This picture of me is blurry and so is how I have been feeling.
You see, my oldest snapped this picture of me as I cleaned up dog vomit. Don’t worry, my labs are fine, they just had a check-up, but the reality is that they are getting older, their stomachs upset easily, and they poop and throw-up a lot more than they used to.
In the matter of the past week, I have woken up to dog poo on the floor (both the hardwood and carpet), dog throw-up, kid peed-on bed sheets, and a child who thought they tooted, but actually and accidentally pooped on themselves.
I am pooped out.
And to top it all off, my littlest of munchkins has somehow come down with a case of hand, foot, and mouth and she refuses to take her antibiotics.
So, this blurry image you see of me above wiping away my laugh-cry or “is she just losing her mind?” tears is me feeling overwhelmed and giving into what I perceive to be the challenges and stresses of my day.
The truth is that, while I enjoy these extra moments with my children when they’re on school break, I’m also a mess because of it.
From August-May, I have about three hours to myself every morning while my kids are in school and I work darn hard to fill those few hours writing, keeping up with all of the laundry that a family of five creates, caring for our fur pets, and maintaining our house.
But, for the months of June and July — and even during the holidays in November and December, I really struggle to keep up with it all. Like, struggle hard.
I mean how is it even possible to keep up with #allthethings when my primary task is and always should be to be a present and attentive mother to my children?
How can I be engaged in discussions with my children while I am vacuuming?
How can I help my son with his letter recognition and handwriting when there’s laundry to be done and dishes to be washed?
How can I ensure that my children feel heard and encourage them to use their voice if I am always telling them to “hold on” and “one minute”?
I beat myself up for my inability to do it all, and it seems that even when I can keep up with most of it, something (or unfortunately, someone) always gets the shaft.
I’m tired of feeling consumed by anxiety.
I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed and over-tasked.
I’m tired of feeling like a failure because things don’t go according to my plan.
BUT, more than anything I’m tired of being tired of things.
I’m tired of complaining.
In the grand scheme of things, I know that my “stresses,” are walks in the park when you think about what so many other families are facing.
Still, that perspective, on the day-to-day, it’s hard to keep in the forefront.
For those who don’t get all up in their head about things, it’s easy for them to instruct those who do, like me, to “relax” and “chill out.”
Yet, for those who have a hard time letting go of control, responsibility, tasks, guilt, etc., we can’t just pop a chill pill and calm down.
But that’s kind of an excuse for us, isn’t it?
My husband made a great and obvious point to me today that my complaining, fretting, and crying over my stress does absolutely nothing to fix it or capitalize on it. He stated to me that the only way to deal with it is actually to deal with it. How about that?
He’s right. OMGoodness, for the sake of his pride, I will type that again… he is right.
Maybe it’s a mom thing, or perhaps it’s a personality thing, but I can’t help but feel stressed the fudge out pretty often. So, something has to give, right? I mean, if I don’t want to waste time laugh-crying about bull — that is just that, non-important bull — then I must figure out a way to come to peace with it.
It’s okay for us mothers to feel the weight of things on our back; it’s inevitable. However, we must find a way to not be overpowered by these inconveniences or challenges (big or small) and to place more importance on them than they deserve.
I mentioned earlier that I am feeling pooped and I just realized this:
When we are feeling like we are being overloaded and overburdened with a bunch of stuff, the most useful thing for us to do is decide what tools we need to clean the literal or figurative crud up and move on.
The longer we sit around and cry and complain about it the longer it’s going to sit there seeping into other areas and stinkin’ up more of our environment.
When you’re pooped and feeling blurry, don’t tap out or cry — clean that ish, move on, and remember that there are lots and lots of other people in this world that would wish to be dealing with your menial tasks than the more serious ones they’re facing.
This story originally appeared on @jthreeNMe on Facebook