Smoothing the Rough

Posted on | April 6, 2011 | 13 Comments

I’m going through a rough patch right now.

I don’t know what else to call it and I certainly don’t know how to write about it… but it’s there. Hanging out.  Joining me for coffee on the weekends and mocking me from behind the bookshelves of my office.  There are moments when I think “I can handle this” and many more where I want to throw in the towel, call it a day, and beg someone, somewhere for some kind of mercy.

Tonight is my “single parenting” night.  Husband has choir and I have J and the dog, all to myself.  Invariably, this means that Murphy’s Law is in full effect.  Tonight was no different.  I managed to hit every traffic jam in the city and didn’t make it home until well after six.  J was screaming for food and AJ was begging to go outside.  As I tried to juggle both their demands, AJ pooped on the carpet and J threw yogurt on the wall.  I thought briefly about crying, but please.  Who has time for tears, right?  So I cleaned up the messes.  I punished the offenders.  I held in the breakdown, just waiting for J to go to bed so I could pop in a sufficiently sad movie and bawl my eyes out over everything that’s going wrong in my life right now.

I made J a bottle, I tucked him into my arms … or as much of him as can fit now, and I read him a book I haven’t read since he was just a tiny baby.  He held his own bottle and listened to the words, helping me turn the pages and slowly rubbing at his eyes in between sips.  When the book and bottle were both finished, he nestled his head against my arm and closed his eyes.  Just when I thought he was asleep, he reached up a hand and laid it against my cheek.  His eyes opened.  He took his pacifier out of his mouth with his other hand and in more of a breath than a whisper, he said one word:


And in just that moment, nothing else mattered.  This is who I am.  This may be all I am at the end of the day.

And it is enough.


13 Responses to “Smoothing the Rough”

  1. Frelle
    April 6th, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    oh my heart.

    also? you are enough. and Im sorry you’re having a hard time right now. Love you.

  2. Andrea
    April 7th, 2011 @ 12:17 am

    they always know what we need just when we need it.

    you are amazing, and I am sorry you’re going through a rough patch. you will get through this, and you will be okay.

  3. C.Mom
    April 7th, 2011 @ 12:25 am

    This was so stunning. My heart is breaking for you, but is so happy that you had this moment of pure heaven.

  4. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    April 7th, 2011 @ 1:20 am

    Lord, what would we moms do without those precious affirming moments? The smallest word or gesture means so much – proof! I’m doing a good job!

    And you are. You are doing a great job.

  5. Jennifer
    April 7th, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I just love it so much! I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry for any difficulties you are having right now. You are a terrific mother and your child is to blessed to have you in his life! Please remember to take care of yourself during this time!

  6. Joanna
    April 7th, 2011 @ 1:39 am

    Oh lady. I’ve been right there with you this week. I can feel my PPD creeping back in as I near the end of this pregnancy and Clint has been gone since Monday morning.

    After a no nap day and a fall on the tile that ended up in blood & a fat lip I thought it was the end. I just couldn’t do it one more time. And then Madison said “up, momma” so I picked her up, she sat in my lap and said “ovvvvvve you”

    It’s impossible to juggle everything gracefully but we do as we can and savor the small moments of gratification.


  7. Delia
    April 7th, 2011 @ 2:44 am

    Rough patches suck. But in the end, they only make you stronger. I hope this one is a quick one and that you can leave it far behind.

  8. Mom on a Line
    April 7th, 2011 @ 3:05 am

    I’m with you. Been in a rough patch myself. I’m so glad you had a moment with your precious boy.

  9. KLZ
    April 7th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Sometimes sad movies are a blessing in themselves. I’m here with you, whenever you need.

  10. Amy
    April 7th, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

    That was beautiful! Seriously, I have been dealing with the same thing. PPDing pretty hard lately. I find the best cure for my rough patches is to spend time with my baby. It’s amazing. Truly amazing how they bring little moments of joy amidst hard times. I’m sorry things aren’t going well. I’m thinking of you.

  11. Jamie
    April 7th, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    So lovely.

    I’ve often said that the most stressful part of my day is the 15 minutes after I walk in the door…my son is under my feet, wanting a snack, wanting a toy, wanting help getting his shoes off, wanting a TV show, etc. The soundtrack is the incessant loud meowing of two geriatric cats whom I have cruelly starved all day. And throughout it all, I usually have to pee really, really bad.

    These are small and mundane stressors, but they feel like a lot when they’re all piled on into the same milisecond. I’m so glad you had a tender moment with your boy to help offset the rest. It is indeed enough.

  12. FocusedonHappy
    April 8th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    It’s amazing how similar the lives of two people who have never met can be. All I can say is that you’ll make it through this. And as you’ve already pointed out, that one word “mama” can heal a world of hurt and frustration. Hang in there.

  13. KristinaYellow
    April 8th, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    What #12 said. You are a blessing in so many people’s lives and I hope that gives you some comfort as things crash around you. HUGS

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