I would like to preface this post with a mini life update :
- Boulette was born June 22 after a predictably painful but beautifully brief birth. Her real name is Florence and she’s magnificent.
- I’m on maternity leave for another 14 months. Oh, Canada!
- Arthur is 2.5 years old – which is apparently the age at which children become criminally insane. Not really. But maybe.
- JF and I are close to celebrating 15 years of togetherness.
- Odie is six years old and getting smellier every month.
- We still live in a humdrum bungalow in sweet little Wyevale.
Basically, I’m a very, very lucky person.
I have all the things society tells us successful humans should have: an amazing partner, two beautiful children, a big sweet doggo, my health, a reliable job, two working cars, an incredible network of friends and family, and a comfortable home in a nice neighbourhood. I know many people would love to have my «problems.»
Most of the time (let’s say 97.5 per cent of the time) I bask in it.
I savour the family meals, the baby baths, and the Odie walks. I enjoy my friends when I’m lucky enough to see them. I hug my sisters close. I find my son hilarious. I even love cleaning my car.
Other times I am totally overwhelmed by it all.
- Partner = Damn it’s hard to keep the romance alive.
- Toddler = Are you eating an earplug?
- Baby = How did you get poop in your armpit?
- Dog = Ready for yet another cold and rainy walk?
- Health = Does lifting bags of chips count?
- Car = Is that a rotting cheesestring under the passenger seat?
- Friends and family = Oh shit, I forgot (insert name here)’s birthday!
- Home = Googling “how to get dry, crusty play-doh out of a jute rug.”
- Neighbourhood = We need to up our decorative gourd game.
It’s like I’m stuck standing in the surf on a windy day. The waves keep crashing down and my feet keep sinking into the mud. It feels kinda nice, but it would be good to have dry feet again. And some days I wish someone would pull me out and drag me onto the beach where I can sip a margarita and read a romance novel.
I recently had one of those days.
I was running on 2.5 hours of sleep (damn you, teething!). My house looked like an episode of hoarders. My head was pounding. I had a nasty cough. My car was out of gas. My fridge was empty. And Florence just wouldn’t nap long enough for me to fix any of it.
Then I picked up my toddler who was in a miserable mood, right before he pooped his pants. I overcooked dinner. The kids’ bedtime took forever. I had a row with JF over potty training (this is my life now). Then I spent an hour wallowing in self-pity before finally conking out. Basically, I was Alexander.
The next day was better.
I slept a whole five hours in a row. My brain was unfuzzy enough to appreciate and absorb the little things: a good cup of coffee (thank CHRIST for coffee), my daughter’s giggles, fall flowers, sloppy kisses from my toddler, and my husband’s dry jokes.
I had enough energy to tackle the groceries and the clutter, and enough wisdom to ignore the garden weeds and peanut-butter-stained windows. I even did a bit of mother flippin yoga.
Having it all is pretty swell. But sometimes – mostly when I’m exhausted – it sucks. I want to leave it all behind and become a hermit on some isolated mountain in the Urals.
And I’m learning that’s it’s OK for me to feel that way, on occasion. That those crappy days can be a really important reminder to practice gratitude. Because I really am so very lucky.