Finding Breath

Posted on | August 30, 2019 | 1 Comment

I lost it this morning.

I forgot how to breathe, how to focus… how to be me in the whirlwind of my life.

I don’t know if it was because my kids were whiny or if it was lack of sleep for, let’s face it, years on end. Maybe it was that the first thing I read this morning was a slap on the hand from a member of a profession I admire, alleging I didn’t admire them enough. Maybe it was the back talk from my ten year old. Maybe it was the soreness from yesterday’s yoga class and maybe it was just because it’s Friday at the end of a long week. But for whatever reason, I lost it this morning and I don’t know where I might find it to put it all back together again.

There are days when working parenthood feels like a breeze. You get up, the kids listen. They eat their breakfasts and brush their teeth and soft mood lighting spills through the room as they put their shoes on without complaint. There are mornings when the house is clean, the birds are singing, and you even remember to eat your own breakfast before you head out the door.

But there are also mornings like today, when it’s the last day of the month and the paycheck you just received is already doled out. Mornings where your ten your old begs to be picked up early and your two year old wants to hold your legs as you walk around the kitchen. Mornings when the baby is inconsolable and spits up on every outfit you put on. Mornings when there are dishes in the sink from the night before and toys scattered everywhere like an obstacle course of Mickey Mouse characters. Mornings when you’re glad you keep mascara at  your office because you cried it all off before you even arrived.

I don’t feel really present in my life some days. I feel like I’m floating on the outskirts, tidying up the boundaries and dusting off the edges of the life I will have one day. When I’m rested. When I’m thinner. When I’m happier. When I’m more equipped to handle the life that sits inside the box I haven’t yet opened. It’s as though I believe I’ll wake up one day and decide “Today is the day I become a competent adult” and that will be the day I can handle it all. That magical day will be the day that I discover everything is easier. Everything is cleaner. Everything runs smoothly. Everyone is happy.

I let myself get lost in a world of what needs to be done and what hasn’t come up yet. I get knee deep in all the “have tos” and “must dos” and I can’t seem to find my way up for a moment of what I truly need.

Breath.

So I lost it this morning. On myself and my kids. I lost it on the pressures I put on myself to be everything to everyone, to do everything for everyone.

Life isn’t supposed to be this hard, is it?

It isn’t supposed to feel so heavy. It isn’t supposed to feel like the weight of everyone’s expectations are pressing you down into the sharp corners of a life you’ve preserved there, in that box beneath you.

It should be just…Breathing.

In and out. Up and down. Over and around. Day after day. Embracing the oxygen of the love around you. Remembering why you do all the things you do.

It’s your life, after all. It’s just the only one you have.

Inhaling.

Exhaling.

Opening the box and falling, letting that unexpected life wash over and through you until you realize…

You’ve been living it all along. You just forgot to breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.

Being Right.

Posted on | August 7, 2019 | 3 Comments

Since the trauma and horror of this weekend, I’ve been processing. I’ve sat down at the keyboard a dozen times to write but couldn’t find the words.

People are dying.

Children are dying.

And it’s happening because we’re too afraid to do anything that might disrupt the status quo. We’re too afraid to do anything more than shake our heads and fold our hands in prayer. We’re too afraid to stand up and fight back with what we say and more importantly, what we hear.

I live in the South.

There are at least three times a day when I’m confronted with opportunities to set people straight. There are co-workers and clients and acquaintances in my life who say things that I shouldn’t listen to. They make jokes I shouldn’t put up with. They use terms that are culturally or racially insensitive. They display racism or antisemitism or one of the other “isms” that in theory make my skin crawl but in reality I just plaster a smile on and walk away.

This morning on the way to school, J was talking about a kid who said he was over five feet tall but only came up to J’s chin. He said “I told him he couldn’t possibly be that tall because he wasn’t even as tall as me and I’m five feet tall.” The two of them got in a big argument about it and guys… it pains me to say that I told my son that sometimes it’s more important to be happy than to be right.

“You don’t have to show him he’s wrong, buddy. You can just let him be wrong and know you’re right.”

And as the words left my mouth, I felt good about them. I felt like I was right. It’s not important to fight back all the time, I said to myself and my nearly 10 year old. It’s important to just know what’s right in your head and go on with your life.

But the truth is, that’s wrong. That’s so very wrong that it pains me that I told my child that. It’s the result of the privilege that I have on a daily basis of being able to compartmentalize the -isms that I’m faced with because they don’t affect me. The ability to walk away from the conflict is a luxury I was born with and one I quite clearly don’t deserve.

