Not The Snow Mother I Wanted To Be
I usually love it when it snows. As soon as I know we are going to have a big storm, I get the supplies for snow cream and snow candy almost before I worry about buying up ground beef, milk and bananas like the rest of the DC Metro Area. Every year I make sure my kids have full snow gear: boots, ski bibs, parkas, hats, mittens, extra mittens to wear while the other ones are drying; just in case we get A BIG Snow! This year I increased our sled stock from one multi-rider foam sled to include two round snow saucers.
And though I was prepared in every way -- we had all the fun gear, we had all the necessities, we even had all the emergency gear -- I just was not able to be the snow mom I wanted to be. While I read friends' Facebook statuses of the fun they were having bonding as family during the time off from school and work during the snow storms (sledding, snowman building, playing board games), I was working under the gun on some deadlines. Some were work-related, but most were volunteer-related and I was really mad at myself that it was unpaid work that was taking me away from family. And yet, it was something I had made a serious commitment to, something that had a hard deadline, and something that had to be done. And required a lot of phone calls. A lot of emails.
The kids were off from school. But Daddy was still working and Mommy was on a deadline. The driveway needed constant shoveling. The kids... well, they were bored and when small children are bored, they eat. A lot. And whine. A lot. My husband and I tried to balance the load as best as we could -- alternating who was on a laptop in the main family area with the kids, rotating movies, Wii games, non-electronic activities and so forth. I, unfortunately, was also sick with sinusitis and an ear infection and couldn't really go outside much, but I would suit the kids up for quick breaks of letting them go on the back deck or supervised shovel breaks with Daddy. (Daddy didn't need supervision... the 5-year-old and 3-year-old did!)
But overall, I felt like the Grinch. The Mom Grinch. The terrible Mom Grinch who had all her priorities out of whack, yet was powerless to fix them at that moment. What I was working on was holding up a process that impacted a lot of people. It had to be finished and I had to finish it. And yet the snow was also a time-limited opportunity.
Why did the snow have to come right now? A week earlier, a week later, I would've been in a much better space. Why did it feel like everyone else in the world could stop for a "snowcation" but us?
I wasn't completely unavailable. We did make snow cream (maraschino cherry flavored). And we addressed Valentines in the hopes of one day returning to school for a Valentines Day party (after the fact). And we had endless rounds of Mommy's special homemade hot chocolate. I stood inside the front door while the kids made a "luge run" and a snowman and my husband shoveled yet again. And we celebrated when I got that oh-so-important document out the door by going out for a sled ride together, as a family.
It is these things, rather than the stressed-out, partially-unavailable, not-at-her-best mommy that I hope my children will remember from the "historic" snowstorms of 2010. I didn't live up to what the standard I set for myself, but I hope I didn't completely disappoint them.
For now, I'm glad they can't read my friends' Facebook pages!
This is an original post for DC Metro Moms Blog. Not normally a Mom Grinch, J.J. Newby blogs as JavaMom at Caffeine And A Prayer, http://caffeineandaprayer.com. Photo copyright J.J. Newby.