I'm noticing that the older I get, the meaner I am when I'm PMS-ing. I know you know what I mean (or at least just pretend you do, for my sake). The acute crankiness that overtakes me every 27-or-so days is like a people repellant, or it should be. I feel like I should wear this shirt for about three days each month to protect everyone around me:
I was sitting next to my husband the other morning and he cleared his throat three times. Innocently. Unknowingly.
"Um, can you not DO that?" - me
"Do what?" - poor husband
"That annoying thing you're doing with your throat. That loud, coughing, throat-clearing thing. DUH." - me
"I don't know what you're talking about." - poor husband
"Mmmmmmmhmmmm. Sure. Whatever, it's fine, keep doing it. I'm just going to gouge my eardrums out, but it's no big deal." - me
"Sooooo...do you need some alone time?" - poor, SMART husband
That was a mild interaction. You should've seen what went down when he touched my leg with his toenail by accident. #NotPretty
Even strangers annoy me when I'm flying the Japanese flag (yes, I'm going to throw in the most obscure references to Aunt Flow I can find - you're welcome). We were headed to a party the other night and when we arrived I saw that we were parked behind two old people who were getting out of their Buick at the same time we were. The lady had a casserole dish, and did I mention that they were old? Of course I did, I said they were driving a Buick. Instantly I was annoyed by the old people and their casserole dish. "If there are going to be geriatrics at this party, we can just pack it right back up and go home, because I do NOT feel like spending my evening socializing with random old strangers," I said to my husband, who stared at me like I was an alien. I might as well have been. I actually uttered that exact sentence. AND MEANT IT. Who am I??? Don't answer that.
I feel like there needs to be a guidebook for the people in my life who have to interact with me every month when there are communists in the funhouse, as the Danes would say. My children especially need a copy of this non-existent book. It would help them understand Mean Mommy a little bit better.
(On a side note, can I just say that it's ironic to me that our children annoy us the absolute most when PMS rolls into town, yet the whole entire reason we HAVE PMS is so we can CONCEIVE CHILDREN! #CanIGetAWitness?)
I can think of a million reasons why children and PMS don't mesh; however, for the sake of time, I will just share five.
When I'm PMS-ing:
My children always talk to me. Like, all the time. "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mom, Mother, MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMY." The "moms" are usually followed by one of two things: 1) tattling, or 2) the same question I already gave them an answer to 30 seconds prior. It's cute how they think if they ask 17 times, or rephrase the question, my answer will be different. And by cute, I mean infuriating. Especially three certain days of every month.
My children always touch me, and when I'm PMSy I don't want to be touched. Like, by anyone, ever. Unless (s)he's a masseuse, in which case all the touching should happen all the time. 24/7. My hula-hoop space automatically expands to a keep-your-distance radius of 15 feet when I'm about to join the cast of Pad Men (yes, yes I did), so when my four-year-old decides to come and tackle me from behind while I'm sitting on the ground, ultimately hanging on my neck and yanking my head into baby-bird position, I can't be held liable for the things I say or do. Well, I can, because I'm an adult, but the struggle is real.
My children always need stuff from me, like meals and rides to school, but I don't want to do said stuff because I just want to not do anything I don't feel like doing whenever I feel like it. Make sense?
My children always speak at a level that's 500% louder than normal for three days each month and then I feel like my ear drums are going to burst at any moment, which does not, in fact, happen, but still, it's conceivable.
My children inevitably poke my tummy because it's extra-fluffy and ask me why it's so "poochy" if there's no baby in there, and then I sit in the corner and suck my thumb and cry, making it apparent that there are already enough babies in our house and that's why there's not one in my poochy, bloated pouch.
People, this is real life.
As much as I'd like to say that I'm a pure delight the other 27 days a month, that's not necessarily the truth. I am kind of a mess. I hope there are more good days than bad, and I hope that I am selfless more often than I am selfish (people close to me would probably say that's debatable). All of the good and all of the selflessness comes from Jesus. All the other stuff...well, that's me. I'm a selfish, irritable, broken vessel who is somehow supposed to raise three tiny humans into functioning adults. No pressure, right?! Thankfully, He doesn't expect us to have it all together, as 2 Corinthians 4 points out:
"Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
"If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at."
He is all that is good and He knows that we're "not much to look at." The great news is that God meets us where we are. When I'm low, God reaches out a little farther and goes more than halfway and finds me where I am. And loves me where I am. Where we're at our worst, He shines most brightly. When we think our kids are never going to remember NICE MOMMY, we have to remember that, because the Spirit of God lives inside those who trust Christ as their Savior, they will still see Jesus in us.
And when we sin against our kids by allowing our perceived rights or selfishness or hormonal-ness to overtake us as mothers, when we lash out or act huffy and annoyed when they want all the stuff from us all the time, we can STILL show them Jesus and point them to Him by coming to them in humility, no matter their ages. We can apologize and ask for their forgiveness, and then remind them that OUR SIN is a great reminder of why THEY need Jesus. We will NEVER be perfect as their parents, and their only perfect parent will ever be God the Father. It's a great transition into the Gospel.
Which is good, because I sin against my kids a lot. So they see their need for Jesus a LOT.
You're welcome, kids.
In my house, Nice Mommy is currently back. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. My kids can talk to me without worrying that I'm going to turn on a dime. They can touch me and receive physical affection in return. They can ask me to do basic things like prepare them breakfast and I do it semi-cheerful, or as cheerfully as one can at 6:30am. Things are at peace and will remain this way for approximately 27 days. And then...