Lately, when I wake up in the morning, I feel as if I’m gearing up for combat and my enemies are my children and my life. I feel as if I am a cliché, existing in some hack writer’s mediocre opus to the banalities of being a cosseted, American housewife. My default state of being is annoyed. And wouldn’t you be annoyed if your entire day seemed structured to frustrate your every plan?

Children who refuse to sleep in, refuse to get dressed, refuse to eat breakfast, refuse to eat lunch, refuse to eat dinner, refuse to take a bath, refuse to brush teeth, refuse to get in pajamas, refuse to sleep. Children who have minds of their own – minds who do not magically, beautifully, fantastically, sync with your hive mind and do what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and when.

I feel myself bristling, constantly on edge, spoiling for a fight. If I’m lucky, I can recognize it and identify these feelings in myself before I do too much damage. I try to remind myself that my children are so small, so tiny, so fragile. That it is hard to be small. To constantly be told what to do, how to do it, and when.

It must be hard to be so small. To constantly have to ask for help. To have such little autonomy.

I think of my friend’s moving article on being a more compassionate mother, reminding myself to remember what it was like to be one, three, or five years old.

It is hard. Both being big and being small.

That’s all for today. Be gentle with yourselves, my friends.