My daughter has Daisy scouts today. I still get the shakes whenever we mention Daisy scouts.
It’s post traumatic stress syndrome. I have Daisy Scout PTSD.
Two years ago, when she was merely five, I signed my girl up for our neighborhood troupe of Daisy scouts. I figured it was right up her alley-crafts, singing and giggles. The leader of the troupe was outstanding. The meetings were full of information and fun. The girls ran in and never wanted to leave. There was only one problem. The meetings didn’t start until 7pm-my daughter’s bedtime.
Yes, my five year old used to go to sleep at 7 o’clock. It started when she was a baby and the bedtime stuck even as she aged. We were the envy of all our neighbors. Traditionally, she was pretty great at adjusting if we were out late. She is a social butterfly by nature so if life called for late nights, she was always a gamer.
Imagine my surprise then when Daisy’s became her undoing. We arrived one beautiful fall night and I dropped her at the door because I had arranged for someone else to bring her home. My husband was working out of town last minute and I had scheduled a work event for that night. I had finally gathered up the courage to ask another mom to help. It took a lot to not only ask, but to also accept the help without worry or guilt. She was my first-born and aside from family favors, I was new at utilizing The Village and still feeling bad that work meant I couldn’t spend every waking second with my kids. (I’m over that now.) My girl was easy though and, unlike my boys, never had any trouble when other adults were in charge. She loves me, but from an early age, she hasn’t always needed me.
Until that night. It started well enough. She went right in and after accepting a few compliments on her amazing behavior and maturity, I gave her a kiss and turned to leave. What happened next can only be described as a possession. My girl was possessed by evil-tantrum throwing demons. When she saw me leave she lost her mind. She cried. She screamed. She called me names. She acted as if I was abandoning her in a crowded Piazza with no plan for her future and stealing her copy of the Italian-English dictionary.
I was mortified. What would these virtual strangers think of my parenting? She was acting like this “abandonment” was a normal occurrence. Even worse, how bad was she feeling about my leaving to be carrying on this way? Also, how the heck was I going to get to work? I tried to soothe her as I watched the clock tick away. I got her somewhat calm by explaining that I was only going out for a short time and I would come in and give her a kiss in bed when I got home. She wasn’t 100% better but my poor brain could not figure out how to continue to handle this and get to work on time. Thankfully the mom who was supposed to take her home just shooed me away and off to work I went, listening to the soft whimpering as I got in my car.
Those moments of crazy, when you remember you are never really in control, require laughter to get through. Internally, I chuckled through my whole appointment that night. There I sat in my professional clothes, perfect makeup and hair, giving another harried mom advice on how to look put together and in control, when all the while my leg shook under the table from what had just happened. My job is funny that way. If people knew how much my “image” was tarnished on a daily basis by my kids, they probably wouldn’t trust my image advice quite so much.
The good news is I’m not alone. I just finished reading See Mom Run, by Beth Feldman. The book contains hilarious essays from some of the “World’s Most Harried Moms”. Not only are these women admittedly harried, but they are some of the most respected women in their fields. Not only does Beth Feldman, who founded Role Mommy write in this book, but there are essays by Ciaran Blumenfeld, Beth Blecherman and other moms who are also professional organizers, Public relations experts and all around super-women. It was such a boost for me to be able to read that these women whom I respect so much still have mommy mishaps just like the rest of us.
I have lowered my standards since that day. I know all about meltdowns and come-aparts and moments of kid terror. Mostly, I role with the mom punches. I have matured as a mom even if I do still shiver a bit when Daisy’s are mentioned.
Maybe I need to find a harried mom-psychologist to help me recover from my Daisy PTSD.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
Funny, I was thinking about writing about my Girl Scout Cookie Trauma for the next book… Thanks for the shout out! Trust me, if you saw my messy kitchen right now and my bad hair, you'd feel really great about yourself!
SO glad that you've taken in the village. And, btw, I think 7 pm for Daisy's is awfully late.
Aunt Julie says
I personally think you should find someone who will, while holding it high above his hand, say loudly "I'm eating a cookie" anytime you feel a little harried. I think that broke the tension quite well:)
pajama mom says
lol! wait 'til brownies!!!
I know what you mean! I give advice as the LA Single Parenting Examiner, and there are some moments I have at home where I go, if my readers saw this, there's no WAY they'd ever read me again! But then, inevitably, I learn something from those dreaded moments that inspire my writing later…and hopefully, help another mother realize she's not alone, either! I'm sure Daisy's moments keep your empathy alive and well for your clients 🙂