This stage of life is hard.
We rush from one activity to the next. We’re trying to advance in our careers while still maintaining some semblance of sanity. We’re never fully focused at work, always anticipating that call from daycare or school. The schooling we so carefully and expensively pursued has done nothing to prepare us for this. We’re living for the weekends, which turn into disorganized chaos because we’re all so used to routine. We try to strike a balance between planning and “living in the moment”, and end up with a terrible combination of both that makes Monday morning feel like a reprieve.
(me, after crying in the car earlier this year).
We drink too much coffee. We stay up too late watching television in a zombified state: anything for some time alone, untouched, and in quiet. We wake too late and we rush our kids into the car, frazzled and comparing ourselves to the moms who look like they have it all together at drop-off.
We idealistically plan our escapes – our escapes from motherhood, from the demands of day-to-day life. And yet when we do, we feel hollow. Unfulfilled. Like we’re missing a limb. Is this the curse of motherhood? Are we destined always to find ourselves in this confusing halfway point between total insanity and meaningless time alone?
We’re desperate for interaction with adults, so we over-commit and under-deliver. Suddenly our bathrobe is our best friend and we can’t remember the last time we washed our hair. Or, on the odd occasion we gather up the fortitude to force ourselves out into the world, what do we talk about? The f*cking kids.
We can’t wait to finally tuck our children into bed and we spend the rest of the evening wondering if we were too short with them, if we told them we loved them, if we properly addressed that difficult question, if they’re eating enough vegetables, if we have enough in our account to cover that payment.
When’s the last time we had a conversation that truly set our soul on fire? Who asks about our dreams, our hopes, our passions? Certainly not the person who shares our bed, the person who we spend the most time with and yet who knows the least about our current state because we’re both so busy just trying to manage the household. We’re talking over smaller versions of ourselves all.the.time. We forget to tell one another even the most critical yet mundane details of life (like who is picking up the kids) because we’re just too tired. Cue more chaos.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow we’ll have our shit together. Tonight, I’ll read one more blog post written by some self-proclaimed guru who claims to have figured out the secret – some utter bullshit about “establishing rhythms” or waking up at 5:30. (Who are these people?) Why can’t anyone give me the answer? We spend so much time searching for that one life-changing tip – expecting someone other than ourselves to just fix this. Every task seems daunting. The status quo is a tested pursuit, even though it works about as well as a screen door on a submarine.
We love our babies more than life itself, but what we wouldn’t do for just a week of only having to worry about ourselves.
We try to even remember a time when we only had to worry about ourselves.
How is it we can love something – someone – so much despite the fact it leaves a trail of complete and utter chaos in its wake?
Somehow, it’s all worth it. Until then, I’ll keep searching for that life-changing tip…