As soon as I started talking to my mom, I think she could sense all was not well. Her voice gets softer and calming and then she asks the big question, "How are you doing?" I'm not sure what my verbal answer was, but I do know the weight of the week was crushing down on me, my non-stop schedule that had been turned upside down by the boys not feeling well, my own exhaustion from not sleeping well and Mr. Dog's own announcement that he felt a sore throat coming on presented themselves as me bursting into tears. I've said it before and I'll say it again, motherhood is no place for the weak, and I'd met my breaking point.
After a brief discussion, my mom told me if I needed her, she'd come up on Friday. All I had to do was ask. And I hesitated. Sometimes I have a hard time asking for what I need. I don't want to take advantage of her. I don't want to ask her to come help me with the boys and end up with her getting sick too. But really, I have a hard time admitting I just don't have it under control. We had a back and forth and finally I admitted I needed her. I really needed her. And not just to help with the boys. I needed my mommy. We agreed she'd drive up on Friday and immediately I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
I should point out here that my mom is amazing. I model my own parenting after her. Even when I was a miserable moody teenager, she didn't strangle me. She has always been supportive but never smothering. She is also a fantastic grandma. The boys adore her almost as much as I do.
She arrived the next afternoon, just before my two most important meetings of the day. I almost melted with relief. She watched the boys while I finished up my work day, then we just hung out. She's cool like that.
On Saturday she told me to take some time for myself. I used it to run errands without having to drag the boys around town. When I got home, Mr. Dog and I shingled the roof on the chicken coop together. And even after all of that, she told Mr. Dog and me to go out to dinner while she took care of the boys. Like a real date. Amazing.
We walked down to a local restaurant and had a nice dinner. We talked and ate and shared a bottle of wine. And it was as much like a date as a married couple with kids can probably have. We got home refreshed and relaxed (and maybe a little bit drunk).
As the boys took a bath, I got to hang out with my mom. I think I have thanked her about a million times this weekend, but really, her intervention was a lifesaver. There are times when I feel a like I can't keep up with the pace of my life, and a couple days of relief can really turn my attitude around.
She left today after I had a bit of time with her on my own. We talked a lot. It's easy with my mom. I always feel better after talking to her, she makes me feel like I'm normal. And she always passes along a lot of wisdom.
In the end I have a few things I need to remember.
1. There are no perfect moms, so I need to quit killing myself trying to be the first.
2. Even that "perfect" mom down the street can be downright shriek-y when she thinks no one is listening.
3. I need to take time to take care of my marriage and Mr. Dog flat out rocks.
4. Even if I'm 37, I'm still my mom's baby.
5. Occasionally, even "SuperWoman" needs her mommy.