Four kids in, and I’m struggling.
I am so beyond blessed. I do get this. In fact, there are moments daily when I say to myself or to Math Man, “Look at how much we have.”
But reality dictates that life will get sucky here and there, and I will struggle.
Our baby is 6 months old today, and guess who hasn’t had a date night since before she was born.
This is sort of our fault. I didn’t try too hard to get her to take a bottle, and she barely is willing to take a cup. This means that I can only be gone for so many hours at a time (read: 2 or 3 max) before she freaks out and needs me.
Couple that with the fact that we have 2 rambunctious boys who need almost constant supervision and a 10 year old who can’t be expected to babysit them all, and it’s hard to find a sitter.
Sometimes, I lament my situation to friends and family.
I’m working from home doing basically the same amount of work — wait, probably more work — than I ever did in my full time face-to-face job. Amidst bad napping days, preschool pickup, and begging the children to eat without smearing yogurt all over our it-used-to-look-nice kitchen table, I’m attempting to grade papers, organize and facilitate professional development, help with social media, plan the next week’s lesson, support my essential oil team, build a business, and somehow or another find a moment to eat lunch or take a shower.
I don’t eat well most days. And somehow, the last few days, I’ve actually found a moment to slap some eyeliner under my eyes so I won’t look like the Night of the Living Dead has taken over my house.
Books used to be something I enjoyed. I could escape into whatever fictional land and read for hours on end. I haven’t done that in at least two years. And I miss it.
I also miss me.
I know, I know. My children are an extension of me. And I shouldn’t be sad that I’m sacrificing my time for them.
But I am.
And I’m tired of people saying, “It’ll be ok.”
Because I know it will be ok. I know this.
It’s just as bad as telling me to calm down. I know that I’m supposed to calm down. But I’m blazing angry in the moment, and telling me the obvious isn’t going to help me.
Neither is telling me that things will turn out just fine. Because I know they will. They always do.
Once upon a time, I lived through a personal hell that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. In those moments, I truly didn’t think life would ever be ok. I had a smiling baby keeping me afloat, but it was horrifying.
That’s over, and nothing that I “deal with” these days would ever hold a candle to the pain and anguish I felt.
But as the cliche says, “It’s all relative.” And right now, my days often stink – – due to dirty diapers, moldy laundry I forgot, dog happenings, or a bad day of not getting work done.
So please, don’t tell me, “It’ll be ok.”
I know it will. But that doesn’t help me in the moment.
Instead, remember what it was like to be in my shoes. When babies were crawling all over you and you wondered when you’d get to apply deodorant again or shave your legs and feel pretty for you.
Please take a second and remember the disappointment you felt at not losing the weight like you thought you would because you were sustaining yourself on any food you could find that took little time to prepare.
Remember that you, too, were in my shoes, and you probably didn’t think you’d ever climb out.
It will be ok. But let’s allow each other to have our emotions. To have a pity party here and again. To scream and cry and resent and just feel.
Then, when it is ok, and we’re able to leave the house for more than an hour or two, we’ll talk over margaritas and laugh about how hard we used to think it was.