Sometimes you just need a break. Unfortunately, young moms don’t get very many of those. I did sort of get one yesterday after a mini-nervous breakdown on my part prevented my husband from going to his softball game. However, during that “break” I still made everyone dinner, helped give the kids their bath, read the bedtime story, and put the baby to bed. I also took a “break” on Sunday while Eddie took the kids to church. I wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t go, but during that “break” I wrote out our weekly meal plan, went to the store, carried all the groceries up two flights of steps, put them all away, and drove back to church to pick everyone up because we are down a car while Eddie’s in in the shop. I’m not complaining, well, ok, I am, but I also know those things all need to be done and it’s my job to do them.
All of these tasks seem so trivial when I look at them written down like this, but when you are raising young children, particularly when one of them has special needs, it’s the day-to-day tasks that get to be the most overwhelming.
Take today for example…
I woke up at 5:30, gave the baby her bottle, went back to bed until 6:30 when she cried again, put her in bed with me for another hour, then finally woke up for good at 7:30. Then I got myself dressed, made the kids breakfast, got Nicholas dressed, changed the baby, realized the OT was coming for Nick’s first appointment of the day at 8:30, turned on the tv for him while I frantically cleaned the kitchen (because that’s where they have their session and 3-day old dishes don’t make for the best ambiance), let the dog out, packed their bag for our next trip, ate a bowl of cereal, checked my email, kept the baby & the dog out of the way and tried to actively participate in his OT session, rushed to get shoes & socks on everyone & gave them a quick snack, drove to play therapy, got a call from my sister on the way saying my grandmother has passed away, dropped of Nicholas, took the baby to the bank to get money to pay the play therapist who does not take credit cards, went to Starbucks with the baby to break a $20 and get myself a hot chocolate, picked up Nicholas, came home, gave the baby a a bottle, changed her, put down for a nap, changed Nicholas, put on a movie for him to wind him down before his nap…as I write this it is about noon.
(Had to take a break here because I got phone calls from my dad & my aunt.)
Ok, I’m back. Anyway, the point is that, surprisingly, the things that overwhelm me the most during the day are not the big, daunting tasks, like the fact that I need to take my three-year-old to psychotherapy. It’s the dishes, the dust, the damn dog. The thought process is more like, “Really, it’s not enough that I need to drag an infant and a toddler to x-amount of appointments today? That my grandmother just died? That I’m sick? That I just sacrificed my business? That the baby was up x-amount of times last night? That in addition to all these issues I just took on a part-time job? I still have to deal with this?“
And the truth is, yes, no matter how many appointments need to be scheduled in one day, no matter how sick or exhausted or overwhelmed I feel, there will still be dirty dishes, an obnoxious dog to discipline, and countless other tasks that no one else is going to do for me. I’m still holding out hope that one day I will come home from a doctor or therapy appointment with the kids and magic elves will have cleaned the house and put away the laundry and will offer to babysit while I take a nap. Until then I will take solace in the fact that it is Tuesday, and if I can get the kids to bed on time I will have a solid 3 hours to sit on my butt and watch American Idol, Glee, and Parenthood. Maybe I’ll even get up during the commercial breaks to put away the toys that are scattered around the living room or do the dinner dishes, but probably not. Because I happen to think that after all of the crazy things that are happening recently, I deserve a break.
And I really hope that the rest of my family and friends, particularly my sister & aunt Cathi, take one too.