On the Flip Side

Did you read my last post?

I read it over again and it sounds like my life has suddenly become just absolutely perfect. {cue clear skies, brids singing, rainbows, and butterflies}

More energy, happier kids, new exciting meals.  Sure all of that has happened, but it’s not a 24/7 deal.  That’s the problem with blogging. You only get the side of the story that I post.

So I’m here to post the other side. It’s only fair.

Yesterday sucked. Big time.  Maybe it seemed worse than it really was because the previous day was so great. A huge high to an ugly low.  Okay well it wasn’t that ugly, just un-pretty.

The day started out at 8 am.  The time that Jenin should be dressed, groomed, fed, and ready to head out the door for school.  Instead, at 8 am I jumped out of bed because I hit the snooze button three too many times. I frantically got her ready, packed her lunch, and managed to make her breakfast in time before her ride arrived.

As I sat nursing Baby Z, I remembered that there was an important parent meeting at the school at 9 am.  It was 8:40.  And Z was no where near finished.  I rushed to get Zaynab, Maysoon, and myself ready.  I was out the door by 9:10 when it hit me that I hadn’t had breakfast.  Now if you know me, you know that I never miss breakfast. Even worse, Maysoon hadn’t eaten either.  Sometimes she’ll eat breakfast with J, but this time she was still sleeping. In the car was a box of Girl Scout cookies.  Two cookies each.  The guilt overrides the taste and I feel like a total loser mom driving down the freeway.

Go to the meeting, come home, eat breakfast, workout, and organize all my craft supplies.  That was the plan. 

That was not what happened.

Instead, after the meeting, I stopped at Target with the intention to return something and immediately leave.  I tried so very hard. I swear I did.  I was so mad at myself standing at the checkout.  I kid you not, I was silently battling with myself in my head.  One part of me justifying a pack of note cards for J, while the other part of me kicking myself knowing I’ll just be picking up a bunch of scribbled and discarded note cards off the floor and tossing them in the trash before day’s end.

There’s more to that shopping trip then just some impulse buys.  This entire week I have been cleaning out my garage and closets, ridding them of previous impulse buys.  All week I swore to myself that I would never fall into the trap of a little red clearance sticker.  But I didn’t make it a full week.  This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time.  Sometimes I’ll go on these really long stretches and do so great, other times I crash and burn.

So I leave with crap I don’t need, including some pretty unhealthy food choices.  Maysoon and I chowed down on blueberry streusel topped breakfast bread in the car.  Three slices each. Not going to lie, it was really good. 

Next up, another return to Michaels.  I found a bag of craft supplies to make ribbon and pearl necklaces in one of my closets. The receipt was still in the bag. It was dated December 2010.  I returned $17 worth of supplies.  What was I thinking? I turned around and bought $15 worth of craft storage. And some other things I didn’t need.  Ugh, failed again. 

After wasting time and money, I headed home.  I was home long enough to feed Zaynab and then I was back out the door to pick up J from school.  No breakfast, no workout, no organizing, and not even any dinner prep.  The previous days I would have so much complete before it was time to pick up J.  My dishes from J and Rami’s breakfast still sat by the sink. While I fed the baby, I had a texting session with my workout buddy.  She gave me a boost and I promised I would workout after I came home.

Once  home, I made the girls lunch.  As we ate, I decided to organize some of my supplies.  All I accomplished was moving things from smaller separate containers into one large container. That was it. And suddenly it was 5:30.  I would be making dinner by that time and instead I hadn’t a clue what to make.

So uninspired that I didn't even take the time to take a clear picture.

Screw it. I put on my workout clothes and forced myself through my workout.  I knew I would feel relatively better afterwards.  Half way through my workout, I stopped to catch my breath (and secretly hope the power would shut off so that I didn’t have to continue) when J said to me “Why did you stop Mama? They’re still exercising.” 

My children are watching me. Always.  What message am I sending out? I always tell J to not get discouraged or give up when things seem hard, yet here I was standing before her showing her the complete opposite.  Right back into jumping jacks or jump rope, whatever it was that Jillian Michaels was telling me to do at that moment.

Breathless, I’m talking to myself loud enough for J to hear me.  “This is so difficult. I’m so tired. I have to keep trying. I can do this.”  Was she listening? I have no idea. Did it make me feel better to say that out loud. Barely.

I finally made dinner at 7:30. The time my girls should be in their PJs, read to, and ready to sleep.  Cheese quesadillas and Spanish rice. That’s it.  Quick, dull, and not particularly healthy.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes were eventually put into the dishwasher, but markers, toys, and books still laid scattered around the house. It was a long day.  I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  I wavered from my new routine this week and hated the outcome.

My last post painted a picture that suddenly things were amazing all the time.  They’re not. That’s impossible.  I didn’t want to leave you guys with an untrue image of my life.  We all have our ups and downs.  Some have higher ups and others lower downs.  “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” – Hellen Keller. 

Here’s to second and third chances…

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7 Responses to On the Flip Side

  1. Pingback: Working in Time for Mom | littlelifeofmine.com

  2. Mona says:

    We all have those days when everything is just off. I like that quote.

  3. Amanda says:

    Gosh I just really loved this post. Thanks for being so honest because you’re right the picture we paint can be super far from reality – I’m so guilty of this!

  4. Humaira says:

    Your honesty is what makes you such a great blogger. We all have these days where nothing goes to plan, but it’s OK. At least you did the workout! So proud of you Amnah.

  5. If says:

    I think we all know that there are good days and bad days, but life would be boring if evrything went to plan, im sure your doing great so dont be so hard on yourself just go with the flow.

    I always notice the day that I get up and read my fajr salah and stay awake evrything goes so well but the day i over sleep its a mad rush all day long.

  6. Amnah Shurfa says:

    Assalamualaikum, Amnah! Well, firstly your blog caught my attention as we share the same name and most importantly, what a lovely blog you have!

  7. as salaamu alaykum!
    your blog is beautiful and inspiring- keep up the great work! so many mommy bloggers feel the need to apologize for “portraying perfection” but i think the blog readers are at fault for “assuming perfection”. i don’t see why anyone needs to prove their imperfect- isn’t it obvious that we all are?

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