I just kind of felt like writing tonight. Just one of those nights where there is a heavy load weighing on my mind and I cannot seem to shake it. Lately things have felt a little off. Mostly inside my soul. I don’t know whether to blame the weather, or some type of imbalance of chemicals going on in my brain, but a change is in order. That is a must.
The other day, as I was hustling around trying to do dishes, trying to take out the trash, after being exhausted from trying to make a productive “at home” day for Owen (the 3 days a week he isn’t at daycare), after trying to sneak in a study session while Owen sat upstairs crying for a while because he didn’t want to take a nap though i desperately needed him to because I was so behind on laundry and I needed that study session, but that turned into: me not getting anything done, and after more and more stress piled on, I felt the weight of it hit me and you could easily see through my facial expressions that I was tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. My two year old could see it. A phrase I never knew he knew. A phrase I have never heard him say. I’ll never forget it though.
We were walking up the stairs, more like a drag, “come on Owen, it’s bedtime and I have asked you about a handful of times now, so please, get upstairs”. And usually he will fuss and moan but he will do it. Generally. I mean he is two. He needs patience and direction from me. Ah, life truly is a balancing act.
But this time, he stopped halfway on the stairs and looked down at me as I fumbled to bring up a stack of laundry, dropping teeny tiny socks on my way up, and he looked me dead in the face as I was half way through a grunt.
“Mommy..are you okay?”
I had no idea how to respond. I changed my facial expression and I said “honey, mommy is OK. She is a little stressed, babe. Sometimes that happens to people. They get stressed. It’s like another emotion. Just like being sad, or being angry.” (because we are learning about emotions lately).
But I wanted to tell him more. I wanted to tell him that quote that I could barely remember by the man/women I couldn’t remember who said it, “it’s not the load we carry, it’s the way we carry it”.
Yes. Am I stressed? Of course. Nursing school is stressful. Taking night courses is stressful. Adding in an extra class on top of that workload is stressful. Trying to keep a clean house is stressful. Trying not to nag is stressful. Trying not stress about the things I know I need/have to stress about is stressful. Trying to spend our “at home” days with Owen and filling it with education, exercise, productivity, and positivity is challenging.
It is challenging being a parent. I have a few tips that I truly hold dear that you can find here. And a few thoughts on when you want to be super mom that you can find here. I would be lying if I said otherwise. And maybe some people don’t feel that way, or they have more support, or more money, or whatever it is that could make the job a tad bit easier.
But at the end of the day, it feels as though I have me. And some days I really question if that is enough, but most days I know that’s enough. I love him and I care so much about him. I’m doing the best that I can, and that’s all that I can do.
So tonight, when Owen started crying more than usual at bedtime, and I mean crying off and on for a period of two hours, he finally said “I lay with me” which is code for “can you lay with me mommy?” He then proceeded to ask if he could come in my bed. Most days I say no, to be honest, I have school work to do. I have a routine of diffusing essential oils, setting up my books on my bed and getting to business. But tonight I carried him into my bed and snuggled him so tight because I remembered what he had asked me, “mommy…are you OK?”
I wasn’t going to let all the stress of all the things that I needed to do or all the things I didn’t do yet, or even the stress of the stress I have yet to stress about, get in the way of this moment here and now.
So here I am, snuggled closely in bed with my beautiful son peacefully sleeping and snoozing, cuddled in my arms with his Mr. Fox and baby fox he will never sleep without.
And I just wanted to share that story because I just wanted you to know how OK it is sometimes to not be OK. How easy it is to put on a brave face and pretend everything is fine, except when you find a funny meme of someone tumbling down the stairs, or smacking into a tree and you read the title “current footage of me making it through life right now” and you’re like, “Yeah. That’s me some days. Some days I’m that person”
There will probably come another day where he will ask me if I am OK, and I may or may not be that day, but I know in the end the little moments matter the most. It is all a balancing act, but you must be kind to yourself and you must take a step back, breath and ask yourself, what is truly important?
With the warmness and coziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I’m excited to really dive into the little details. Pay attention to those! The look in his eyes as he places his first Christmas ornament on the tree because he actually understands it this year. Amazing. Or the way he listens (mostly) as I read The Polar Express or How The Grinch Stole Christmas that my lovely friend Katie sent us, and her beautiful note that came with it of how her father use to read those under the Christmas tree, surrounded by love and warmth. That was something she remembered. That little detail.
I saw something on Facebook a few weeks ago that really caught my attention. It showed a story of a mother going about her day. It looked so stressful. Kids were running around everywhere. Trying to grocery shop was turning into a nightmare, hustling and bustling to get things done. She saw a ton of stress, or at least that’s what the viewer saw. But the father came home and he asked the kids, “so how was your day with mommy?” And the child’s face lit up. “Today mommy took me grocery shopping and we pushed the carts and that was so much fun! And we read books and we played!” He saw a beautiful mother fiercely loving her babies.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” – Iain Thomas
with so much love and warmness,