Good days. Bad days. That's the way it goes. Well, its easy to say that. It's another to mean it. Especially when you are trying to raise a young family. It's Friday. It's the end of the week. We're all exhausted. My three year old has been, and remains, very poorly. My seven year old is already bored senseless by the Summer holidays and the lack of contact with other seven year olds that are obsessed with Zac Ephron and my seven month old is on the verge of becoming a crawling machine. I just saw a commercial on TV for The Olive Garden and I have been struck by how little my family resembles the one enjoying their pasta and breadstick for $6.99.
I'm an intelligent, forward thinking, open minded young(ish) woman. And yet, in my weakest moments I feel ashamed that I haven't created more of those bullshit "family" moments that are continuously sold to us in the media. They are timed perfectly, at the very moment when mommy and daddy will be at their weakest. After 830pm when, after lengthy battles, the kids are finally in bed and we get to flop down on the sofa and grunt at each other with a glass of wine in our hands, and pretend we are enjoying quality time, instead we get ridiculed by these images of the perfect family and they make me feel horrible and inadequate. Which I understand is the whole point. Go to Olive Garden and you too can be a great parent! How can a commercial for The Olive Garden have such an effect on me. I mean, its not even a good restaurant for christ sake!
In TV land a great family tradition is sharing crummy food. In Real Nagler land, a great family tradition is shouting "get your hand out of your diaper!" and "honey, not that cup" and "in a minute, let me deal with the baby" all at the same time while yelling down the phone that I don't want to give any more money to the Obama campaign (every night people!). It wasn't supposed to be this way. I thought I would be swaddling my new baby in soft pink cashmere and she would coo contentedly in my arms, while my next baby tickled her feet and giggled and my eldest child would be cooking gourmet meals and cleaning the house (just kidding). The reality of three children has been quite different to anything we ever imagined. If you think that having one kid reveals how little you knew about anything, try having three. It's beyond crazy!
It's so crazy that today it is going to shit. They all sleep soundly and happily in their beds right now, and I sob silently over a bloody Olive Garden commercial and wonder why I'm not more like the nineteen year old woman dressed like a forty year old mother, with an abundance of patience when 20 liters of fruit juice is strewn across the floor. By the way, while still holding down a very busy full time job. It's just one of those days, and I'm glad its over. I can hit the sack, sleep it off, and try again tomorrow. One of the greatest gifts that we can all enjoy. The chance to start anew.
How am I going to make this work?