Today I woke up to the sweet sounds of roofers, just feet away from my bedroom window … At 6 a.m.
I cursed my neighbors. I cursed the construction company. I cursed the never ending hail damage year after year making new roofs necessary. I cursed the fact that MY BABY WAS ACTUALLY SLEEPING AND NOW I WAS WIDE AWAKE.
That’s how the day started.
A few minutes later I received a text that a family member was in the ER last night (they are ok). I felt all the things you do when someone you love is sick or in pain. I felt stress and worry and concern. I went downstairs preoccupied with this worry, but remembering I had a sweet salvation waiting for me in the kitchen – my favorite cream cheese danishes. I only buy them once or twice each year, and my mouth was literally watering at the thought of them. I never considered myself an emotional eater, but since having my second baby I now am unabashedly admitting that I am. Because I may not be able to control my sleep, my showering schedule, the behavior of my children, the crying jags from the baby, etc etc – but damnit, I can enjoy a delicious something to eat. And I FUCKING WILL.
Anyway, I walked down the stairs salivating, ready to be comforted by that sweet cream cheese delight. I got out my favorite little white square plates that turn up at the corners and peeled back the wrapping on the pastries only to be met with MOLD. Like, a lot of mold. Like on all three of the danishes. I looked at them for a long time. I don’t know, maybe hoping I would suddenly see them in a different way and realize the mold had been a mirage? You can probably guess – it was not a mirage.
Later this morning I *for GOD KNOWS WHY* decided to balance our checkbook against our monthly statement. Let’s just say, things did not look pretty. In fact, things looked a little terrifying. In fact, there happened to be some charges I hadn’t accounted for. And they weren’t for fun things like Lush bath bombs or a new shirt or some “extra” fun stuff from Target. They were for fucking golf. Which, as you can guess, means they were not for me. Which did not exactly boost my mood.
Next up was my son’s naptime. If you follow me on Facebook, you know we recently decided to sleep train him after a steady and precipitous decline in his sleep over the past month and a half. Well, nighttime sleep training has *thus far* worked like an absolute charm. Naps are a completely other beast. I set my little love in his crib after completing our little “naptime routine”, kissed him a billion times, and walked out the door. There was screaming.
I am a work at home mother. I think the few of you out there who are also WAHMs will completely understand when I say, naps are not optional. No way in hell could I get by keeping my job without clear naptimes where said nap is NOT ON MY BODY.
Up until Eli was born, Gia probably had no idea that I worked or held a job. I woke up before everyone in the dark early morning every day to work. I worked during naptimes only so I was able to spend all waking moments with her, as attentive as possible. All that went straight and directly out the window with the birth of my son. Now Gia, as the least needy of the two, bears the burden of my working hours. It is a huge adjustment for her.
So back to screaming Eli. My work days vary on what type of project I am working on. Today, of course, was a project that requires extreme attention to detail. In other words, not the kind of work that is possible to complete with a Netflix cartoon playing in the background, a screaming baby, and 3-year-old begging you to play every other minute.
And oh man that mom guilt. With her huge blue eyes she asks ever so sweetly, “Mommy, could you please play with me?” And I repeat, for the 8th time in the last 10 minutes, “Honey, mommy has to work right now. I can play with you when I’m done.” And I feel a little/A LOT annoyed at having to repeat this AGAIN and I feel a little/A LOT sad at having to repeat this again. And my mama heart fractures into a million pieces as her little face falls and she sadly says “ok.” and hugs her little knees to her chest.
I sat for a minute with my pounding head in my hands on the verge of tears. Tears of frustration, exhaustion, guilt. Tears because it is SO LOUD. Tears because I hate feeling like I’m failing in all areas of my life at present. Tears because I really, really, really wanted that cream cheese danish.
But I pushed through it, because that’s what you do. That’s the only option. Breakdown and stay there or breakdown and then gather yourself back up and keep moving. Eli’s screaming finally gave way to happy little sleeping baby sighs. I took a breath.
When he woke up I nursed him in my bed with Gia at my side watching Doc McStuffins. I took another breath and took a silent stock of my life.
My husband’s car broke down on his birthday. I cried to my mom “why can’t something just be easy?” And she said “Honey, it’s always going to be something. If it’s not the car, somebody’s sick or the fridge breaks.”
And I realized that I spend so SO much of my time trying to plan my life perfectly thinking that in doing so that I won’t have to encounter these hiccups. I want things running like a well-oiled machine and I do everything in my power to ensure it. I am well stocked, well organized, well planned, well budgeted, well scheduled. But it does nothing. Because you can’t anticipate the car is going to break down. You can’t anticipate that virus. You can’t anticipate the announcement that the company is closing or SURPRISE you’re pregnant or SURPRISE the neighbor’s roofers are going to start work at SIX FUCKING AM directly outside your window.
All I can do is adapt. All I can do is work on my ability to bend instead of break. To take a breath and just keep going.
My family is healthy. We have food (minus cream cheese danishes) and shelter. We have jobs. We are safe. We love each other. It’s so much more than so many can say.
I picked up Eli after feeding him and gathered up the energy for what would be the next 45 minutes of playing dress up with Gia. “Its not so bad.” I thought to myself. “I can do this.”
And as I began standing I heard the sound, aptly described as a “wet burp”, and an instant later my entire back, hair, bed, and clothes were covered in baby vomit. I stood in shock as *I kid you not* I felt hot pools of vomit sliding between my butt crack.
My friend once said at a baby shower as advice to the new mama-to-be sometimes you just have to laugh, because otherwise you’ll cry.
And I laughed.
Today I laughed instead of crying.