight kisses from my daughter. My son’s eyes lighting up as he told me about what a great day he had, even though nothing special really happened. A few laughs with my husband.

These are the moments I’ll always remember. These are the moments I hope they will remember long after I’m gone. These are the moments that matter.

And, at least for me, this is what the Great American Grump Out was all about. It was a smack in the face, reminding me how much my stress becomes their stress. It was a lesson on self-control, empathy and true priorities.

When I’m a grump, I am stealing potential moments from the ones I love the most.

Ok, so we’re never NOT going to be a little stressed. It’s just part of the job. But we don’t have to let it build over things we can’t control or things that don’t matter.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of how amazing my family is and how lucky I am to have them all. I am reminded of how much they love and support me, even when I’m not at my best. I am reminded of how much they give to me every single day. I’m reminded of the way they smile when I smile. I’m reminded that I’m not a perfect mom, but that I’m trying. And I’m reminded that all the stress, all the exhaustion, all the frustration – is totally worth it.

And suddenly, I don’t feel so grumpy.

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