We’re in a critical time in this country. We’re faced with injustice daily in the way people talk about our neighbors and in the way they act towards our friends. We’re in a crisis that can only be resolved by giving up our “happy” in exchange for being right. For saying what’s right. For doing what is right.

I can’t continue to shift uncomfortably in my chair while a client says racist things to me on the phone.

I can’t continue to turn away when my neighbor refers to my homosexual friends in inappropriate terms.

I can’t continue to send thoughts and prayers while young, white men shoot up churches and schools and movie theaters and shopping centers.

We have a crisis on our hands, friends. And it’s the result of all of us pasting on smiles and ignoring the elephants in front of us. I’m a Southerner. Pasting on smiles is what we do. It’s why racism still lives here. It’s why I’d never heard an antisemitic term of any kind until moving to Georgia. It’s why our boys grow up thinking it’s okay to take photographs where they’re pretending to choke women or throwing up Nazi salutes. Because we’ve pasted on smiles and said “Well, that’s just a JOKE. Don’t take it so seriously!”

We have become a country of opposites… white and black, male and female, Republican and Democrat. And one hates the other because it’s “other” and misunderstood. But what we really are, what we must really and truly understand is this:

We are a country of wrong and right.

There’s no middle ground. No “Saturday afternoon” racists. If you use derogatory terms to describe your fellow man, you are wrong. If you believe that the right to bear arms is more important than the right to be safe, you are wrong. If you believe that immigrants can be illegal, you are wrong.  Actions can be illegal… not people. If you believe that having brown skin makes you less of a citizen or more frightening in a traffic stop, you are wrong. If you believe that women are somehow less than men, you are wrong. If you believe that Christianity is the only “right” way of life, you are wrong.

And if you tell your son that it’s more important to keep the peace than to stand up for what is right?

You are wrong.

Running Away

Posted on | July 31, 2019 | 1 Comment

Perhaps it makes me a bad parent but there is a quiet, hidden part of me that spins and twirls and pulls at the thought of running away from my life until the idea unravels into unexplainable tears. It’s a silent pulse in my soul that rolls in unexpectedly and nearly takes my breath away with how hard I choke down the thought. After all, how do you say “I want to run away” without it sounding like you’re giving up on your life as a working mother?

I don’t want to give up. I just want to run away.

Temporarily.

Those of us in it know that Motherhood is a lot. Those of us knee deep in “9-5” (or 7:30-6) jobs know all too well that working motherhood can be entirely too much. Because at the end of the day, there are still dishes to wash and mouths to feed and messes to clean, just as there would be if you were home all day. Sure you get the break from your children, but you don’t get the break from your house. Or laundry. Or packing lunches. There are certainly days when I think it would be easier to just disappear for a while. To wake up in stillness. To drink coffee without answering dozens of questions or wrestling on baby clothes. To stretch languidly on a porch overlooking water so blue it hurts my eyes.

I let myself imagine the looks on faces when they realize I’m gone, realization dawning on them that now they will have to do and clean and care for themselves. The realization that clothes needing to be washed will not just magically clean, dinners won’t just magically cook. The calendar keeper has gone and no one knows where to be or when to be there.

Clients would call and call and never get a response… suddenly understanding how it feels to beg and plead for an answer from a stone wall.

Everything would come to a sudden and uncomfortable halt, my cell phone ringing on a forgotten table as I clicked nails against a keyboard, writing the stories that spin in my mind.

I want time to remember what it feels like to just be me… just a woman. Just a writer. Just a person. Not someone’s mother, not someone’s food source, not someone else’s anything. I suppose that happens in 18-22 years? When I’m too old to remember my face without lines, my voice without the halting lilt of age. I don’t want to turn old and realize I forgot to be young because I was so busy being busy with soccer practices and daycare drop offs and worrying about the last time I dusted the back of the television.

Oh but I couldn’t leave. And even if I could, I wouldn’t stay gone. There is too much love to keep me tethered here, wiping the runny noses, sweeping the dirty floors, and answering the client calls. I am fortunate to have a family that needs me, a job that needs me, a world that needs me.

But every so often… I just need me, too.

House Hunters

Posted on | July 29, 2019 | 2 Comments

I returned to work from maternity leave two Mondays ago, as luck would have it, I found a house I wanted to look at on the same day. It was for sale by owner and in the neighborhood I really hoped to be in. The back yard had a pool and the house sat on nearly two acres of wooded land.

