Y'all. Is it Christmas yet? I'm not sure I've ever needed a break so badly. I had a total breakdown Monday. I mean an absolute and total meltdown. I held back every ounce of loneliness, anger, frustration, sadness, and resentment that had been slowly accumulating until that night when I spoke with Chad. I finally heard his voice for the first time in 5 days, and I just lost it.
Do you ever just really, desperately need to have a pity party? Well, I do. I'm a selfish, jealous human being. And you are, too, even if you won't admit it. I've had such a hard time lately balancing everything. Between work and motherhood, my day is full. I completely understand why people get divorced after being married for 30 years. It's because they've spent that entire time working, parenting, and keeping up with household obligations and one day wake up to retirement and an empty nest. They don't even know their spouse anymore. Isn't that horrible? To just go through the motions? I literally end my day with a gold star if my children are alive, the dog has been fed, I've had a bath, and the house isn't a TOTAL disaster (only slightly:).
Our household motto is "people do it every day." And it's true. I'll make a remark like "I just wish I had time to do something for myself. ANYTHING for myself." And Chad will say... "Well, you don't. People work and raise children every day." He keeps me in check because most people do work full time, raise children, participate in community events, and keep up a house. And guess what? They survive. But I don't want to just survive. I want to LIVE. Three days this week MaryCollis has asked to go to the park, and every day I've had to tell her "Maybe tomorrow, baby." And I want to die because we both know I'm lying every time I say it. We won't have time tomorrow.... or the next day.
That brings me back to the source of my irrational meltdown. I had been home alone with the kids for 5 days (which is nothing new, but it really takes a toll on me when he's gone on the weekends, not weekdays), I had a super bad day at work, and MaryCollis wanted nothing more than to have a tea party. "Give me just a minute, darling.... I've got to feed Buddy" was followed by "Hold on... I'm making bottles for tomorrow, then I've got to make dinner" then "Not right now.... it's bath time" then "Let me get Penn down, and we'll go to the playroom for tea" and finally "Uh-oh, it's 8:30! Way past your bedtime." I read her a bedtime story, cuddled for an unreasonable amount of time, and initiated prayers. I cried all through doing laundry, loading dishes, and my bath. Please, God, don't let her see me as a too-busy parent who never spends time with her. I can't bear it.
I know the "best thing" is for me to work and accumulate retirement, and the best thing for Chad is to stay with the job that keeps him from us 80% of the time because that's what is financially responsible and stable for our family... but is it really the best thing? It doesn't feel like the best thing. In fact, it feels very wrong. I know lots of women who stay home - and I was one of those people for a bit - and I find myself filled with jealousy... Resentment toward them for my having to work while they get to enjoy "Pancakes with Parents" and field trips with their kids.
I'm angry at people who get to eat dinner with their entire family each night. I'm frustrated that I wake up at 5am, get kids to school, work until 3, run whatever errands I can get done in an hour's time, pick kids up, put Penn down for a nap while I wash bottles from today/prepare for tomorrow and make dinner, feed and bathe kids before putting them down and having a bath of my own, then do as much dishes/laundry as I can muster (it never ends!), grade papers, prepare tomorrow's lesson, etc. Saturdays aren't much better. When is the down time? When will I get to spend time with my kids?
I am blessed. I have a job, precious children, food and shelter, a generous spouse, a family and support system, and fantastic friends. I've got absolutely nothing to complain about, but I just feel like life is meant to be enjoyed, and there's no time to enjoy it. Please tell me y'all feel like that sometimes and I'm not completely selfish and irrational?? No? Just me, then? Okay.
Well, we are looking forward to a much-needed BREAK. I have big plans to spend time with my big girl. We're going to bake things, stay in our pajamas all day, play at the park, have as many tea parties as she wants, go for nature walks, and laugh a lot. :)