Remember the classic kids book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein? The tree gives and gives, and in time she has virtually nothing left. This is me.
After a stressful day, I get home and I am exhausted. Mentally, physically, I am spent. I used all I had at work and left nothing for the people I really owe my best. The guilt is a bitch but worse, my patience is razor thin by then. Even the smallest infractions have the consequences of an atomic bomb. When it is over I think to myself, “Damn, woman, chill out!” The timeouts abound and the tears flow. Not just by the kids, but by me too. It is not fair. Everyday they are happy to see me when I pick them up, and everyday it is anyone’s bet how the rest of the night will go. Will it be pleasant or will it be World War III?
I think to myself night after night, “How do I combat this?” Do I quit my job and forego the few luxuries I can afford, the things that made family time golden? Or do I step away in an effort to save my children’s childhood memories of me? Financially and emotionally, I am in a tight spot. Whichever direction I choose, something is going to have to give to make the other work. Survival mode is in high gear and I am my family’s keeper. I am the glue even when I feel like the worst version of myself.
I have little advise for you if you are here too. What I can advise, pour yourself your favorite drink and hide in the pantry with a spoonful of frosting. Take five minutes to regroup. Soak in their happiness. Love a little harder.
As I continue to work on my patience and try to do better by my sweet family, I still daydream of the days before children. Those days where I had no one to worry about but myself.
But (and that’s a really big but)…
Now that those days are gone. I have to remember what I have gained. Two awesome, healthy kids in my life. A husband who feels all the same pressures I do. Plus, the career I have worked too hard to get.
Momma, you have got this. We are walking the same path. Let’s pour another drink to that, because we both know we still need to make supper tonight.