It seemed like it could be a perfect fit for a family like mine.

Feeling very put together after my first day at work, I insisted I could make it to the house by 5:30 with all three boys. Banks was to meet us there at the same time. We’ve been half-heartedly looking for a larger house for quite some time, knowing that eventually our three boys will outgrow their two small bedrooms and need more space to spread out. I say half-heartedly because moving is a chore no matter when you do it, but moving with a newborn and a two year old sounds like a violation of the Geneva Convention.

In any event, I was rocking along. I worked a full day back. I picked up the boys and it was with a large smile that I pulled into the driveway of the house. J announced it was “the ultimate hide and seek house” based on the curving drive up through the wooded area and the youngest two were quietly watching a movie. Or so I thought. We parked and I got out of my sweet new minivan, popping the side doors open with a flourish because honestly, if you’re going to rock a minivan you should full on ROCK the minivan. I take my minivan life very seriously, now.

I got the baby out then walked over to unlatch C from his car seat. Inexplicably, he was asleep.

If you know anything about two year olds, you know that when they fall asleep at 5:30 during a ten minute car ride, it can only mean trouble. Either they are sick or they have a secret plan to ruin your entire week by never sleeping at night again. Nonetheless, we were at the house so I shrugged and Banks lifted him up and we headed over to greet the owners.

The owners, we’ll call them Jack and Jill for the sake of their privacy, were so fun. We immediately hit it off with them, laughing and joking as they showed us through their multi-purpose garage and into their lovely home. We chatted about mutual friends and I was feeling pretty good about the house, the owners, and … lets face it… myself. I mean, I was rocking this mom of three thing. How hard could it be, right? You get up, you go to work, you go look at a house… I was feeling like I had everything together in fierce “star of my own movie” fashion. In the background of my now playing life movie, Geto Boys were singing and I was feeling damn good being such a gangsta.

We stepped into the dining room while Jill pointed out the office in front of us and I heard a strange noise.

Was it Banks?

Was it J being goofy?

Did the baby spit up?

I turned to Banks to ask, only to find him wide-eyed staring at me. C was leaning back, eyes red, and I thought for a minute he was going to throw a tantrum of epic proportions. But then I realized what was happening. I did the only thing I could think of to do… I stuck my hand under his mouth.

And then the vomit started.

In the lovely dining room of these absolute strangers.

It hit the floor with a splat. Banks pulled his shirt up into a makeshift bucket and caught most of it as it billowed out of our two year old as though we were staring down into the mouth of hell.

“Oh God,” I helpfully said, watching the scene unfold. “He’s throwing up.”

Both Jack and Jill were the kindest about the whole situation, having children themselves, but I was downright mortified. In the back of my head, Geto Boys silenced and Chris Rock started singing about a circus at the top of his lungs. Banks was covered in throw up. C was crying and covered in throw up. J was helpfully saying “Gross. So Gross. There’s puke everywhere” over and over. Jill took the baby. Jack offered new clothes for Banks. C stripped down to his diaper on their back porch.

Oh friends. Just when you think you have life together, you find yourself in a stranger’s home, cleaning vomit off their dining room floor.

This is my life now.

 

I Could Live With That

Posted on | July 26, 2019 | 1 Comment

I’ve always thought too much about the future.

Whether it was as a fourth grader, worried about what comes after death, or as a college student worried about what comes after graduation, I’ve always had my mind firmly focused on what comes next. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will it hurt? What exactly IS the next big thing on the horizon that I should be worried about or looking forward to?

I think it’s part of what happens in our society now… there are so many boxes to check.

Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed
Education Level
Number of children
Rent or Own

Our lives are pared down into pre-printed forms that ask only the simplest questions, minimizing our greatest accomplishments and worst defeats into little more than bold print square boxes that hold check marks. “Okay, life. I’ve gotten married. Now what?”

It’s hard not to look for the next big thing when everything around you is pulsing with the reminder that there is more. “Tell me what’s new with you,” people say, and they mean “what new big thing has happened or is happening in your life?” No one wants to hear “Everything is exactly the same in my life and I’m super happy to be enjoying the status quo, thank you so much for asking.”

When you’re dissatisfied or restless, it’s important to look ahead. There is something better, the world whispers, and you believe it because certainly there’s something better than whatever sludge is pooling around your ankles. You’re too young or too old, too fat or too out of shape. You eat too many carbs. Your life would just be so much better if you bought this or joined that club or became friends with that person.

