Last week, it seems like my whole family hit the wall. The school-is-no-longer-fun, extra-curriculars-are-too-much, work-house-food-evenings-are-overwhelming Wall. We also had a cold snap and everything felt very hard.
So my blog post didn’t get written. Almost everything else that seemed urgent got done – certain work deadlines made, everyone reasonably fed and to bed somewhat on time, homework turned in. But as the piles piled up, dust bunnies grew, the potted geraniums braved freezing nights, it all felt awful and draggy. We all felt angry at life and wanted to blame each other.
I started this blog for both personal and professional reasons, but it’s the personal that’s yelling at me. Making each post is an important time to reflect, to think, to deepen, so that my life is not lost in silly, soul-draining details. Example of latter: Mother to pouting, snarly, child: “This is the cracker you will get for your lunch snack because this is the cracker we have in the house because I did not go to the store yesterday to get your favorites because I refuse to go to the store every day, and this cracker had better not come home at the end of the day!” (Note: This cracker is probably crushed out on the playground somewhere.).
So, something that feeds me got put by the wayside for other things, and I’m wondering why it is continuously so hard to keep “me” things near the top of the to-do list. Planning gets thrown out the window in favor of day-to-day maintenance details that drain me pretty quickly. Parking lots, stores with aisles of crap, finding my sieve outside used on driveway dirt, fifty phone calls to arrange one outing, long weekends that are fun but throw the work schedule off, battles over music practice, battles over homework, battles of teethbrushing, battles over getting out of the house on time.
When you pack in the fun – autumn hikes, family overnights to friends, special events — then somehow the base of a life can disappear, as it did this last week. Meditations poorly done if at all, only a little exercise that was tiring anyway, bad food in a hurry.
The other day, I was heating hot cereal and milk and saw something I’d never seen before – a thin, film of milk stretched over the top of the bubbling food right at the edge of the pan. Not spilling, not losing it, just pulled very, very tight, very thin. A message straight from the universe’s kitchen to me.
So, time to zero down to the very basics. Again. I’m pulling it together slowly, getting up earlier, meditating despite how fruitless it feels, more yoga, very simple dinners, nonexistent social life, blog posts instead of yard clean-up, and…looking again, more deeply at my girls.
Both of them still love to hover around digital clocks to watch am turn to pm, or the :59 turn to the new hour.
One has decided hair brushing is out – she’s been good and attentive most of her life, so I’ll let it go. I think she’s going to get over it.
They sing, both of them, all day long.
All B wants to do is draw.
L cried the other morning when she didn’t get up in time to watch the full moon set behind the hills. She needed a quick round yellow circle drawn on a piece of paper held up to the window to soothe her.
Today, the house is quiet. I feel myself spreading out in calm.
I don’t quite yet know how to not get all wound up inside at the piles of stuff all over the kitchen (you’d think after 10 years I’d have figured this out), but I dusted my bedside table yesterday. It’s an oasis, a start. All over again.
How do you keep it together as a parent? How do you rejuvenate yourself when you are drained and discouraged? Post a comment and let me know!