Please make that important appointment!
Where did they go? Where can I find them again?
I’m not sure I have a direction for this post. Please stay with me, as I’ve lost a bit of direction in life and it’s become par for course that my thoughts stray.
I have lost someone. Someone dear to me, rather important I’d say. Where did she go? I have stopped to search, look, and even wallow in pity. I have lost myself. Lost deep in the throws of wifey status, motherhood, entrepreneurship, and daytime career. How did this happen? How did I let it get THIS far? Friends and family ask me the typical greeting question, “how are you?” Putting on the smiley face, my auto-response is usually, “doing well, thanks, and you?” Some days I would like to just respond with, “this day absolutely blew between the kid trying to crawl back in my womb, a sick husband, and a door-slamming nearly pre-teen. Bed has never looked so inviting.” Can I please respond like that?
Now before the masses jump all over me stating I am lucky to have a family and children as many others do not. You ARE right! I am blessed beyond and grateful for every day I do have with them. I am grateful for them. Yet, Momma needs a TIME OUT. It’s not selfish to ask of this. It’s not demanding. I’m not ungrateful in the least for the life I have. I am fortunate I have a family that supports my voiced frustration over not having enough time for me too.
Before marrying, I was a methodical person, I have not lost that part of me! I plan, Type A plan to a fault at times. I was also much more carefree, enjoyable, and jovial. We married and have been so for the last 9 years, and together for 14 years total. In that time, we have had two children. Daughters, exactly 4 1/2 years apart to the day. I swear that timing was NOT planned on my part! Although it’s a rather enjoyable story to tell how they share birthdays and half-birthdays (if you celebrate that sort-of-thing). With kids, came the onslaught of schedules and added responsibilities. Much of it on my plate and left to address.
Over time, I have become robotic, lost in the ways of planning and making sure everything is done on time (or heck, at least I try to be on time). Like a well-oiled machine, each day has it’s activities and I have to try to remember it all. No longer feeling like wife, mom, ME…I have become a version of a walking-talking-digital reminder board for my family.
Cue the mental inventory of toilet paper as my husband yells, “Do you know if we have more downstairs?” Cue the mental screenshot of the living room when my oldest asks, “Do you know where my smelly pens are?” My replies, “Yes, I just bought a pack of rolls 3 weeks ago” or “I last saw your pens peeking out from under the throw pillow that is between the couch and the wall.”
I know many of you parents can relate to the mental notes of where everything is, when supplies are low or out altogether (as long as someone has informed you…), the children’s appointments, your appointments, husbands appointments, school work, activity schedules, diaper count (for all that is poopy - do not lose count of the diapers), etc. It can be overwhelming to say the very least. So overwhelming that I had a bit of a breakdown recently. Crying to my husband how my ‘home job’ can feel so thankless some days and how I need time away. More time than just to grocery shop. Time for me, to reset. Time to see my friends or even heck, time ALONE without any touching! I miss my family more when I can get away for a few hours or a day to just be ‘me’ and not be the ‘me’ I have to be for everyone else. Do you get the difference? If not, please tell me your secret to success or take a deep dive into whether you see yourself in there somewhere.
With this in mind, last night I put together my monthly calendar. Full of to-dos, appointments, husband hunting trips, dance nights, childcare changes, school schedules, and the very rare (count on 3 fingers) time for me. Even if it’s for a few hours, I’ll take it. I’m lucky to have family that helps with our girls when we greatly need it. Our set up works right now and I’m grateful for it! The next month is jam packed.
Then, I took another look.
As jam packed as it was, there is a silver lining. I get to see my oldest dance, something she loves. I get to see the smile on her face every night as she grooves to her hip-hop song. I get to pop in to her classroom to take yearbook photos on special school days, not many parents work from home and can do that over their lunch hour. I get to watch a good friend literally help raise my youngest as she is our childcare provider now after another difficult switch due to buying a new home. The joy both of them have when they spend time together. I get to work from home most of the week, being able to be present for when my oldest gets dropped off by the school bus. My job is flexible enough that I can bring the kids to most of their appointments without my husband or I having to use PTO. We have an amazing support system of family and friends.
I’m not glorifying being busy. For goodness sakes, it IS stressful.
Our busy calendar shows a life that we have built together, a life with people in it that we love immensely day in and out, through the good and bad (and oh yes, there is the BAD). Instead of letting the negative thoughts destroy what is left of me and leaving me to completely piece myself back together, I am looking at my new re-branding as the “Mom-Board’ as an opportunity to be involved with in my husband and children’s lives. As the children grow, this opportunity may become more challenging I hear. Time will tell. Still taking time for me is important, and I plan to do this! It was also important to realize it’s not ALL about me and my increasing self-pity. Although some days I may feel so automated, it’s okay to make an appointment with myself for some quiet time the next day. There should be no guilt over this that I’m taking anything away from anyone.
My family needs me, they want me to be present. In order to do that, I promise to myself to also take time for myself. So I CAN be present, grateful, joyful, and in a fully-automated great mood when doing so! Make sure to pencil in time for you. Don’t let yourself wallow in self-pity too long, it’s a hard place to leave sometimes. Voice your concerns, have those discussions with whomever you need to. You’re in there somewhere, you’re not lost. Go ahead and make an appointment with yourself.