Everything around is geared to make us dissatisfied with whatever it is that we have. There’s always someone who has it better. There’s always someone with more. For most of my life, I’ve been caught at the edge of a long list of things to do or accomplish, a treadmill of life goals. I’ve been gripping the handles for dear life and barely keeping my feet in rhythm with the churn beneath me. One misstep and I’ll fall off but, gosh…  if I just run faster, I’m going to make it to the front of the line.

Lately I’ve realized there is, in fact, no front of the line. Life on this treadmill is just holding on to the handles and barely scraping by. It’s sweating so profusely that you absolutely have to buy the water resistant make up and all the fancy hair bands because otherwise, everything you’ve worked so hard for will smear and pool down and block you from seeing that elusive moment where you reach your stride. The moment it all becomes worth it. The moment you can start to just live.

Then one day, you wake up and realize that if you just let go… just let yourself slide off the back of the treadmill… you’re not going to miss anything. You can stand at the back and be perfectly happy, sweat-free, and sure, maybe a few pounds heavier… but no longer running to get nowhere.

I’ve let go of the handles this year. I’ve stepped off from chasing the long list of things I haven’t done yet. Because life is not about catching up to what anyone else has. It’s not about reaching and stretching and desperately needing something attainable or even unattainable on the horizon.

Life is about letting go. It’s about trusting that what you have is what you need. It’s about a slow, calm, stretch of morning with a cup of coffee while three sons weave magic just by breathing. It’s about all the moments in your life twirling into now… into this exact moment.

This moment when you have everything.

Life… before the asterisk of losing weight or making more money or publishing a book or buying a bigger house.

Just Life. Just in this moment. Just in this brief, content moment, where if nothing ever changed?

Yeah. You could live with that.

 

Facing Fears

Posted on | March 7, 2019 | 2 Comments

On Wednesday night, I dreamed of snakes.

Not just one or two, but lots of snakes… every where I went there were snakes. When I woke up, I was still scared to put my feet on the floor or use the restroom because I’m absolutely terrified of snakes.

I mentioned it to Banks and googled what dream snakes mean, which, if you’ve ever googled dream interpretations, you’ll know that it can basically mean absolutely anything. But the biggest thing seemed to be fear of some kind… some situation you’re not facing in your everyday life. I didn’t think much more about it, except to wonder what it was I was secretly afraid of.

Until 11:30 yesterday morning, when I thought about eating lunch right around the same time I thought that I might pass out. I was hot and dizzy and nauseated and I had a strange feeling that something was wrong. I waited it out. I stayed as still as possible. I took my blood sugar to make sure it wasn’t related to that. Around noon, I forced myself to eat anyway, but it didn’t seem to help. Finally, though I thought I was being silly, I called my OB office and talked to the pregnancy nurse. More to calm me down than out of actual concern, she scheduled me to come in and I drove over to wait.

I really thought they’d tell me I was overreacting.

I thought I’d be sent on my way with a pat on the back and a “Take it easy but you’re fine. Call anytime.”

Instead, I was hooked up to monitors and ultrasound and suddenly they were talking about steroid shots to prepare the baby’s lungs. Not the baby. My baby. Our baby. To prepare little B’s lungs. In case he came early… because things weren’t quite right.

After a little while on the monitors, they determined that I was not in labor but had what they referred to as “an irritable uterus,” among several other issues that were not fully explained.

“Good news,” the doctor said. “We won’t have to admit you today.”

I was sent to Labor and Delivery for a steroid shot, with the second scheduled for this afternoon and that was that. I was sent on my way.

No one told me what to expect. No one told me what any of this meant for the next three months that little B is supposed to stay tucked inside, safe and warm. No one gave me a list of what caused this or how to keep it from getting worse.

And so I came home. And lay on my sofa as C celebrated his second birthday on the floor beside me. I watched my family put together a Mickey Mouse train set and pondered all the many reasons any single part of me might possibly be “irritable” given the fact that I was pregnant at 41. I watched them laugh and joke and fuss at each other as C tried to slide down the train tracks, announcing “weeeeee” as it collapsed beneath his weight.

I just lay there, and watched. And pondered all the many things to fear are so much more terrifying than snakes.

