*Caution: Bit ‘O Language.
Some days you’re the bird, and some days you’re the worm. Lately, I’ve been getting my ass beat in so hard that the worm is laughing at me. I feel like I’m drowning in tasks and appointments and training and dishes and laundry and good eyebrows and… did just reading that give you anxiety? Holy no post! Many apologies to my amazing followers who I have neglected in this strange, strange week.
Before I became a mother, I had so many misconceptions about parenting. I’ll always be calm. I’ll always have time to home-cook meals. I’ll always have time to tidy up, play with the cats, and still look my best. I’ll always be put together. Well, why wouldn’t I?
‘Cuz at some point you kinda just learn not to give a shit.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I would be too tired as a mom, I wouldn’t need a job. My mom always did her hair, her makeup, checked herself 20 times before we went into anywhere. Dinner was always planned and prepped, the errands were always done timely, aaaaaaaand she worked. Not saying mi madre was flawless, …but everything kind of flowed together seamlessly, effortlessly, and 9 times out of 10, perfectly.
Then there’s me: if I don’t sneeze directly after applying mascara, then that little air bubble sloshes the coffee in my travel mug out of the cup and onto my face while I’m trying to take a sip at the stoplight. Hooray.
Before I was a mother, my house was always clean.
But alas, times change, and you have to keep up.
I know that deep down we all want to feel a little like WonderWoman (I’ll take up being an Amazonian badass any day of the week), but there comes a point when you have to realize you just can’t do it all. I know what you’re thinking “yeah ok no lol,” but hear me out. Letting go, relinquishing control…. good Christ, the DISHES CAN WAIT!
So with that massive intro out of the way, let’s focus on one single principle: you are the only you that can do the things you do so if you can’t get to it right now it’s just going to have to wait until you can, and if that means sweeping with one hand, washing with the other, plating dinner on your head, and turning bedtime stories with your toes, then do it. Now, let’s take that dank, heavy statement and pack it away into the deepest, darkest hole we can find. Bury it with negativity, and set it on fire with confidence.
For someone with an impressive stress threshold, I was at a limit I never thought I’d reach.
It is so much easier said than done, but you’ve built a team for a reason. You have to use your voice and let them know you need help. Whether that help is your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, mom, dad, or neighbor… reach out. I have the most supportive husband in the world, literally. (I mean, figuratively obviously, but to emphasis the hyperbolic significance of this statement I am going to use “literally” figuratively.) For the last six years of our marriage, my husband has been begging me to sit the fuck down. “What are you doing in there?” “Can’t that wait?” “Seriously, come relax.” And my immediate response is, “well, sure I’ll come sit down, but when I am sitting who is doing these things? No one. Right. So instead of relaxing and having crap pile up on me while the timeline closes, I’m going to keep going.”
I got to a point where I was incredibly stressed out. For someone with an impressive stress threshold, I was at a limit I never thought I’d reach. I got to a point where I began to resent who I was. I was quick to anger; I had a very short fuse. Matthew would straight look at me, “you have been cleaning for hours. Come play with El.” I would quickly, “yeah, I will, I’m almost done, just a minute.” El would be long in bed and out before I finished my routine. That’s when it hit me.
How many moments am I missing because I can’t stop?
Our house isn’t really that chaotic, by any standard. Maybe I need to cool it a bit. (Then I think about like the elephant video and ABC video and Count’s dance party, and what if I had been cleaning during that?)
So one night, I just kind of went to bed with the sink full of dishes and toys scattered all over the house. By the time I got good and comfortable, and holy shit was I exhausted… my OCD kicked in and I could feel myself twitching trying to conquer the thought of waking up to a messy house. I fought over it, scrolled Pinterest for several minutes, and passed into a deep slumber. Much to my surprise, I woke up in the morning.
The world had not ended during my relaxation. For some reason, this empowered me to spend more time with my girl and less time obsessing. Before I was a mother, my house was always clean. My dishes were always put away, and the floors were always swept. But alas, times change and you have to keep up. The only one that needs impressing is that little girl that sees you as her world. When it comes down to it, I would much rather Elylah say, “omg mom always had us painting, popsicle-sticking, or building some silly tower” than “man, I wish my mom had done more things with us; she was always busy.”
It has been a personal struggle, but I find that El and I are much better people (and therefore better to those around us) if I don’t let Doc McStuffins babysit all the time. At the end of the day, I care way more about El’s opinion of me than of anyone who could pop in and judge my crappy housework. ❤ So what’s that mean for me? For the love of experiencing my sweet El before she flies the coop, the dishes can wait.