There are inevitable truths in parenting:
You will get incredibly frustrated to the point of crying.
You will feel so much love for something so teeny and helpless it will terrify you.
You will feed your kid junk food even though you swore you never would.
And: You will never feel the intense pressure of parenting as much as you do when your in-laws are in town.
You need to be on your “A” game in front of the in-laws. That’s just the rule. I don’t make the rules, I just try my hardest to abide by them.
My in-laws are pretty awesome. I think I definitely hit the in-law lottery, as mine are incredibly sweet, generous and understanding.
When we told them when we’d be closing on our new house, they immediately booked flights and offered to help with the move.
“Awesome,” I thought. “I’ll have someone to watch Monster so I can focus on the move. This will be easy.”
Because a near-full-term prego with a 2-year-old would have an “easy” time moving, right?
It’s safe to say that I have never been more impatient or less bossy. In short, I was a total “B.” Like, raging, mouth-foaming, rabid B.
To everyone. Including my son. In front of my in-laws.
Oh, the shame.
I feel bad enough that I snapped at my child multiple times. I hate when I do that to him. He doesn’t realize how annoying it is to whine for his trains nonstop for 30 minutes while Momma digs through endless boxes trying to find toilet paper so she can FINALLY go to the bathroom. (I have some words for whomever created “Thomas and Friends” and their uber-expensive accessories, by the way.)
A 2-year-old has no sense of how exhausting it is to chase him up a street full of bulldozers and half-constructed homes. He thinks he’s exploring. I think I’m on the verge of labor.
So Monster goes about being Monster, and I transform into FrankenMommy, and I feel terrible about it afterward.
But the fact that I acted like this in front of my husband’s parents makes it exponentially worse.
I couldn’t fall asleep at night, wondering what they were whispering about in the guest room.
“Did you hear her tone with him?”
“That poor baby doesn’t deserve such a mean mother.”
“I saw her feed him nothing but donuts and Cheez-Its for lunch. No wonder he is acting out.”
Now, my in-laws would never, ever say something to me, because they are wonderful people who don’t ever want to make anyone feel bad. But how could they not pass judgment on someone who locked her child in his new room while he cried himself to sleep?
Moving is always hard. I’m fortunate to have some wonderful people around me to help. And I suppose everyone is fortunate we had Monster’s Gigi and Pee-Paw here to whisk him away when his Momma was on the brink of losing it.