I just came in here for a blender.

It’s a rare weekend where my husband has a Saturday off.  WE’RE REJOICING!  No, really.  Little man woke up at 9 (for the second day in a row), then three hours later napped for three hours (I got at least an hour in once I got back from a much needed manicure).  We planned out that the rest of the day – we’d go to Target for a blender, grab some dinner and come home and dye eggs for Easter.  Sounds like a solid plan, right?

Target is the last place that one should go for just “one thing.”  As my husband and I carted around the store, we found a blender that does everything we need – including grind coffee – and that’s where I should have turned the cart around to check out.  Our anniversary is coming up next month and I already knew that I’d be purchasing a pressure cooker.  For some reason, my husband really wanted one.  Well today, he found one that was a great deal and on sale – suffice to say he got his anniversary gift early.  And on we go to the check…nope, let’s move on to bath towels.

I am very OCD and my towels need to match in the bathroom.  Two bath towels, one hand towel, one washcloth, and two rugs for the floor.  I wanted grey, but apparently everyone and their grandmother shopped at Target for grey bathroom towels/rugs.  My beautiful bearded love tries to make me less stressed about this first world problem and says, “They all don’t need to match,  you know.”  And then I strangled my husband with a duvet cover.

I’M KIDDING!  He’s still alive and well.  I promise.

Disappointed and very overwhelmed, I moved on to bed linens.  This is where it gets real dicey, friends.  I tried to push my husband into letting me buy a quilt that had pink flowers on it.  Then red flowers.  Then blue ones.  He was mumbling something about vaginas and manhood and that’s where he lost me.  I debated getting a comforter set, despite really wanting a quilt.  I was stressed out…about bed linens.  I really almost walked away from the section…then ten minutes later, I settled on a nice teal quilt and sheets that match.  I AM OVERJOYED BY THESE THINGS!

As we continue to pretend like we’re rich (we are debt free, our bills and rent are all paid, we’re responsible adults), my son decides to have a little toddler episode in the middle of the boys’ section as I try to find white undershirts in his size.  I looked at him and let my husband take the reigns.  I felt everything in me just bubble up and I kept saying, ‘I just came in here for a blender.’  What comes next is to be expected with me by now – my son decided that he was going to go against my advice and dump all of the Cheerios from his snack container into the cart…which all fall through the holes and go on the floor.  Enter anxiety attack in the middle of the food section at Target.

I can now cross off ‘pick Cheerios up from the floor at Target’ from my bucket list.

And to think I just went to Target to get a blender.

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Maybe I should sleep this one off.

Well, another weekend in the books.  My husband works most Saturdays, which leaves me alone with my son for a large portion of the day.  And I love it.  I love getting to spend time with him, watching him be a tiny human being and trying to figure out how to do something he wasn’t able to do before.  This week, he climbed on the coffee table.  He figured it out and did it while we were on FaceTime with my mom.  I have made an honest effort not to raise my voice and yell at him for being a curious toddler.  When he does something that I don’t want him to do, I talk to him and let him know what’s off limits.  Sometimes, he tests me but I’ve been really doing well with not losing it on him.  Once he understood that coffee tables are not jungle gyms, we sat down together and had breakfast.

I love this time with him because it’s just us, not having to rush anywhere to be any place.  I include him in things that I have to do on Saturdays – he helps me clean up, he helps me make the bed, and when I have to do something in the kitchen he’ll busy himself with his toys and is sure to come in every couple of minutes to see what I’m doing.  He brought his farm animals into the kitchen on Saturday morning and wheeled them around in the little pick up truck that came with the set.  Not once did he act out of sorts, got impatient that French toast was not done yet.  I gave him his plate and his fork and he set his place at the table.  It’s moments like that in which I’m proud of myself as a parent that he likes to help and wants to help.  It’s also moments like this that I cherish because there’s going to be a day where he’s not going to want anything to do with me on a Saturday morning.

After we took a nice walk, we came home and played some more.  He told me he wanted to take a nap and so, he climbed up on my lap and fell asleep.  And I followed suit not too far after.  My husband came home earlier than expected and woke me up from a two and a half hour nap.  Our son was still asleep, but not for too much longer after that.  Remember that super well behaved child I talked about earlier?  He disappeared.  He vanished.  He went poof.  Instead, I got a toddler that’s entering his terrible twos very early and does not listen to a dang thing either one of us has to say.

Fast forward to Sunday, where my anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks in church.  My child was kicking and screaming as I brought him upstairs to his father.  I couldn’t handle it and I had an anxiety attack, ran into the lounge in the narthex and began to sob and hyperventilate.  My mother came in and sat with me, and helped to calm me down.  I told her, “He’s not like this when it’s just me and him, Mom!  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”  And there is my first problem – I’m not doing anything wrong.  I try to tell myself this is temporary.  This too shall pass, but in moments like that I feel like there’s no end.  At some point in time, I have to stop putting pressure on myself to be the perfect parent with the perfectly behaved child.  That is non-existent and unrealistic, and the only people who feel like it does exist and is within the realm of possibility are people who do not have children.

Once that fiasco was over, it seemed like the day was one of where I couldn’t get to a room by myself fast enough to just hide.  My husband and son couldn’t stop bickering and at one point I said, ‘Please don’t kill each other.’  When it came to bedtime, my son put up the good fight to not go to sleep.  Enter anxiety attack number two, where I ran into the bedroom and threw myself on the bed and sobbed.  I could hear my son screaming bloody murder in the other room and that seemed to make everything worse.  The “MOMMMMYYYYYY” that he cried out just was the deal sealer for me and I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Long story short – I eventually (kinda) got it together and helped my husband tame the Terrible Almost Two Beast.

It took me a minute, not even, to calm my son down.  And within five minutes, he was fast asleep.  I decided to skip my Sunday night regimen and just go to sleep.  I figured that I would just sleep it off, kind of like people should do when they’ve had way too much to drink.  When I woke up this morning, I decided that I was going to share my story and stop being so scared to talk about it.  I have to stop being afraid to be open about my anxiety and what it can do to me.  I can’t keep thinking it makes me look like a bad person, a bad wife, a bad mother.  I’m human and I have a slight imperfection that I’m truly working on so that I’m not hiding in bathrooms or bedrooms when things get too much.  Between finding the courage to go to a therapist and speaking with my physician, I think I’m doing an alright job.  I know I’ll never be free of anxiety, but I will at least be able to handle things a lot better.  I’m confident in that.

Be well, everyone.