Today I was remembering a trip to the Moorestown mall I took when the girls were itty-bittys. I don't know why I went, as I rarely took them to the Mo mall. I would take them to the Echelon mall, which had a toy store, little kid "rides" and pet store. That would buy me at least 1/2 an hour of having something to do - 45 minutes if I bought an Auntie Anne's. But regardless, for some unknown reason, I took them to the Mo mall.
I don't remember why we went, I don't remember what we did, all I remember is how we left. With me holding a 2yr old one one hip and an infant on the other, pushing a double stroller with my stomach that held not a child, but a humongous diaper bag. That thing could have been a kid though, it weighed so much. Anyway, both children screaming, madder than a chunky on a diet. (I can say that since I'm chunky, mad, on a diet. Someone get me a danish and some coffee, stat.) The second I strapped them in to their car seats, they stopped. I remember sitting there in the van and just staring into space, too exhausted to even drive. I was embarrassed from all the looks I got as I made that long trek out to the van (it wasn't that long but every step felt like a hundred) and I felt like a failure. I felt like how I looked - a worn out, sweats wearing (probably with some type of bodily fluid on it), mess of a stay-at-home mom whose kids were running the show, not her. I wanted people to know that being a SAHM was really hard work but I didn't want to be the poster child for it!
I had a lot of moments like that. Some I remember, but there were so many, some I don't. Of being stared at, who knows what they were thinking. Of feeling exhausted, used and abused. Of feeling like I am a total failure at this SAHM thing. But really my life is looking a lot different these days. With Taylor's needs I still get looks, but not as often. I still get tired, and sometimes I feel I'd like someone to serve me for a change, but I enjoy serving my family and it is very fulfilling. I still feel like a failure sometimes, but really, I know I'm not. Good days, bad days, but I see the bigger picture.
And I can take the girls to the mall and no matter what happens, I won't be carrying them both out, one on each hip. If they're having fits (or more likely something like being rude, selfish, or arguing over who's the prettier princess) I'd be marching them out, one holding each hand, with threats of taking away their Leapster, Wii, and anything sweet for the next week.
Well, I wouldn't go that far, like I said, someone get me a danish. And it'd be downright cruel to eat it in front of them. Right? Maybe I'm on to the next great really-effective-fabulous punishment idea.