My mood is a biiiiiiiiiiiiig contrast from what it was yesterday.
I’ll be honest, I had a meltdown yesterday. I got home a little later than I wanted to, so that put me further in the ‘I’m so done with this commute’ category. I’ve been stressed out about my son’s birthday, worried that I’m not doing enough because I’m not having a dog and pony show to celebrate him turning three. I’ve been worried about my husband, who was very sick over Easter. I’ve been worried about my dad, who had a really bad foot infection. For those of you who aren’t in the know, my father is a diabetic and had a kidney transplant last year. It’s a big deal for a diabetic to take care of their feet, so hearing my father had to be rushed to the doctor because he’s not taking care of his feet just sent me into a constant state of worry for him (and for my mother because she’s trying not to show her worry but I know she’s a mess over it). I worry that I’m being an asshole for not being able to have family events where my father-in-law can attend without having to worry how he’s getting into the house.
I just worry. A lot. About stupid things and then about things that are natural to worry about. But there are a lot of things that I can’t control that I continue to get myself in a frenzy over and thus – the crying and sobbing in the kitchen while trying to clean up after dinner. I say things to my husband that sound like this: I’m a horrible person. I suck as a mother. I’m a shitty wife. I’m a shitty daughter. I’m just shitty all around. All of you would be better without me. And this gets him very upset, and rather than try to calm me down or even comfort me, my husband in his husband ways gets very upset and his emotions trigger mine to continue to go whack-a-doodle. It’s a vicious cycle. And it’s so exhausting.
So exhausting that I fell asleep around 9:00 last night and woke up at 10:30 only to ask my husband why he wasn’t at work yet and if he was showering first. Yeah, I was THAT done for. So I tucked Andrew into bed, and rather than doing my usual nightly routine to prep for bed…I just rolled right back into mine and passed out. I had a dream that I met Jenny Lawson and told her that her books inspired me to be more open about my mental illness. I don’t remember anything else, only that. I had a list of things that I had to do last night, but oh well. It’ll get done. Eventually. And I can’t stress out over it.
I hadn’t gone to therapy in a week, he was on vacation. Today, I told my therapist about what happened last night. I told him that I stress out about the most ridiculous things and they become big things because everything else that I worry about just magnifies the dumb things by 10. I know that I do and I’m aware of that, and he talks me through the whole process. I left my session today feeling like I had made a huge leap, because I recognize the problem and I know it’s just so ridiculous. I know that everything will be just fine. My child is a very happy child. My husband and I do all that we can and what’s within our means for our family.
That will always be enough.
So here I am, trying to think of ways to make my son’s third Easter fun. I look at things I purchased for his basket, I think I didn’t get him enough (I did). Then I realize something…I never took him to see the Easter Bunny. He’s gone every year since his first Easter. The plan today was to go take him to see the Easter Bunny, but due to unfortunate circumstances that didn’t happen. For his school parties, I usually make something for the class. I didn’t this time, instead I went to Dunkin Donuts and got 50 munchkins. I was too tired and burnt out to stay awake to bake brownies or cookies. Then, I saw that another mom made an Easter basket with cupcakes and instantly, I started to beat myself up for it. Then tonight, I’m busy doing a lot of things – doing the laundry, cleaning my son’s room because we’re putting his train table in there finally, taking care of my husband (he’s under the weather). It’s getting late. I never started coloring eggs with my son. The eggs weren’t even boiled yet. Crap, I’m really batting 1,000.
But we colored eggs. So maybe I’m not half bad here. Then I remembered that I never took him to see Santa. So I’m back to being an asshole parent.
Side note: My mother and aunt took him to see Santa.
I’m beating myself up for what I deem failures as a mother. I already have severe guilt that I’m a working mother, so when I can’t do something as simple as take my kid to see the Easter Bunny or bake something for his class it’s even worse. This isn’t the first time that I’ve felt this way and it certainly won’t be the last. What I realize is that my child won’t grow up and say, “When I was two, my mother didn’t bring me to see the Easter Bunny.” All of the things I didn’t do for him are things I know he won’t remember or hold against me. What he’s going to remember is how much I love him, how I try to take time every single morning during the work week just to cuddle with him before we have to leave the house for the day.
I give my son attention. I don’t ditch out on time with him. And what I mean by that is when I get home from work, my phone is nowhere in sight. When he asks me to play, I do. He’ll ask for me to read to him, and I do. He doesn’t have to act out to get me to notice him or misbehave in order for me to give him just a moment of my time. So while I continue to beat myself up for being too tired to bake for his class, I have to remember that this is what matters most. It isn’t materialistic things – if his Easter basket is two trains from Thomas that are VERY hard to find (Amazon, thank you so much), a Thomas book, and a package of Peeps, I did just fine. If I managed to get to Dunkin Donuts and still not be late for work just to make sure he had something to contribute to class, I did just fine.
With his birthday coming up, I started to feel bad that he wasn’t getting a big birthday party. We did something big for his first birthday, and we’re not doing anything like that until his fifth. You know what? He’s not going to give a crap that Mommy & Daddy didn’t spend a fortune on a birthday party for his third birthday. He’s not going to care that I didn’t slave over Pinterest ideas for hours on end just to sculpt a cake to look like Thomas the Train. Last year, I didn’t make goodie bags for his friends in school. I ordered pizza and baked a birthday cake, but I didn’t do goodie bags. Other parents do. But is he going to tell me that I failed him by not doing this? I truly doubt he ever will. Am I going to do it this year? Yes. In addition to making his birthday cake myself and not going to my more talented with baking theme cakes friend or even a bakery.
I put pressure on myself to be the perfect mom. Between working and commuting, I come home and instantly switch gears into mom mode. My husband will have dinner ready since some days, he’s home before me and juggling cooking and hanging out with our toddler. But there’s still – eat dinner, get cleaned up, bath time, story time, bed. Then after he’s asleep, it’s prepare for the next day. Get his clothes out, get his schoolbag ready, prep my lunch, take my clothes out. There are times that I fall asleep at the same time as my son and I don’t get to it. It’ll get done the next day, I just have to make sure to get up a little earlier. I don’t have to get everything done, I don’t have to burn myself out even more so. If I had the option to work earlier so that I can be home earlier than 7pm, I would take it in a heartbeat. I hate that I don’t get a whole lot of time with him as it is, but I try to make the most of the time I do have. That’s what he’ll remember. At least that’s what I hope.