April 02, 2017
Posted By: Shaunescy
Today, I woke up tired. Last night I went to sleep after midnight. I spent the evening getting my kids taken care of, feeding the baby, grading homeschool assignments and kissing boo-boos. It’s 9am, I have nursed my baby, made a pile of buttered toast (that my dog stole), pressed a pot of coffee (sitting untouched), taken the dogs out and am finally sitting down to drink my first cup of joe.
Soon I will begin task mastering my day, starting the kids school, soothing a tantruming toddler, attending a business meeting and spending time working on paperwork for the job I am paid to do.
On top of the million regular “to-dos” on my list I will make the holidays amazing for the tiny humans I live with by teaching them to make candy, decorate cookies, sing carols, attend holiday parties and and finish finding the perfect gifts. I will also sort the pile of holiday gifts sent to the kids from grandparents who live across the country. They are piled around the house, sitting in smiling brown boxes with the labels torn off. This means I don’t know who sent what and what is for who. I will wrap the presents the grandparents sent (sent without wrapping paper but with a note “Can you please wrap this?), they will be wrapped and bowed one hour before they skype and unwrap them.
Thankfully, I am off for three weeks from my part-time job. This is the first time I admitted to the world around me that I needed a break. This means I may get some sleep. But it also means I will be plagued with guilt over admitting I can’t do it all.
People ask me “How do you get so much done?” they smile and look at me with amazement, as if I should be emulated. I always laugh and say “I don’t sleep”. I laugh, they laugh, we laugh. Except, it’s really not funny because I should really sleep more.
This morning I woke up frustrated because my partner went to bed early, leaving me to put the kids to bed. But he is working 12 hour shifts and is too tired to do much else. And I am frustrated because that seems appropriate but I need him to do more. Because I am the only one who even attempts to clean the house, does homeschool and prepares almost all the meals. I am frustrated because when I say “Lets hire some help cleaning” the response is “why pay someone to do something we can do ourselves?” Maybe I should send myself the bill.
We are in the age of kids needing rides to meetings and events and I am navigating that mainly by myself.
And then I come back to… I am tired. I am stretched to my limits. My life is go, go go. My work is give give, give I am tired and fill up on coffee and chocolate refills scattered throughout the day.
Sometimes, I want to just walk away and give up. You can do six things well or a dozen things half-way. And I wonder which one am I doing. I am only one person, who is being pulled in every direction with so much needing to get done. And yet, I am sitting on the couch frozen, not doing anything as my to-do lists gets longer. I am wanting someone to come and save me from this chosen life. Wishing I had thought about all of this, thought about what marriage, kids and motherhood meant.
I am sitting here drinking coffee flavored with tears and Irish cream because it’s how I get my morning going. I may not get a shower today but I will drink a lovely cup of room temperature joe. I am trying to hide my tears because if not one of my kids will ask “What’s wrong?” and I will struggle not to scream “Don’t do this… you will sacrifice all of yourself and will compromise everything you are because once there are tiny humans involved priorities change. And life is about trying to make them happy, make things good for them and keep them alive… Don’t do this because you will wake up and drink Irish cream coffee on the go instead of eating lunch… don’t do this, don’t listen to the happily ever after notion, don’t picture the sun setting on rocking chairs”.
Instead I will just answer truthfully and quietly with “I am just tired”. The day has just begun and I am tired, I’ve been tired for over a decade.
People, who love me, continually suggest I just put something down and thin out my schedule. And I realize the suggestion isn’t an offer to pick anything up or an offer to help. This leaves me feeling left without a right choice because what do I put down? The kids school? Cooking? Cleaning? Work? The activities that make me feel alive? The ones that make me smile? Because no one else will pick what I need to put down.
As I type this out my kids are circling asking “What are we doing today?” while everything pile up around me, suffocating me silently. Things should be different, this isn’t what I pictured and I wonder if I should just let go of my expectations… which feel unrealistic at best… such as help. Should I just let go and fall into acceptance? Is this what it is and what it’s all about? At least then I won’t be disappointed. Maybe I should just go quietly into the night, no longer screaming silently because I have given up, er accepted.
And then my baby crawls into my lap and her chubby fingers pat my cheek. My teen slides in the blanket I have been hiding under and puts his head on my shoulder and my edge softens. The tears slowly slide down my cheeks and my heart suddenly is so full it wants to burst. I receive a text from my partner which reads “Hope you’re having a good morning and that your coffee is hot”.
And I melt…
I look at this life around me and I see how truly amazing my life is. I am not alone. No one said this would be easy, it’s certainly not. And I am glad no one warned me or said “Don’t do this…”
And I remember…
I chose this. I wanted this life, this chaos this insanity. And I do this well.
My daughter walks over and asks “Are you okay?” and I softly reply “Yes”. She then asks “Can I get you anything?” And I reply “How about a hot cup of joe?”
I realize something, I realize every mother needs a community, a tribe and a support system. Mine begins with my family and extend through The Motherhood.