Bad days. We all have them. We all wish we didn’t. But as in all cycles of life there has to be the bad to balance the good, and in these pockets of “F*%K!!” that we feel on those bad days, there is opportunity.
Yes, you read that right. Opportunity.
I had one of those crappy, no good, very bad, horrible icky days this past weekend. And really, on a weekend? Not fair.
I knew it was going down in a landslide at about 5am. The entire day was going to be a bust before it had even began.
It started with the crying. My darling daughter, who I will refer to here in this space as Bug (the nickname she’s somehow gotten at home), woke up for her “middle of the night” feeding at 4am. I, with my super strength mommy nose, thought I smelled something stinky. Not wanting to put Bug back in her crib with a dirty diaper, I decided to change it.
There’s a reason I don’t normally change her in the night unless she really needs it. She wakes up. A diaper change is an invitation to open her eyes and play. When I put her back in her crib, she was fully awake. (Side note – the dang thing wasn’t even dirty after all. It was likely what I lovingly call a “trapped toot”).
So she babbled. For an hour. Then it got more urgent, alerting me to the fact that this child was now overtired and was about 5 minutes away from a meltdown. 5 minutes was generous because it only took about 2 before she was in a full-fledged breakdown. No amount of patting without picking her up was going to work. My husband and I spent the next hour trying to calm her down and get her to sleep. In typical Bug fashion, as soon as we’d put her down she would wake up and scream.
Eventually, my husband decided sleep was most important and let her sleep for the next hour on his chest.
2 hours, from 4am-6am, is all it took to set the mood.
The rest of the day was shot. When it was time for Bug’s nap at 9am, she wasn’t interested. I tried to go for a run and the trail was flooded. I went to a different point on the trail and it started to rain heavily and I was soaked. One little thing after another after another.
I. Was. A. BEAR. To everyone. I was a crappy mother and a crappy wife and an all around crappy person for the moment. I recognized this.
And I saw the opportunity. It took some prodding from my husband, who said I needed change my mentality because bad things happen. I thought long and hard about why I was having such a hard time getting out of the funk. I recognized a part of it came from being tired. When I’m tired my mental capacity tanks, which is especially detrimental when I feel like I have a lot on my plate.
I noticed I was feeling mad at myself for not prioritizing my half marathon training (I’m running a half next weekend but my training has not gone well due to – well – having a 7 month old and working full time). I was bummed that I wasn’t prioritizing my health and exercise because it’s so important to me that I model that for my daughter. The reason I hadn’t been prioritizing is because I felt like I couldn’t work out unless it was half marathon prep and many times there weren’t enough hours to slog through those longer runs. I also recognized that I was feeling overwhelmed by a major project at work that I felt behind on. I had wanted to do some work on it Saturday and hadn’t gotten to it because of other tasks. I asked el Hubs to be in charge of Bug so I could do some work.
90 minutes later I was a new woman. I was happier and less anxious, and more likely to let things roll off my back. I took a step back and listened to what was really going on and realized that while I couldn’t go back and change my training, that the worst thing that happens is I walk a lot next weekend. I also realized that I could do something about the work stuff, and made it a priority to do so.
The rest of the day was fun. I got on the floor and played with Bug. I felt happy and back to my normal self. I got to enjoy the evening with one of my best friends who came over for dinner and some wine. I only hope that the next time this happens, I can remember what worked for me and make it work again. Because this sure as hell wasn’t the last bad day.