At 1:03 p.m. today, I reached my breaking point. I know because I glanced at the clock to make note of the official time. I feel like that means my brain is still with me on some level, that and the fact that I am writing about this now.
My son is whining and crying and refusing a nap in his crib at the moment and there are three CAPITAL U URGENT projects waiting for my attention at work that I cannot afford to waste one second on.
Its shocking to me how its nothing new, no one big thing, no catastrophic situation that brings me here. It’s the slow simmer of a life currently spent serving little people who honestly could give a single shit about how their behavior is wearing me down bit by bit. It’s tripping on the life size creepy as hell Elsa for the second time in one day. The two loads of laundry I just started today. Just like yesterday, and the day before. The cutting up food into non-chokable portions for the 1,897th time this week that the baby will casually drop to the floor once I place them in front of him, the constant AND I MEAN CONSTANT sweeping of never fucking ending crumbs from under tables. The walking into every room and seeing a mess that I cleaned up 15 goddamn minutes ago. The dirty Kleenexes strewn about from never ending sickness. The bills stuck to our fridge waiting to be paid. The incredible stress it is to find ONE HOUR to take a shower and put on makeup and do my hair so that I feel like an actual human being TWO DAYS PER WEEK and how all I can think about is how I’m losing an hour of work and SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH.
The whining. The whining. The whining. The tantrums. The tantrums. The tantrums. The scream in your face aggressive crying that feels like a physical attack. The steady, background whine of a teething baby that may cease for a moment or two but always. Comes. Back. The grunting and yelling of said baby because he is an actual monster when it comes to food – demanding it NOW and FAST and KEEP IT COMING or there is a meltdown of epic proportions. The sister who needs to change wardrobes immediately this very second that a meltdown is occurring and I snap at her and she tells me I hurt her feelings and I want to die inside for that.
The unloading of the goddamn dishwasher. The taking out of the garbage. The sitting in a corner in the basement on the cold floor, using my body as a shield against the sharp edges of the bookcase I constantly envision landing us in the ER with stitches. The fact that I wrote all of this in 4 minutes flat, that I didn’t take a single pause, didn’t stop to think, that these thoughts flowed freely and easily out of my fingertips because they are so well known to me its like they are part of me. I wonder when exactly the point came where this was all I was used for, basically my life seems to serve the purpose of cleaning, wiping asses and noses, preventing major bodily injury, taking temperatures, and cutting things up.
I reach 1:03 and I know this is it. To top off the guilt to near maximum levels, today is my daughter’s birthday, we have gifts and pizza and a movie and family coming over and this week my sister will be here and I only get to see her twice a year and we have all kinds of stuff to do and life and dr appointments and events and work deadlines and now is just not the time to have a breakdown but here it is.
And I don’t need a self-help article or some helpful piece written by a hippie Montessori kindergarten teacher on making these teachable moments or from a life coach on boundaries or me-time or a comment from an older person on how it all goes so fast and someday I will miss this. I really don’t need a single one of those things.
I need to get out of here, and I can’t. I text my husband and it isn’t “would it be okay if ….” Its “I need to leave when you get home”. And he gets it even though he really doesn’t as much as he tries to because he can’t, because he leaves the house every day, he is away from us for hours on end every day, but he does this for us and he supports me, he knows I have to go.
And I think I can’t do it one second longer but I have to so I do.
I’ve read you should never write about the hard stuff when you are right in the middle of it, that you just sound too broken and your words are not of any use to anyone until you’ve come out the other side and can offer some words of wisdom. Well, fuck that. I write this because I know, I know in my bones that someone else is there too today. Maybe even at 1:03 she reached her own breaking point. And I know we will both wake up and do it again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that despite the fact that it seems impossible right now, at 1:03.
I think I can’t do it one second longer, but I have to. So I do.