This is what my first Wednesday in September was supposed to look like…
I would take the kids to the dentist (where the dentist would report that their teeth were in perfect condition, and where they would have no cavities).
I’d then drop them off to school, head over to get my very hairy legs waxed and then head home for three super dooper mini-coaching sessions and a good long one-on-one session with one of my very lovely new clients.
I was so totally psyched to coach that day! I love meeting mothers who read my stuff and offer a helping hand. Mini laser sessions always rock, and I had taken the summer off coaching so was ready to dive right in.
I was excited.
Sadly, this is what my first Wednesday in September actually looked like.
I took the kids to the dentist. As always, i helped to settle them each into a dental chair. And while the dental hygienist and dentist made their rounds, I ran my hand through my youngest boy’s hair trying to calm him.
“My head itches,” he said.
“Ok…let me have a look…”
And there they were. Lice. Nits.
I hated these creatures. I hated them not only because they were disgusting, uncomfortable and contagious. I hated those nasty primitive bug colonies for choosing to make their home in my boy’s head because of what they meant…
My life was about to go on hold!
Not “on holiday” on hold. Out-of-my-control on hold.
(Shit. Shit. Shit.)
At that moment of realization, the dental hygienist said something (probably of significance) to me.
I looked straight through her, walked to the reception and started researching lice removal services in D.C.
Maybe I could outsource and get work done while somebody else takes the nits out of my kids’ hair? Oh please, world, be kind to me today. I really want to coach these Mamas. I really need to work today.
“Did you say that $150 is what it will cost for you to come to the house? And then it’s another $180 per hour for the actual service???” I heard my self saying in a rather shocked voice. “Let me call you back.”
Trapped. I was trapped in kids-can’t-go-to-school Mama world!
I was panic incarnate.
I grumbled at the kids when we left the dentist. I yelled at my husband for suggesting it was a hygiene issue (which I don’t think he’ll EVER do again). I told the kids off in the parking lot of the Lice Removal office.
I was a very bad lice head Mom that day.
I wasn’t blaming them, exactly.
Nope. I was too clever for that.
Rather, I was finding other completely unrelated reasons to be unpleasant towards them.
My anger and frustration were not about the nits, they were about the mere existence of my children, an existence that ruined my plans and made the way my day should be impossible.
Bugs had chosen one of their sweet little heads, and then spread around to all of us.
And it was getting in the way of what my day should have been.
At 11am, we found ourselves at a lice removal office where we sat (myself included – so much for outsourcing and freeing myself up to do the more important stuff) watching Free Birds and Enchanted as professionals picked out bugs and their eggs from our hair. (That is correct – two movies worth of nit and lice removal time.)
We were bug-free by approximately 2pm.
Mini coaching sessions cancelled. My Private one-on-one cancelled.
My mood ruined. My legs still hairy.
And a household full of laundry awaited me (literally!)
Not a good day.
This was just one day in my life this school year.
But this is the sort of uncontrollable interruptability that happened to me a lot when the kids were younger.
It happens to all mothers ALL THE TIME.
It happens when a kid gets sick, or when you make a plan and toddler changes mind or refuses to cooperate, or when husband calls and says he can’t make it home on time so you need to cancel your much-needed walk with friend.
It happens when baby won’t nap, or sleep, or eat, or anything that you’d plan on baby doing.
Yup. Unexpected shit happens to Moms all. the. time.
Our days get ruined all the time. The way things should go doesn’t happen. We want to control the way it should go, but other little humans, little bugs or simple Universal demons get in the way.
And we let it get to us. BIG TIME.
That night I said to my husband (after much yelling and screaming and blaming and shaming): “I’m sorry. Today was so hard.”
“I know”, he says
“I sometimes feel like I can’t be a Mom and build this business. I can’t help my Moms. I can’t do it all because being a Mom keeps getting in the way.”
And my husband says:
“I know it’s hard. I can’t imagine. I am so grateful you are able to be there. I appreciate all that you did today. All that you do. I appreciate you.”
And it was only at that point when I started to appreciate me too.
I started to appreciate that we could afford to have someone look through our hair and take bugs out (imagine that?!)
I appreciated that my Mamas were so super understanding and rescheduled without asking any questions.
And I appreciated the kids for putting up with me.
And through the grime of the guilt, I even appreciated myself.
And a few days later I looked back only to see how ridiculous it was for me to struggle against a reality that I could not control.
I mean, there were nits and lice and my kids heads and my head.
Ultimately I could ignore the situation and stick with my should, OR I could recognize the truth and respond to it responsible.
And in my mind and heart, the choice was very quickly narrowed down to doing that responsible something.
This meant letting other stuff go.
Sweet and simple.
Letting it go.
Letting it go.
Letting it go.
Instead, I held on for dear life. I held onto those shoulds. I held onto my plan. And in doing so, I made it all so much worse than it needed to be.A mind game, Mama. It's all a mind game.Click To Tweet
Nits and lice and flu and strep throat and tantrums and late meetings happen. It’s all about how we take them in, how we take them on.
As I reflect on my day gone “wrong” I am reminded of some words of wisdom that I often share with my clients:
“God(less) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”
Words to live by – especially on those nitty, licey horrible days.
Wishing you a nit/ lice-free return to school, or if that isn’t possible, as serene as possible an confrontation with the little nasties.