My life is like an episode of Sesame Street, brought to me by the letter P: peepee, poopy, puke, pull-ups, pampers, playgrounds, playdates, puzzles, paint, pink, purple and lots of patience in partnership with one passionate prince and two pretty princesses. Perfect!
I hardly ever update my Facebook status, but that was one of my recent status updates. As I was thinking about it today, I thought maybe I’ll add some more P’s: PMS, panties, pap smears, and psych ward. Sometimes I feel like that’s where I am. My wardens are 7 months and almost 3 years old. We are constantly discussing feelings: “Are you frustrated? Are you sad? Are you angry?” We are trying to handle these emotions in a way that’s appropriate for all three of our age groups. At times, I feel like each one of us is Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. There’s no telling when one of us is going to lose our mind. None of us are able to go to the bathroom without someone watching and we are not allowed to use sharp objects without heavy questioning and a presentation of reasoning: “Why you got those scissors?” “Hey, don’t touch those scissors, they’re sharp.” Our neuroses kept us up all last night and there were already 3 major meltdowns this morning (2 from the 2 year old, 1 from me, and the 7 month old is getting our best behavior award for the day; ok fine, she gets it everyday). I did, willingly and whole-heartedly, admit myself into this institution. Shouldn’t I get to check myself out for a bit?
Last night, after a discussion about how my husband thinks I need to get more help (or was it just to “get help”?), I was reading a book that my mother gave me when my youngest was born. Alexandra Stoddard’s Things I Want My Daughters to Know. It has been on my bedside along with my self-help Mom books (The Happiest Toddler on the Block, books about how to get your toddler to eat well, discipline solutions, etc.). I finally started reading it and can identify with a lot what she writes. I just happened to open right to the chapter entitled “In Really Tough Times, Regularly Take Time Off.”
No one is dying and I do try to keep everything in perspective, but I’m finally feeling like it’s ok to admit that I’ve felt a little overwhelmed for the past few weeks. It’s not really tough times, but they’re not the easiest either. With all of the breast tests looming over me, it was always in the back of mind. I think I do a fairly decent job of keeping it back there and not letting it affect my everyday attitude; but of course, I’m only human and my negative thoughts do rear their ugly heads at times. That coupled with typical two year old tantrums has made me less than patient and I don’t like that at all. It’s not fair to my kids, my husband or myself. So while my response to my husband’s suggestion was, “I’m not a lady who lunches, that seems too over-privileged for me. Military Moms do this with like 5 kids on their own for months or years,” I am kind of agreeing that I do need an occasional break. Some me-time would probably do us all some good.
So I’m going to follow everyone’s advice (my husband wasn’t the only one who said that to me yesterday: my brother and Alexandra Stoddard did too). I’m going to try to let go of some of the Mom guilt and take a little time for myself. If nothing else (and I say this often when I’m trying to justify leaving for a bit), it will help prepare the girls for my future absences. I’m going to bust out of this joint and try to regain some sanity… sometime soon.