Bad Mom

The Lime Jell-o Incident


Do you ever feel like you can only do two things really well but never three?  That’s me. Every day.

I can juggle parenting and a career but not my health. Or I can be really good at being healthy and stay on top of my job but I suck at parenting. OR I can be really good at keeping a perfect house and being a great friend and neighbor but that’s the day I email all my clients all the wrong files or my laptop blows up. Or I screw up at my love life… etc etc…

And so it goes. There is always one ball dropping from my constant juggling circle of things to do. I’ve just come to accept it. Three things go up, one will down in a big fantastic fail.

Yesterday was one of those days when I dared to try to do three things well. I exercised in the morning. I did all my laundry, I got all the household shopping done (and back to school shopping done too. SCORE!). I was even cooking dinner AND answering work emails in a timely manner. It was a great day!! What could possibly go wrong?


Let’s just set the stage with the fact that my apartment progressively heats up from 3pm on.  We don’t have any shade on the west side of our building and when the afternoon sun beats down on the stucco, it turns our upstairs apartment into an adobe oven. This is usually about the time I start cooking dinner. Go ahead and visualize me as a hot sweaty mess.

But I persevere, right?  I am good at channeling my inner Penelope Cruise who works in the back of a Mexican restaurant washing dishes as perspiration sexily drips down the back of her neck. Mind over matter and all that. I can do it because I am the super parent who can juggle her career and run a household and cook a delicious dinner. Let’s just make it super challenging and invite my boyfriend over for dinner too. I am woman, hear me roar!! I love to taunt fate.

I can’t really share what exactly went down because I have to respect the privacy of a certain little person in my house who has a say in what I blog about these days but let’s just say it involved me losing my temper fantastically and some lime green Jell-O. It was not pretty.

I’d love to say that it wasn’t pretty because lime Jell-O got smeared into my beautiful white carpet but that didn’t actually happen. No carpets were ruined. All the Jell-O stayed in the bowl. Just me and my perfect composure went out the window. Penelope turned into Linda Blair and I completely lost my cool with my child.

I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I can’t believe I lost it over Jell-O!!!  Of all things.  It was a moment that I will look back on and hopefully learn from. I’m writing it down so I can refer to it in the future. The Lime Jell-O day.

Thankfully, I have some really supportive people in my life and they somehow managed to stitch me back together. I muddled through dinner. My kid doesn’t seem to be too phased and I’m back to juggling only two balls. I don’t think I’m going to try three or four again for a good long while.


  • bethany

    i so hear you, it just happens. i can’t do three, and many days not even two. something always gives, and it’s often relating to food. or mess. both things get my goat and i just lose my cool. i don’t think blood sugar levels help, and meals are entirely too haphazard around here and we all pay for it when we all get ravenous at once. don’t be ashamed, it happens to ALL of us whether we admit it publicly or not :).

  • bethany actually

    I KNOW THAT FEELING. Lately it seems like I’ve gone from losing it at my kids once or twice a month to once or twice a day. Over really dumb stuff too. Sigh. I’m glad no carpets were harmed and that things are okay now.

  • mamalang

    I get it. Three kids (plus a husband that might as well be my fourth) and a full time job…I struggle to keep things up in the air all the time.

    But…I also think that it’s good for our kids to see us lose our cool every once in awhile. That’s life, and it happens to humans. By apologizing and discussing it with her after, you’re helping her to learn how to handle it herself as she grows up. We’ve all been taught to think that grown ups should never lose their cool, or be upset, in front of their children, and that’s just wrong.

    And honestly, some day she won’t remember it, or it will become one of those funny stories we all tell. :)

  • Jen Wilson

    I completely lost it (into tears and all) over a cake the other day, so you’re in good company! I can’t remember any other incidents specifically (I tend to block things out) but oh my word, I’ve lost it over tiny things way too often. You’re definitely not alone here. Thankfully kids are resilient!

  • Sonja

    The whole ‘working at home while your child is also present’ thing pretty much makes you a hero in my eyes. I’ve been trying to work through an online job training, and I have lost it multiple times over the last two weeks, sending my kids OUT OF THIS ROOM NOW MAMA NEEDS TO LISTEN TO THIS JUST GO PLAY WITH ALL THOSE TOYS YOU ALWAYS SPREAD ALL OVER THE HOUSE.
    Oy. You’re in good company.
    (Also: Penelope Cruz, not Cruise. Even though she was dating Tom Cruise for a while, making me secretly hope she’d marry him and become Penelope Cruz-Cruise. Alas.)

  • Tamara

    I hear you! I’m a constant juggler. I call it juggling cats…I can keep them all up but I’m going to get a few, if not many, injuries in the process! Thankfully they are little and heal quickly. Just remember you are amazing, and no matter what….FABULOUS!!!!

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