For Andrew

Posted on | March 4, 2019 | No Comments

To date, I’ve lost two friends from my high school graduating class, the second so recent that it stings like a needle against the back of my eyelids whenever the thought occurs to me. The thought of him being gone is one of those thoughts I almost have to laugh at because how could HE be gone. Of all people. Why him?

Both of my friends who passed have been too big to die… big smiles, big hearts, big personalities. They filled a room with their presence. They did big and wonderful things in their communities. They were and are mourned on a daily and often hourly basis.

I have spent the weekend weeding through the grief I feel at Andrew’s passing, and searching out every bit of information I could about his last days or hours: needing to know when his big heart stopped, needing to know if he was alone or suffered. Another friend posted a link to an article the local news did on Andrew’s passing and I remembered something similar following Juma’s death. Two friends, so big that they warranted more than just a carefully worded obituary. Their deaths were news; their deaths needed to be heralded so that entire communities could mourn alongside their loved ones.

As often happens when someone I care for dies, thoughts drift uncomfortably toward my own unavoidable death. How and when will I leave this Earth, and what is the legacy I will leave behind? Will it be newsworthy? Will a community mourn for me as it does today for Andrew and as it did two or three years ago for Juma? Or will I be a brief two paragraph synopsis buried in the obituary column, searched out only by those who loved me or knew the moment was imminent.

I am not afraid of death, not when so many I love have paved the way ahead of me. But I am afraid of being forgotten… forgotten for the way I closed the door on high school friends when I got to college, and closed the door on many of my college friends when I graduated. I am afraid that my fear of being known, really known by anyone, has kept me from forging the sort of life-long friendships that I see in my classmates: the five or six who spent hours on the phone after Andrew’s passing, telling stories about his life and laughing through their tears. When I die, will I be remembered for doing … anything? Will I have made the impact I want to make on the world? Changed the things that need changing, worked towards the progress that needs to be achieved… or will I simply fade away in black and white sentences in the back pages of the Life section of a small town newspaper? Will my boys have a community to mourn with or will they sit huddled together in their small and personal memories?

It isn’t fair to lose Andrew. It wasn’t fair to lose Juma. Their families deserved more time. I deserved more time. I deserved to have the time to reconnect the way I intended. I should have been able to remember Andrew as more than a tight hug two years ago and a brief conversation about whether I still lived in the same house, and how our respective parents were doing. Andrew deserved more from me after 30 odd years of friendship. It shouldn’t take loss to remind me to live… to do and change and push for becoming the person I should have been all along: more caring, more understanding, more active, more… like Andrew.

So, my friend, I vow to do so. To get involved. To stop hiding in the corners of my fear of being disliked or misunderstood. I will be the person I’ve always strived to be.

For Andrew.

Because he should have more time to do all of that himself.

Fractured

Posted on | January 21, 2019 | 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was moving things around to set up a play area for C in our living room. I lifted one corner of our fairly light weight ottoman to look for something I thought was under it, and it slipped out from my hand and landed on the side of my right foot. It hurt, but I moved on.

There were things to do, you know.

I had a lot to do.

I finished the play area.

I went to work.

I did all the things I normally do with just a twinge of pain on the side of my foot. It didn’t seem worth mentioning. It was just a twinge.

So for several weeks, I made it work. I tried to stay off of it as much as I could until finally I told Banks that I thought maybe I’d bruised the bone and should see a doctor. I went this morning to the ortho and discovered a fracture to my “fifth metatarsal head” which is a fancy way of saying I broke the base of my pinky toe. I think.

I laughed a little over the PA asking if I needed pain medicine. How could I need pain medicine? I’d been walking on the same foot for several weeks without needing any. Yet as I got back to work I found my foot throbbing, as though the knowing made it worse.

It made me think about where we are as a country… this fractured state of being where everyone on the right thinks everyone on the left is out to get them and vice versa. Our country is fractured. Yet we’re moving along as though we aren’t, as though we just have twinges of pain and eventually they will heal.

But what if they don’t?

What if by ignoring the fracture, by walking through our lives as though this is just the new normal, we’re actually making it worse? What if what we need is a diagnosis… a firm understanding that yes, we are broken, so that the healing can begin?

Because right now, it feels a lot like we only think everyone else is broken. We’re not realizing that it’s all of us… every single one of us… who has to strap on a post op shoe and try to let the fracture heal.

It’s not a conservative or a liberal problem, America. It’s both.

We’re fractured.

And maybe if we admit the problem, even though it might hurt worse with recognition, we can finally start the process of healing. Otherwise?

