What If We Let Our Guard Down?
I have a "spirited" 3 year old and a walking 10 month old. My current life status is exhausted. Actually if I'm really being honest, I'm mostly miserable. My weekends consist of packing in personal care, grocery-getting, family adventures, meal planning, laundry, house cleaning, bill paying, budget balancing, side jobs, child rearing, husband loving...the list could run for pages. Our Sunday's are spent preparing for the week in hopes that it might not be another 5 day shit-show. The mornings are a scramble to pack a healthy lunch, read books with the kids, get ready to the sound of 7 am tantrums and demands, throw some wrinkled clothes on and hope that nobody at work notices that I'm wearing the same leggings 2 days in a row...ok 3.
The days are spent trying to get everything done on time, be a valuable employee and colleague, and trying not to think about all the things that need to be done outside of those 4 office walls - all while feeling guilty that you are working to pay someone else to raise your children...and STILL living paycheck to paycheck. You speed home, anxious to scoop up the babies you've been missing all day. Then it's 2 hours, TWO HOURS until bedtime. Two hours to watch them grow. Two hours for dinner, baths, play, recapping the day, catching up with your spouse. Two hours of screaming, corralling, redirecting, cleaning, changing. Two hours until it all starts over again.
I find myself counting down the minutes until I will have the very first free minutes to myself in nearly 24 hours. And that's if and only if the kids go to sleep without "being scared", having to go potty, needing to be rocked....all while the precious minutes tick away. I've got big plans for that golden hour or two before bed. Go for a run, maybe meditate or Skype a friend on the other side of the world, read a book, watch some tv, drink some wine. I usually end up zoned out on Facebook. Lately I've found myself here, writing a blog, posting a recipe, or sharing my story because I'm desperate to find some connection or some purpose for all of this.
I've taken some flack on social media for "being vain" and posting too many selfies. Or for trying to look like I have it all together and for looking for attention. I get it. I scroll through IG too and I wonder "Who the hell are these people?" How do they afford that? How are they THAT happy all the time? Why are their kids so advanced? Where do they find the time to keep a kitchen that clean? Like really, who are these people?
What you don't see is that we all feel inadequate at the end of the day. We are all doing our best and just looking for support and acceptance in the world. We're all exhausted and dealing with big life issues - death, health issues, politics (don't even get me started on that), weight, family issues, depression, anxiety. We all just want to be happy and we find it in different ways. Sometimes it's not about achieving anything at all. Sometimes I just have to get through the day.
My point is that I see so much judgment about how people choose to spend their time and about the motives behind every picture and every statement made. About food and parenting choices, about who's got what and how they got it and who they know. So much mom-shaming and comparing and SO MUCH HATE. What if we just put our guard down and started our conversations with open hearts instead of planning a retaliation. What if we chose not to take things personally and instead we looked at each other with compassion and empathy? Can't we all just agree to give each other a break?