I shared this on Twitter yesterday, but sometimes 140 characters aren’t enough, so it’s still with me, and since often the only way to shake a thought or worry that’s bugging me is to write about it, here you go, dear reader: welcome to the inside of my brain. It’s messy in there, isn’t it?
Saoirse came up to me the day before yesterday (I think?) and handed me a bunch of papers. “Mom!” she said. “Look! I made a book for you!” She’s been reading it with David every night before bed. And ever since she presented the “book” to me, I’m been thrown into a world of guilt because just–JUST–when I thought I was on top of my life, my footing went out from underneath me and I started tumbling down the mound of responsibilities that sits in the middle of my world. Though, to tell you the truth, that mound could just be the laundry.
So here it goes:
I shouldn’t complain. I know I shouldn’t. I’m sure there’s nothing more annoying than to hear a stay-at-home mom whinewhinewhine about just how difficult her life is. I get it. But you know what? You’re still reading this, so I’m sure there’s something in here with which you can identify, right? Surely? (Please?)
I’m going to be honest with you. As I finish this, Cian is crying at the top of his lungs, Quinn has started screaming because she can’t find her pet dolphin, and Saoirse is tattling on all of them. I’m ignoring them all for the moment because I just. can’t. do it. And I fully realize the irony of spending the precious post-lunch time I have to write this instead of doing all the stuff I’m worried about not doing, like the kid-raising and book-revising and grocery-putting-away. Yeah, yeah, I get it.
When I’m feeding Cian at night, usually around 2 in the morning, I start to fret. I think about the to-do list I keep in my brain, I worry about how the next day is going to go, and I start to feel the slide as the mountain gives way and I fall. I realized a couple of weeks ago that there’s always one primary task that is most stressful to me at any given time, and that I can either tackle it or decide to discard it. Some days, I’ll admit, that discarded task could be a shower (sorry, David). Some days, it’s the gym. Most days, I skip out on sleep or cleaning the kitchen floor or emailing that friend even though I dearly miss talking to her, and unfortunately, most days what I tend to forego is spending actual quality time with my kids outside of meals and time in that blasted minivan. I’m going to regret that one day. Saoirse tried to warn me so when she handed me her book.
I have a month to get my manuscript ready and out the door to Katie for her review. This is important to me. This is what I want to continue to do once the children are in school, once they’re out of the house, once they’re grown. I want this book to be the beginning of a career, and there’ s only one way for it to happen. (My brother just sent me this link to an Onion commentary. Have you seen it? Appropriate, right?). When I’m not working on it, I’m thinking about it. I will have to find a way. I have to put the groceries in the pantry. And get dinner ready. And dig that diaper out of the washer. And I have to register Saoirse for her gymnastics show, because her sweet little five-year-old heart will break if I forget about it. Oh, crud. And I also have to get the girls swim lessons, and register them for MyGym camp, and respond to a party invitation, and…
Yeah. Well, at least I got a blog post written.
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