Friday, June 14, 2013

Coffee & Guilt

This is now the 4th time I have sat down to attempt to work on this "sigh". Going into the why's is laughable and I have exactly 10 minutes to finish this.
Tonight was the third night I spanked my disrespectful toddler and cried my way out of her room (granted, she was warned the spanking was coming and welcomed it). That was tonight. The rest of this post was written at least a week before with little to no changes in weariness.

This is one of the first drawings Bella ever did about a year ago. I keep it on my desk and when I look at it lately, I feel like it's a pretty good portrait of myself. Wide eyed, stumbling around, pokey lines above my head. A little topheavy. I wonder if she knew she was foreshadowing.


Ok. This blog, "To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud" has been shared on my Facebook over and over, over a period of several weeks now. And this must be the hipster in me but when something starts to surface and get shared constantly, I roll my eyes and refuse to click on it. I know. I'm supposedly a grown up.
But when my husband posted it to my wall, that was when I finally clicked the link. And definitely found it deserving of the hundreds of times it appeared on my newsfeed.

He uses the phrase "bone tired" several times and I can't find a better description for this season of my life. This season for me is driven by fumes.

 I get by day to day on coffee and guilt. 

The guilt has so many layers, but usually what's lying at the surface is guilt over not being the mom I had planned to be. I'm stressed, busy, exhausted, dirty. My 3 year old needs my love, engagement and play. And constant conversation. OH MY GOSH SHE NEVER STOPS! I have to take a break and post a conversation we had on grocery day, which is guaranteed my "Mama Needs Wine" day.

"We going to Nana and Papa's?"
Exasperated "No, Bella, we're going to the store. You've already asked me and I've told you that."
"We going after nap?"
"No, Bella. No. Max and Miles are coming over tonight, after nap. We talked about that too."
"They coming over now?"
"Nooo. Tonight."
"After nap?"
"After MY nap?"
"Bella, yes. I need 5 minutes peace."
"They coming for lunch?"
"No dinner. 5 minutes peace, please."
"They coming later?"
"....Bella. Here's some books."
"Mama. We going to the store?" She asks dramatically annoyed because we're sitting in the parking lot.
"5 minutes peace."
My 5 minutes peace was used to write it down.

So, my 3 year old needs a lot. My 5 month old needs held, interaction and breastmilk. (UGH the BREASTFEEDING! The wonder and beauty of it and the gross time suck ((haha, suck))! It's another thing I feel guilty about but I really dislike breastfeeding. If I were a grateful mother I would just love breastfeeding. I feel gross when I breastfeed or pump. This is a giant ramble inside a parenthesis.) My husband needs attention, praise, companionship and, you know, the other thing. My house needs to be cleaned, de-cluttered and actually put together. The cats end up ignored completely.

I end up annoyed by the needing. There, I said it. 

The WORLD has constant needs from me and my own aren't getting met.
And there's the problem.

So, here's what I had to change.
I made a list. What relaxes me and what recharges me. When I'm relaxed I can do the things that recharge me. When I'm recharged, my needs are easier to meet or are already met. Then I can more peacefully function through this world and the season its placed me in. (I feel so cheesy saying that, but for real.)

And in this season I never dreamed I could be this tired. This thin, this easily worn. Today, I don't remember if I pumped or had lunch. I yelled at Bella. Played store. I threw a tantrum alongside a defiant toddler. Averted glances from strangers as they acknowledged my elevated and exasperated tone in the store. (I blame those cussing stupid car carts- they make everything worse.) I gave many hugs and kisses. Took lots of pictures. Snuggled a squirmy Isla while she grasped my shirt and buried her face into my chest (heart melting).

I've said it before and I'll say it again - parenthood is absolutely overwhelming. You sit there in total awe as you watch your littlest do something for the first time in her little life. You sit enveloped in the greatest of love when your daughter asks you if she's your friend and you're heartbroken when you can honestly tell her 'yes'. You break down crying at least once a week, whether you want to or not. For better or worse.

Parenting is the best thing I've ever done. But damnit, I'm exhausted. And those sky scraper standards are tumbling. I'm letting go and falling with the debris.