Quick apology: After (more than) a year long hiatus from blogging, I have crawled out of my cave, and I’m ready to share some of the guts of my soul with you. But before I do, I offer a brief explanation of my absence:
To clear the air, it’s not you, readers, it’s me. We aren’t over, but consider this blog post, therapy.
I cannot FATHOM how there are so many successful bloggers that are also working mothers of three. It literally boggles my mind. If my house stays clean for more than 2 days in a row, I feel like “You know, I could run for president someday”. How these mothers work, raise children (and husbands), keep their house like a catalog, AND blog every other day?!
How many trips to Starbucks are these women making?
Well I wasn’t going to waste the money on an 18-wheeler worth of over-priced Macchiatos. So, I’m sorry for the delay, but this post will be worth it. I promise. ❤
INTRO: I’m going to begin by saying it’s not easy for me to put this out there. This post will be extremely personal(but not graphic). Some if it is embarrassing, but it is something that has been on my heart to share for years. It was just difficult to find the right words. Well, let’s just say, the light bulb flickered.
This morning, I woke up a failure.
Your mind has a funny way of trying to prove it to you once it introduces the idea.
And if you’re like me, it takes about a million little awful things to happen at once to make you really think about turning the knob to door number 1. Negative thoughts aren’t usually the ones I like to entertain. But today they insisted I hear their side of the story.
Two accidental children by the time I was 24 years old. It’s not something I am extremely proud of, not that I regret them by any means. It wasn’t exactly in my plan but I feel like I did the best with the hand I was dealt.
I haven’t gone more than 3 consecutive years dating someone steadily where I didn’t leave them. My closest chance at a real marriage turned out to be to a scam artist. The guy had more skeletons in his closet than the morgue.
My mother feels that I’m an inadequate mother, and reports her findings in the matter daily.
It’s not a secret that I’ve always struggled with my weight and I never applied myself enough to lose it.
I’ve also been at the same place of employment (though different jobs) for almost 9 years, and I make peanuts. The fact that I’ve been struggling for 6 years to balance bills and feeding my family obviously weighs on my mind.
Now as my day began, I tried not to consider my negative thoughts. Those of you who know me might even be surprised at some of my confessions. I’m usually such an upbeat person. I have tons of personality, and I’m even a little crazy. Super outgoing, and I can literally talk to anyone. Happy happy happy.
(I just got home from putting Kali on the bus. Not even going to include the charade that is every morning.)
I went to the bathroom and tried not to look in the mirror. After two kids, and inconsistent eating habits, it’s something I try to completely ignore.
I went to the fridge and it was pretty bare. This past weekend yielded hefty bills, which left little extra for groceries.
Why can’t I just make enough money to pay everything, and have my fridge filled every week? I’m not greedy. I don’t want a Lambo. I just want my kid to have food readily available when she gets home from school.
I rummaged through my purse to find a protein bar I had bought the other day and left in there, and out popped an envelope.
Yale. It sure isn’t cheap to give birth. (Even though I’m the one who did all the work. I pretty much told the nurse to go long and shot them both out.) I hadn’t paid them this month yet. I promise myself I will make a payment on Thursday and I flip it onto the table.
I start getting ready for work and as I slip on my pants I notice a little draft. The tiny hole on the seam of my right thigh was definitely bigger than it was last week.
I start looking through my drawer for another pair, but the other 3 are dirty. I can’t throw them out anyway because I won’t be buying new ones anytime soon.
I walk back into the kitchen and turn to get a glass.
An entire sink full of dishes.
Fuck my life.
I completely forgot to do them after the baby fell back asleep last night.
The last thing Zack needs is to come home to this. I put as many in the dishwasher as I can fit, and handwash a bunch more. While I’m wiping down the counter, there’s a knock at my door. It’s my mom, here to watch Damian so I can go to my pathetic little job. Can’t wait. I walk to the door and I step in a puddle of water.
The dishwasher is STILL leaking. They looked at it twice. WTF.
I get to work and a co-worker tells me that a girl (who I actually trained a few months back) will be getting a promotion. The promotion I had been actively pursuing for almost a year. They knew I wanted this. They know I have a family, I’ve been here 9 FREAKING years. How am I not qualified?!
After that my day got tremendously better (nope). After getting berated nagged by miserable elderly customers for about 6 hours, I left.
I put music on to hopefully calm me down, and I start driving home.
I turn my windshield washer fluid on in hopes of being able to see better. Unfortunately one of my wipers is missing some (whatever is on them) and now I really can’t see shit.
Suddenly some idiot lady in an older BMW peels out of the bank parking lot and cuts me off.
I slam on my brakes and even turn into the next lane a little. She goes about 15 feet and turns recklessly into the Dunkin Donuts.
You almost kill me. For a honey bun. Are you freaking kidding me?!
