Most days, I feel like a pretty good mom. I'm not going to win any awards, and I certainly don't think I have all the answers, but I find that a combination of organization, empathy, and common sense usually does the job.
Then there are the other days.
Days when I'm tired. When I'm frustrated. When a leaking roof and cracked windshield, a sprained ankle and special diet, and yet another National Weather Service notification push me to the day's limit.
On those days, I'm not my best self. And I'm not the greatest mom.
I get short-tempered and insensitive. Or maybe too sensitive--set off by the littlest things and behaving badly.
On those days, I poorly execute even the simple things that moms are supposed to be good at, like listening to problems and providing comfort. Maybe especially those things. Because on the rare bad days, it feels like my well has run dry and I have nothing left to give.
And then I know it's time for a nap.
Or to call a friend. Or write a blog post. Or take some photos.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Yesterday, I did something different. I told my husband. I told him via text message, but I told him.
I didn't come out and say that I was feeling cranky and unpleasant. I rarely have to. My crankiness conveys nicely via text message. I said that our daughter was complaining her ankle hurt (for weeks, I tell you) and that, "I'm disappointed to say I'm not feeling very patient about it."
Then my wonderful spouse did the best thing possible to change my mood--he brought home take-out for dinner.
The gesture alone was meaningful. He saw my problem and knew just how to solve it--with Mexican food. Once I didn't have to solve the dinner problem, my outlook improved. I had time to provide thoughtful help with homework. I had time to do a small photography project with my daughter. I had time to build Hero Factory guys with my son. I was happy, and they were happy.
All because of one great guy and some really good tacos.