Matt makes fun of me because sometimes when I just don't feel like dealing with something that he has brought up, I just start saying, "Shhhhhhhhhh." Not harsh or bratty, just a nice, calm, "shhhhhhhhh." I just don't want to deal with it. I know I have to, but sometimes I just need a minute... or a few days, even if it seems like a minor task or responsibility.
I have discovered in the 6 1/2 short years that I have been a parent is that at no time ever, can I actually relax. I can never truly turn my brain off. Someone, something is ALWAYS floating back there. You would think on the several trips Matt and have been able to take these last two years or so that I would be able to relish the time and just chill out. So wrong. The build-up to actually going away is completely anxiety-ridden and task-oriented. Packing for the girls, making lists, leaving information sheets, packing for myself, organizing drivers, activities, etc... it really seems endless and oftentimes not worth it. It always is in the end, but the giant task of prepping to leave can be utterly overwhelming.
Growing up, I always knew that my mom would just get stuff done. I never realized the behind-the-scenes of my entire life that made it go so smoothly. The birthdays, Christmas mornings, Easter egg hunts, countless dinners, I don't need to go on... they happened. And without me truly knowing the stress and difficulty behind them.
If I don't pick up that piece of fluff on the stairs that I pass by 2908328 times a day, no one will. If no one fills out the school forms, they won't get done. If no one goes to the store, we won't have food. If no one makes those doctor's appointments, they won't have them. I am now the one who has to get up hours before everyone else to even be able to shower, then to do all the things that need to get done and to get everyone else ready.
I. Am. Responsible.
It oftentimes seems like this endless life of duties. I am responsible for not only myself, but three small humans, a house, a dog, and my husband (well, sort of). Now I'm the mom that never seems to be able to stop and put my feet up without knowing I really have 10984309 things to do. I am absolutely terrified of screwing up my kids. The problem is, I know I will in some way or another. Everyone makes mistakes. That's life as parents. Now in no way am I saying that Matt doesn't help me. He does, enormously. Actually far more help than I see in plenty of other relationships. When the counter is stacked high with dishes and the dishwasher hasn't even been emptied yet, he'll absolutely do it. He is an incredibly hands-on dad with the girls. He reads to them nightly which I really think is one of their favorite times of day. He will go to the grocery store if I need him to, he will cook dinner far better than I can. He actually is the best laundry folder I have ever met in my life. So don't think I am saying I get no help from Matt. Sometimes I just don't want it though. He works his butt off for me to be able to stay home and supposedly get all this stuff done. I hate the fact that he has to help me as much as he does. The truth is... mommies and daddies are different. I get the whiny, sad, tired, sick, grumpy kids 9.9 times out of 10 as opposed to Matt. #Fact: Whenever you are miserable, you just want you mom. But they seem to listen to him better, respect him more. And that drives me insane because I don't know why moms get the short end of the stick in that respect.
Recently there was that video that went viral about an interview for "The World's Toughest Job." It is posted below if you were actually in that cave above and haven't seen it.
When it comes down to it, I felt fantastic after I watched it. To actually hear the true job description made me feel like my exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings have merit. But the pressure that we, as mom's, put on ourselves is just plain silly.
A friend posted another article (found here) a few weeks ago that also made me feel better. These quotes pretty much sum it up:
"Today, parents are being fed the idea that it benefits children to constantly be hand in hand, face to face, "What do you need my precious darling? How can I make your childhood amazing?" You can't walk through Pinterest without tripping over 100 Indoor Summer Craft Ideas, 200 Inside Activities for Winter, 600 Things To Do With Your Kids In The Summer. 14 Million Pose Ideas For Elf on The Shelf. 12 Billion Tooth Fairy Strategies. 400 Trillion Birthday Themes.
A childhood without Pinterest crafts can be magical. A childhood without a single vacation can be magical. The magic we speak of and so desperately want our children to taste isn't our creation, and therefore is not ours to dole out as we please. It is discovered in quiet moments by a brook or under the slide at the park, and in the innocent laughter of a life just beginning."
I am a total culprit of this because it seems like I am a crappy mom if I don't. But the truth is, I find that my girls really appreciate the little things I do far more than my attempts at greatness. Case in point: Easter morning. I was so preoccupied with making them pancakes in the shape of bunnies that I completely forgot to double the sour cream which is the main ingredient (ridic delish recipe can be found here). They were just not good. The girls were excited for the nanosecond before they ate them...
We had a simple, no frills egg dying session last week (I had to hard boil a second dozen eggs because I didn't even think twice about the first dozen which were brown eggs... Just not good for my sparkly, bright girls).
They loved their baskets that we didn't go TOO over the top with (and I feel like I need to confess that I have been totally stealing their candy during the day. Oops).
We had celebrations with both sides of the families and egg hunts full of fun:
We had a great, not over-the-top weekend and we spent it with our loved ones. Some Daddy wrestling was involved as well:
So. I will continue to "shhhhhh" things as I see fit. I tell the girls quite often during the delightful arsenic/witching hour while everyone is melting down and I'm trying to make dinner... "Go to the basement. No one comes in the kitchen unless there is blood." If I just can't handle it at the moment, I'm just not going to. End of story. I'm the mom. I'm allowed to.