I stay home with my little bundles of delight. They are my children, but they, and our home/property are also my job.
I’m pretty type A, or perfectionist leaning. I’ve got so anxiety I’m growing more adept at understanding, and working through. This anxiety definitely peaks with a messy chaotic home. (Yet, I stay home with said children ages 2 and 4)
I don’t take a lot of “time off”.
I had started skipping my monthly ladies nights because something around the house always seemed to come up.
Since it’s been winter, that dovetailed with a lot of sickness. Vermont Winters are the ultimate incubators for colds, cough, and general ick. And it gets cold… Really cold. Normally that’s fine with me. I like the winters here. When we lived in the south I missed our winters, and hated their summers. But this winter that translated directly into me missing a lot of potential time with friends disguised as playdates to help our littles be socially proficient.
We’re not good at taking date nights. It’s hard to justify $50 in just kid watching.
The girls also have been really really terrible about taking naps. I finally have the four year old back on track… but the 2 year old…. She’s a 2 year old. Ain’t no one telling that kiddo what to do. So she doesn’t nap. So I don’t get to have my down time in the day.
And as soon as Hubs gets home, it’s basically a mad dash to bed time… finish up dinner, eat, dishes, herd cats (kids) upstairs for teeth brushing, a bath if we’re feeling particularly energetic, and then the bed time routines that seem to take eons.
I stopped having hobbies. I hadn’t been walking, or hiking, sewing, crafting, drawing or writing. I stopped doing anything beyond hiding in books. E-books, so I could pull them up on my phone alllllll the time, when I got so overwhelmed I needed to hide in plain sight.
So let me distill that down: months without seeing my girlfriends much (I did see my bff from childhood a couple times), no playdates, no downtime/freetime, no dates with that handsome guy of mine, and no soul nurturing. There was no joy. I literally couldn’t see the beauty in things.
I tell you what. I was literally breaking.
Hating being a stay at home mom.
Daydreaming of when I retired all alone in a hermitage some where (who knows what happened to my husband).
Mean, cranky, negative…
Just a real b*tch to be around.
The four year old kept asking if it was my prrriod. (Said just like that)
It all came to a head a couple weeks ago.
Midway through January we started cleaning out our diet. All of us. Meat, Fruit, Veggies, Nuts, fats… No dairy, grains, legumes… And the change in all of us was astounding. Especially my littlest. Really, we should have done this for her ages ago. (TMI, but it completely changed my IBS. I felt like a normal person) And after seeing that, we wanted to continue with it. Give the girls, and ourselves, the best life possible.
BUT hubs had a conference in California… and he was taking me with him. Just me. Not the girls. Our first time that we’d both be leaving them since the oldest was born. More than 4 years ago. And his parents were coming to stay at our house, and watch the girls… for SIX DAYS.
Since my kids and their bodies were responding so well to the cleaned out diet… My husband decided that he wanted his parents to keep going with it when we were gone. I’m not getting into how ummm… BADLY… that was received. (Just picture old school New Englanders who take the whole dairy and carbohydrate/pasta/bread thing VERY seriously.) The end result involved me making 6 dinners ahead of time. Fully prepped to pop in the oven or crockpot ahead of time.
Now, I don’t care how loving, or how well you get along with your mother in law. There’s still that pressure to have things “just so” when they visit. Amplify that by about 1000X when said visit constitutes being in your home, your space, heck, even our bedroom while we were across the country for 6 days.
I was already at my limit leading up to that (remember, no friend time, no alone time, 24/7 momming it). And then I had to clean the f*ck out of my house, store away personal stuff, AND make the meals for the entire time (at late notice… Like Tuesday of the week we were leaving… Honestly, had I known sooner, I would have just been doubling things up in the weeks leading up. Which is something I offered a bunch of times leading up to us leaving).
But then my momcation happened.
And while gone, I realized how unbalanced my world has been. I’ve been forgetting to start out with a balance in “my bank” so that there’s something for my family/house/life to withdraw.
It’s not okay, and it’s not healthy. And the worst part is that I do it to myself. I could totally get to bed at a decent hour, and get up early to do some yoga and journal. Or take the kids for more hikes even if it is cold out. Or actually enforce quiet time in place of naps.
No small child is going to stay… Oh please Mommy. I wish you would have more self care.
And my husband honestly doesn’t look at the big picture of anything. So he’s just going to see me being the little workhorse I am, and not realize I’m running on fumes. He’s going to wait until I’m broken down and heading to the glue factory.
Being away from my real world, and having an abundance of time to explore a new place, reflect, and write has absolutely inspired me. I’m on a new adventure to figure out how to balance it out a little more.
To be less mom, and more me.