This week our boy had his tonsils and adenoids out, plus a cautery done on his nose. Yesterday, I drove our oldest back to school and helped her move into her first house. She is living off campus for the first time, a huge step in life. We are getting our three youngest ready to start the school year and sports seasons and I’m preparing my own preschool materials for our upcoming learning here at daycare. Earlier this week, my husband and the rest of the staff went back to school to prepare for the start of the year and I got a jump on some of my PTSA work by talking with them – the entire staff at the high school. (Introvert’s nightmare.) On a side note, I hear it went well. I think I blacked out sometime in the middle, but thankfully no one seemed to notice.
All of this is happening with round the clock doses of meds for our sweet boy who just had surgery.
I’m not overwhelmed, but all of this has contributed to my feeling of walking around with one leg shorter than the other, off kilter with no balance. I feel like I am constantly about to fall over as I move from one thing to the other and I feel completely disconnected from everything.
I’ve become a task master, trying to do my best and give my heart to it all, while still keeping up my day-to-day activities, like my job and running our home.
I haven’t seen my kitchen counters in weeks. I know that I like them. The only upside is that every time I dig them out I’m delighted with how beautiful they are; it has been so long since I’ve seen them.
As I was driving the three hours to my daughter’s college campus yesterday, our truck weighted down by her bed, her clothes, and treasures – all of the things that didn’t fit in her jam packed car – I had some time to reflect on the feeling of bombardment that has come over me in the past weeks. I’ve been feeling such a sense of unease over what I haven’t done. The responsibilities I’ve felt I let down. The people with whom I haven’t connected.
I took some time to (safely/legally via voice command, lest you think I would endanger others) call a few friends I haven’t spoken to in some time just to say hello and let them know I have been thinking of them. My goal was simply to tell them they were on my mind. I was feeling like a terrible friend and I wanted to reach out.
My conversation with one took an interesting turn, though, and I was so enriched by what she had to say to me.
What if, she said, we all just stopped saying sorry for what we don’t do?
I’ve been feeling like I’m in the middle of some weird combination game of dodgeball and dunk tank where I have to either catch it or duck it and if I don’t I get soaked and have to start all over. Or worse – drown. Add to that exhaustion, PLUS the natural busyness that comes with the back to school time of year and WHAM! A recipe for disaster.
My friend and I talked for a long time and, as often happens with this particular amazing lady, she gave me incredible insight and uplifted me when I didn’t even know I needed it. I realized that no one, not one single person, has put any expectations or pressure on me, except for… wait for it… ME.
As moms, as women, we are so hard on ourselves. Of course I feel tired. I’m up every three hours giving my son his medicine. Of course I have a lot to do. (Scroll up for a recap.) I have been saying sorry for not doing this or that. No one has expected me to; it was just me.
Ladies, and gentlemen, give yourselves some grace. You might not be able to do anything about the wobbly leg feeling for awhile. It might just be the state of things for a bit. Life happens. My life is nuts right now. It certainly isn’t the first time and it will not be the last, but I can give myself some latitude. I can choose to not expect more of myself than I would any other person.
After all, lots of things are happening around here and I’m only one person.
Lauri Walker is wife to Brandon and Mama to four kids who’ve managed genius status despite being raised on chicken nuggets and take out. Her profession is Daycare Diva and she is a confessed over volunteer-er. In her spare time, Lauri tries to write a little. She has appeared on BLUNTmom, Mom Babble, Mamalode, Good Mother Project, and Sassy Lassie and has her own blog at Mama Needs a Nap. You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, and she’s still trying to figure out Instagram.