We’re just walking around on a broken country and wondering why it hurts so bad.

A Tree House Would be Nice

Posted on | January 18, 2019 | 2 Comments

“It would be fun to have a yard where Dad and I could build a tree house,” J says from the back seat on the way to school. I catch a glimpse of him in the rear view mirror and smile. He’s still dreaming little kid dreams even as he’s perched on the edge of puberty. I watch him for a moment, the gap in his teeth, the unkempt hair, the wide and bright eyes… and I wonder how much longer it will be before these moments fade into distant memory.

There’s so much I want to tell him about what comes next… the angst, the anger, the feelings of confusion and often hopelessness. There’s so much I want to prepare him for, this boy who is so much like me that it hurts the spaces inside me I haven’t thought of since my own days of being 9, going on 10. There’s a sudden rush of feeling that maybe, just maybe, if I just stop the car, we can stay like this: me, the idolized mom and him the child who still believes that almost anything can be solved by a hug from me.  But we can’t stay where we don’t belong.

Growing up is hard work for both of us, the push and pull of holding on and letting go… the knowledge that they’re making mistakes that could be easily avoided if they’d just listen. I see his future so clearly. I see the sweetness in him that will one day be tossed aside or labeled a weakness. I see the intelligence that he’s so proud of now that may one day embarrass him. I see everything about this wonderful first born of mine… all his strengths and weaknesses… and I love them all. He is brilliant and funny, goofy and sweet, and he lacks a certain ability to mold to the situations around him. He is who he is at all times… there’s no holding back with this kid… and part of me thinks maybe I should tamp that down before someone else does. But that’s not my job. It is my job simply to love him and prepare him for the push back that will come with growing older, the push back that comes from others wanting him to conform. It’s not my job to help him conform… it’s my job to teach him to embrace and revel in his nonconformity… even when it scares me. Even when I worry that someone will come along behind me and tell him I’m wrong, and teach him to reign in all the special that makes him unique. I want so badly to shield him from all that comes next.

He grins at my reflection in the mirror and I grin back.

“A tree house would be nice,” I agree, and swallow down the choke of tears. I wink at him in the mirror then turn my attention to the road, to focus on enjoying the drive ahead of us.

The Struggle

Posted on | November 28, 2018 | 6 Comments

I’m struggling.

I’d like to tell you that I’m doing great; that things are rolling along in a wonderfully smooth manner and life is one great big joyous cloud of non-methamphetamine cotton candy…. but alas, that is not the case.

I come home every day exhausted. Not the normal “I just worked a 9 hour day at a desk” exhausted, but the bone tired that comes with age and pregnancy at 40 and abject amounts of fear and anxiety that sit on my heart and leave their mark on every moment of my day.

 

Most days I get up exhausted, no matter how long or how hard I sleep. I lose at least one thing on the path towards leaving for work each morning… sometimes keys, sometimes a cell phone, sometimes just my mind. I try not to snap at the kids on the way to school, but I don’t often succeed. I get to work tired. I work, exhausted, trying not to cry at the drop of a hat over someone saying “hello” to me. By lunch, I’m too nauseated to eat so I close my door and cry a little to relieve some of the pressure that seems to constantly sit at the back of my throat. Then it’s back to work for another four hours or so until I climb, exhausted, down the back stairs and into my car, drive the short drive across the street to pick up C, then head to get J.

If I’m lucky, I manage not to cry on the way home because it scares the kids. If I’m really lucky, I can focus enough on the drive home to plan something for dinner.

Banks usually doesn’t get home until 6 or 6:30, and by then everyone is fed and often bathed and in pajamas. I’m too exhausted to do much more than give him half a smile before starting the bedtime process at 7 for C, followed by 8 for J… both of whom still want Momma to handle all the night time rituals. Tuck, rock, read, talk…. whatever they need to relax and get to sleep.

And then it’s 9 and I’m still so tired, and my brain is whizzing around like crazy because the house is a mess and there are clothes to wash and I can’t remember if I put gas in the car or checked over J’s homework. All I really want to do is crawl into bed, but then there’s no time for my marriage or the house or the laundry or the Christmas decorating and honestly, I just can’t with all of this anymore.

There has to be a secret I’m missing, right? There has to be an “A-HA!” moment around some proverbial corner where I’ll turn and realize there’s just a much easier way to handle all of this, right? Tell me it’s coming. Because right now?

I’m struggling.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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