Yesterday, I lost it over a tube of chapstick. Totally lost it. The kind of “mamma’s gone around the bend” losing it that sends the children scurrying into safe places far from my wrath.

Julie and Maddie were fighting over chapstick. “I want it.” “But it’s MINE.” “But I found it!” “It’s MINE!” “Then why did you leave it lying around?” “Why did you take it if it’s not yours?” “GIVE IT TO ME!” “BUT IT’S MINE!!!”

I spun around from where I was taking cups out of the cupboard, slammed the cupboard door shut, and shrieked, in an evil “mamma’s possesed by a demon” voice, “GIVE IT TO ME!” And when it wasn’t offered up immediately, I shrieked louder, “I SAID GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW!” Defiantly, Julie clutched it, daring me to snatch it from her hand. “But it’s MINE and Maddie took it.” “I didn’t ask whose it WAS. I said GIVE IT TO ME. NOW. If you fight over something, you lose it.” And then I snatched, opened the cupboard again, and stashed the offending chapstick on the highest shelf.

Fuming, I stormed out of the room, and did the only safe thing I could think of – gave myself a time-out in the bedroom. With the door closed, and the pillow squished against my face to hide the seething anger and overflowing tears, I took a few deep breaths.

The thing is, I wasn’t really angry at the girls. Oh, I was plenty annoyed with the constant bickering, but that didn’t really warrant the spinning, shrieking, and snatching. I was just annoyed in general, and because they were there adding to the annoyance, they reaped the wrath of Mommy.

Sunday often seems to be my grumpy day, especially if I haven’t gotten enough done, the housework is piling up, and I feel like resting but can’t justify it until I’ve done 6 loads of laundry and cleaned for a few hours.

Our house has fallen into disarray again, and that always makes me grumpy. I’m having a bit of trouble adjusting to Marcel’s full-time school schedule. When he was home, he kept up with most of the housework, and I did laundry and some of the deeper cleaning on the weekends, and it usually seemed bearable. Now that he’s at school full-time and usually has to study in the evenings and weekends, everything is falling behind. It makes me really cranky. It makes me do stupid things like blow up at my kids over some chapstick.

I need a maid. When Marcel and I were both working full-time, we had a housecleaner come in every second week to whip our house into shape, and it was a delight. We could keep up with the day-to-day stuff as long as someone did the deep cleaning every couple of weeks for us. It was downright dreamy coming home on those days when she’d been there. I’m far from a clean-freak, but a clean house always makes me happier.

Yesterday was just too much. I was tired and really wanted to nap, but I knew laundry and cleaning needed to be done. On top of that, Nikki was bugging me to work on her Halloween costume (she’s never happy with the last minute stuff I’m usually guilty of), Maddie really wanted me to look through her memory box with her, and Julie wanted to play games, etc., etc. So I lost it. And then, because losing it is not healthy for my family, I picked myself up and got myself out of the house. I spent an hour thrift-shopping, bought myself a new winter wardrobe (2 sweaters and 3 shirts) and some juice glasses for a grand total of $14, and then came home much more refreshed and ready to tackle the mountain of laundry.

Thankfully, my family caught on that Mom needed a little help (or therapy – take your pick), so everyone did their assigned cleaning, Marcel tackled the kitchen and entrance way (so at least it LOOKS reasonable should anyone enter), and by the end of the afternoon, the house was at least presentable and the laundry was almost caught up. I still seem to be stepping on squishy things on the basement floor, but I can ignore that for now.

I actually managed to relax at the computer and watch a little TV at the end of the day. I didn’t get a nap though. And I still need a maid. And perhaps some therapy. Or maybe just a vacation.

Oh, and I think I need to apologize to my daughters tonight.

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