I often congratulate myself on being able to turn any bad scenario into humor, and then when things are really frustrating, I break down and can’t discuss. This does everyone reading a disservice because they think I can handle anything, which is not the case. I think you all should know that.
Now I feel like I’m being overly dramatic, but sometimes being humorous isn’t honest.
I lost my shit today. It’s nothing major. Just me realizing I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. You know when you try to do everything and end up feeling totally incompetent?
I think it started with my trip to San Francisco on Wednesday. Usually, I am happy to get some time on my own for a few days, but I felt guilty and homesick the second I left the house. I’ve been really busy with work lately and sometimes it’s hard with the blog, because I feel like everybody (including myself) doesn’t take it as seriously as a real job. I am making my own decisions so I can’t blame working late on some evil boss. It’s just me. I love all the opportunities the blog brings me and I know I’m really lucky to call this my job, but it’s still just as much work (if not more) than my old totally legit full-time job.
At the hotel, there was spotty wireless service, so not only was I unable to keep up the blog as I normally do, I couldn’t communicate with my kids. When I did finally get them on the phone, their faces kept freezing and they quickly lost interest. I felt myself falling behind on deadlines and craving family time. Badly.
Both things came to a head when I got home, because it was the weekend and I needed to accomplish a lot by Monday, but had no desire to do anything except hug my girls.
To make matters worse, I walked into the middle of a big redecorating project I am doing with Mazzy and Harlow’s room. There is much more to come about the room and I don’t want to ruin the reveal, so all you need to know is that everything was delivered while I was away.
We had to remove all the furniture from the girls’ room to make room for the new furniture, so all their clothes, toys, books, art projects, etc. had to be pulled out of their room and put somewhere else. We have no closet for this, no extra bedroom, no basement or garage. It was just EVERYWHERE.
I knew this was going to happen, but nothing could have prepared me for what it felt like to walk into my apartment and see the entire thing upended with boxes, clothes and toys. Half of it new stuff, half of it old— all mixed up together in one brilliant mess.
Our apartment is three rooms— the living room, the girls’ room and our bedroom. Normally one room is somewhat of a respite from the others, but not this time. Even the bathrooms seemed overwhelmed with junk. I tried to unpack my suitcase and opened my closet to find stuff stacked in there. I couldn’t move all the crap in front of the hall closet to hang my coat.
I am not a particularly neat person and can live in pretty dire conditions— but this made my brain hurt.
I needed to get out of there. On Sunday, I arranged to go on an all day playdate at a friends’ house over an hour away. Even though Mike said time might be better spent sorting through all the boxes. And I knew I should probably make up for some of the work hours I had missed while on my trip. There were contracts to read, posts to write, meetings to schedule. Things I usually love to do and but just couldn’t. I needed to have a fun day with the kids.
But then, you know when you try to have special quality time with your children but they act all annoying and whiny like it’s just a regular day and you’re like— DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW BADLY I NEED TO ENJOY THIS??? Quality time should not be spent crying over unwanted snacks and screaming because you don’t want to put on your shoes or having a meltdown over cheese. It should be hugs and kisses and “I love you, Mom— we totally get why you went away, but it’s no big deal because we get to be together NOW!”
Nope. My kids are five and two and they could give a crap about my idea of quality time.
And then it snowed and the roads were horrible going back into the city and Mike was annoyed I made everyone take this long car trip when obviously there was so much to get done at home. And he was right and I hate when Mike is right. And I hate him being annoyed with me when I’m already feeling like a pretty crappy mom, because then I feel like a crappy wife too.
But you know what made me really crack?
When my mom called the next day to confirm our lunch plans (I think it’s the first time we have plans to get together just the two of us, since I’ve had kids) and I realized I had scheduled it at the same time as a really important meeting. (“What could possibly be so important about blogging?” you’re thinking. I know, it sounds silly to me too, but trust me, it’s important.)
My mom didn’t care. “We’ll reschedule. I understand! It’s fine!” She said it and meant it.
But I cried my eyes out, because in that moment, more than anything, I wanted to see my mom.
I wanted to give her that quality time. Because I’m not five anymore and I know exactly what that time means.
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