You know that feeling when you haven’t vacuumed for a while and a piece of dried up dinner bit gets stuck to your sock, then you walk around with it for a long time, aware of the little lump it creates with each step, mildly annoyed, but not motivated enough to do anything about it?
That’s the place I’m in right now. There are lots of little figurative bits creating frustrations, but I struggle to find the energy to work on them. The sum of their parts has proven great enough to stymie me.
My daughter has had her pacifier for too long. We took it away for a week. It started out well enough and then promptly ended when she started waking at 1 am and screaming uncontrollably for 2 hours. Do I have the energy to fix that? Maybe if it were my only problem, but as it stands now, no.
My oldest son is noticeably neglected feeling, and it’s affecting other parts of his life. When can I fix that? In between the diaper changes, breakfast making, lunch making, and morning grooming, or do I tell him he can’t play with his friends after school because he has to hang out with his mommy instead? And, what do I do with the other two kids who will pitch inevitable fits because they’re not in the mix?
My husband is noticeably neglected. How to keep my eyes open past 8:30 pm, so that we can talk about something other than all the shit we need to work on?
My youngest son has started having tantrums and retreating to the stairwell closet when I refuse him a pre-dinner snack or a post-dinner dessert. We both know he’s not going to eat shit if I cave. And, he’s been telling me he wants a new mommy before he slams the door to the closet. This was the kid that liked me the most, as far as I could tell.
At all times, at least two out of three of my children do not like meat, beans, cheese, eggs, or rice. Wtf am I supposed to cook for these people??
I’ve had a big kid home sick from school for 3 of the last 4 weeks, thereby removing the bulk of my beloved, and entirely necessary for my sanity, toddler naptime respite, my only personal time. Can you say angst?
I’ve been allowing myself to derive too much of my self-worth from social media responses to this God-forsaken blog, and that’s a recipe for depression.
I think I have to go back to work, and I don’t wanna.
And like 10 other things.
Deep breath. And another. And another.
On adequate sleep, and maybe with one or two less kids, these things wouldn’t feel insurmountable. Getting laundry done, tidying the house, and making all the food for all the people seems like the only stuff that can make the list. How in the hell are we supposed to do that AND be good moms? No, really, I’m asking… how? Somebody tell me, please, cuz I’m at a loss. Being a housekeeper is a full-time job. I can’t not feed the children. They have to wear clothes. There’s nowhere to cut the fat from, cuz motherhood is notoriously fat-free.
I don’t want to just get by with “good enough.” I don’t want to have to choose between spending time with my son and cooking dinner. I don’t want to collapse into a chair and scroll through Instagram, instead of tackling the challenges in my life, because it’s the only thing that’s underwhelming and requires nothing of me.
Let’s talk about this. Let’s have a dialogue about how women are supposed to pull off the ever-growing, downright unrealistic, expectations of us as mothers, while also working out, eating well, and maintaining friendships.
For me, for today, I’m just going to pick one thing and chip away at it, moment by moment, with quiet resolve, reminding myself that my childhood hero, Wonder Woman, was only as real as her invisible jet. Cuz that’s all I’ve got. The rest of the list can wait, neatly folded up and tucked into my back pocket, because it simply has to. I can’t be all things to all people, but I can be one thing in each moment, and through the powers of intention and mindfulness, I can do my damnedest to make those moments count for something.