This morning was one of my lowest lows of being a mother. Arrine and I had a very trying morning. I did things that I regret and even in the moment I knew I should stop and take a different approach. The approach that I normally take when Arrine is in a mood and can’t be reasoned with. But I work. And have commitments to work. And have already been reprimanded for my tardiness in the morning for those mornings when things just aren’t easy with Arrine. And I feel the pressure. And as I was “in it”, a thought crossed my mind which I have had before – “Is this worth it?” And by “this”, I meant work. I will say that these occurrences are rare – maybe once every two or three months. But it still weighs heavy on my heart.

I needn’t go into details, what I can highlight is Arrine and I settled down and I was able to get her in the car – but it wasn’t after a lot of tears from both of us. And I apologized, and Arrine told me I need to “be a good girl”. I reminded her that she needs to be a good girl too. And we told each other that we loved one another and Arrine was smiling and giggling once again. But I was still teary.

I cried while driving her to daycare, just being so disappointed in myself. But tried to focus on what I learned. I learned that if/when this happens again, I will not choose this battle with Arrine. I will call work and take a half vacation day. It’s decided. That’s what I will do next time.

And even though I know I would have many other moms and friends telling me that they have all been there and to not be hard on myself, I desperately wanted to call my mom, and confide in her, and have HER tell me that it was ok. Have my mom be the mom for me, so I could be the mom Arrine deserves.

A side note to this is a thought that I had when Arrine and I were in it this morning. Yesterday Arrine and I went grocery shopping. And Arrine wanted to bring her little play stroller for her baby doll. So I let her and she pushed around her stroller and bought her own groceries while I pushed the shopping cart. A mom with a toddler of her own leaned across the frozen meat bin and said to me, “You are a fabulous mother”, while I was lifting Arrine up so she could take out the smoked salmon for our cart. “Why?” I asked. “Because I am letting her push her stroller?” And the other mom answered, “Yes. Not a lot of moms would do that. Or have the patience. You are a great mom.” I was a bit taken aback – this just seemed like something any mom would do, but I thanked her and said, “I am sure you are a fabulous mom too.” But when I was struggling with Arrine this morning, I thought to myself, “You wouldn’t think I am so fabulous now.”

On the drive from daycare to work, I needed my mom. So I chose Buffy Sainte-Marie on my iPhone and cranked the volume. Darling Don’t Cry played first. So I listed to it…and cried. And then I chose He’s An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo and this made me cry even more. I played this song during amm’s last moments with us. I tried to sing along but the crying consumed me. I let the tears fall down my cheeks and collect on my grey scarf. It’s a cashmere scarf that Nick gave me years ago. I wore it on the day we cremated mom and her best friend Marlene pinned a butterfly on it for me – I still wear the scarf and the butterfly. And it felt good to have something with me to soak up my tears.

Finally I chose Starwalker. And let the drums beat for my heart…my heartache for amm and my heartache for the choices I made as a mother this morning.