I am a working mom and there are days like today, when I am jealous of my husband. He’s a stay-at-home dad to our two girls. He hates when I say “I’m jealous” of him because he thinks I think it’s easy at home. I definitely do not. When I’m home I get a glimpse of what the girls can fight about and I know, that is not easy.
One of our daughters has a sensory processing disorder and some mornings are especially difficult. Her sensory processing is tied to her tactile senses, her waist in particular. On mornings like today, it’s a double whammy: Monday and a major fight getting ready for school.
I wish I could keep my cool. I know I’m better than this. Here’s how this morning went:
“Georgia, it’s time to get ready for school.”
“But I don’t want to!” (whiny voice)
“G, come on. Let’s talk about something to distract us…fashion shows. Let’s pick out clothes and talk about fashion shows in Paris and Milan.” (Distraction helps her ignore the clothing from “poking and scratching” her.)
“No! I don’t want to go to school!” (voice is getting louder, things typically go down from here, trying to save it. I can hear mayday calls in the distance)
“G. If we are late today you will lose your iPad.” (This won’t help…but maybe…)
“I don’t care if I lose my iPad I don’t want to go to school!” (Crap. That didn’t help)
“Georgia, we are not having a horrible Monday again. What do you want to wear?” (We always pick her clothes out the night before. Why didn’t we do that last night?)
“No. I’m not going. It’s going to be horrible.”
“Wrong answer. Come here now.”
“G, you say that every day and what happens? You still go to school. You aren’t winning this one. Get over here now!”
Now, at this point my voice is rising, G is digging her heels in, we have five minutes to get in the car and leave or she is late. We will keep going back and forth saying the same things until she is late so I take matters into my own hands.
“G, we’re getting dressed now. Panties. ON.”
We then have minutes of back-and-forth about how her panties feel weird, her shorts are lumpy, and I am worthless, I just make things worse. In case you are wondering, this leaves me feeling awesome about my momming ability. I end up pulling her dress over her head, putting her shoes on amid shrieks of “they are too lose” or “too tight,” pick her up (yes, physically), and carry her downstairs. Then she proceeds to refuse to walk to the car. Yes, she’s lost her iPad and she’s about to lose it for the whole week.
Sigh. Why did I lose my temper? I know she can’t help some of the emotional reactions. After arguing half-way to school I drop her off with tears in both of our eyes and I say I love her. I go to work and my day is shot. I’m full of regret and frustration.
If I were a stay-at-home mom I doubt this would this be easier. Maybe I would be better prepared to take the time to help her with her processing in other ways? Would she still prefer to be alone in the afternoons? Would I feel any better about my momming abilities? I wish I had a superpower: cool as a cucumber at all times.