I’m pretty thankful at this point that Kali is not in my car because she would’ve learned quite a few new words.
I wanted to pull in and just drive into her Beemer. SO. BAD. I replayed the scenario in my head.
Not even worth it.
I check the mail. More bills. I walk up the two flights of stairs and open the door to my apartment and my mother erupts like a volcano.
“I don’t know what took you so long to get home but if my entire house (exaggeration of the week) looked like a brothel I would rush home to clean it… blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah BLAH! blah blah…”
Her voice trails off as a cynical daydream pops into my head.
Wow, MOM. That is the FIRST THING I wanted to do. Scrub the floor. How DID you know. Sit?! Why would I want to sit and relax? When I can scrub my floor. It’s a no brainer, clearly.
“Are you listening to me?!”
“Nope” I snap out of it, and go into the bathroom. She is literally outside the door at this point rattling off chores I need to do. In my house. In my own GD house.
At this point I am about to lose my shit. I take a deep breath.
I forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer this morning for dinner.
My back hits the bathroom door and I roll my eyes at myself.
I walk out of the bathroom and the baby is literally stuck to my leg whining to be picked up. As I scoop him up to bury my nose in his little cheek, my mother leaves.
He really is the sweetest little thing.
Unless you’re trying to make dinner. In which case, he lives up to the stereotype about his name (Damian).
After trying to cook, peel him away from the buttons on the dishwasher, get him to stop whining, keeping him out of the cat dish, I sit down to eat.
And by eat, I mean nag Kali every 5 minutes to take a bite, try to get the baby to open his mouth at all, all while trying to keep Zack from freaking out because of the chaos.
I clean up a bit and sit on the couch.
I don’t even want to move. But the baby needs a bottle, and Kali can’t reach her dinosaurs. So I’m back up.
Zack reads to kali and puts her to bed, and I get the baby settled down.
I’m exhausted. I finally get in bed, turn on the baby monitor and about an hour later, I hear a noise that puts a knot in my throat.
He cannot be awake right now. Are you serious.
I go into his room, and for a grueling 45 minutes, I try everything. I pat his back about 600 times. I try putting on his musical seahorse…nothing works. It’s just one of those nights a baby needs his mom.
I get him a bottle, and take him into the living room to get comfortable. As I read him “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance” he starts to fall back asleep. I give him a good 15 minutes and use that time to think.
My head is spinning, my heart just wants to give up on any hope of a better tomorrow.
Will I ever get a good enough job to help Zack with rent, or pay bills and live comfortably?
Will I ever get anywhere at this job?
Will I ever get a call from any of the hundreds of applications I’ve put in over the last 6 months?
Will I ever be able to work, raise my kids, all while keeping my house clean enough to just have my mom smile and say “I know you’re doing your best.”
Will I ever be good enough? For my mom? For my boss? For Zack?
As I lie here back in bed at 3:37am, knowing I have to be up in 2.5 hours to get Kali onto the bus and do today all over again, hot tears run down my cheek, soaking my pillowcase. My thumb gently strokes Zack’s hairy arm around me. My hand moves to his hand and I lace my fingers with his. I use my thumb to feel his knuckle. I know he’s more comfortable laying the other way. He stayed like that because he knew I needed him there. I needed comfort.
These knuckles were rough and cracked, dry from working in and out of the cold all day. They’re calloused from working hard every day.
How dare I not be grateful.
I’m good enough for him. This family is enough reason for him to get up, sometimes after barely getting any sleep, and faithfully brave the traffic. It’s enough reason to work hard, sometimes for more than 10 hours.
It’s enough reason for him to come home with a smile (most days) and after he’s put everything down, give Kali a hug and pick up the baby. To come over and give me a kiss and ask me how I am.
I am enough.
I’m enough for Damian to smile so hard he crinkles up his nose the minute I walk through the door.
I’m enough for Kali to draw a picture of us baking cookies together for her “What I like to do with my friends” project.
I’m enough for my mother to volunteer 25-30 hours of her time every week, plus gas, to drive to my house and babysit my son so I can trek to that shitty, underpaying dead-end job.
These people believe in me. Especially when I don’t.
They’re here for me in their own ways, as a reminder of how truly lucky I really am.
So I challenge you.
When you get home today, exhausted, instead of grumbling at the fact that your kids grab your legs and cry, try being thankful you have children.
There are families (like those of Sandy Hook) who lost their beautiful children. There are couples who have tried for years just to try and have children, to no avail. There are women who finally got pregnant after long awful years of trying, just to have that hope and happiness robbed from them by losing their babies by miscarriage or stillborn.
There are people out there who cannot work because they can’t afford daycare.
There are people out there who would kill for the love Zack and I share.
Be grateful. Count your blessings.
You are enough.