I am sitting here, in the quiet of my living room, in silence. The only sounds I hear are the fan and the intermittent beep of a smoke detector with a low battery (I really should check that out...). Silence has become my new favorite noise. For most of the day, my ear drums are bombarded with "Mommy, mommy, mommy!" or "Honey, where are my socks?" or "Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!" While I cherish what all these voices mean, I also cherish the quiet that the end of the day brings. It is my personal time to just breath. I usually watch a little TV -either Master Chef or So You Think You Can Dance at this time of year. Just a little retreat from the busy-ness of the day. Or I read one of the many books I have waiting for me to crack open. Right now, I am reading The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears and The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (my tastes vary depending on mood).
But tonight, I have started thinking about how much easier my life is at this moment than say, six months ago... I will freely admit that I am NOT a "Supermom". I am not one of those moms who can easily keep a home and have kids. I have come to accept that about myself. And thankfully, so has Derek.
When Evan was born, I was just getting the hang of having a toddler. I was just getting good at keeping the dishes, laundry, cooking all done so that I didn't always feel like I lived in squalor. After Evan was born, though, my time management skills (what little I had) went out the window and I constantly felt like I was being pulled in 18 different directions. I think "overwhelmed" was an understatement. I didn't have any issues with postpartum depression, thank the Lord, or it may have been a whole lot worse. My house was NEVER presentable unless I had company coming over and I worked my butt off for the whole week before to make it that way. I had to scramble to make sure we all had clean clothes. And usually, lunch (our main family meal since my husband works nights) consisted of sandwiches or my husband's favorite "chicken-tots", baked chicken tenders and tater tots. I just got by, to say the least. Something had to give. I had to have a serious sit-down with my husband. I had to explain to him that I couldn't do it all and that I needed help. I laid it all out for him. I told him that I NEEDED a little time to myself every once in a while. The only time I was ever really without the kids was the eight hours I work weekly. I also explained to him that because of his work schedule, most of the time I felt like a single mom. Derek understood where I was coming from and said that he could see that I had been struggling. He was amazed that I even said anything at all, as our history has proven that I am not a touchy-feely-share-every-thought kinda gal. But he also said that he was very happy that I did give voice to my needs and would be happy to help out more.
A lot has changed in six months. I no longer have an infant and a toddler. I have a toddler and a preschooler. The boys play very well together, for the most part, and I am able to get more done than I ever thought I would. I am finally able cook a REAL meal that consists of more than two ingredients. I am finally able to tackle the laundry in a timely manner and my dishes stay a lot more caught up now. I am working on my organization skills (which I think would greatly benefit the other areas of my life) and my time management issues. I try not to let the little things bother me as much as before and just be happy in the moment. I try to spend time with the boys, one-on-one, so that I can get to know them as individuals. Derek spends more time with them now as well, allowing me to run errands (or whatever) by myself and just give me a bit of a break. He has started pitching in more around the house and when he sees that I am struggling, gives me a boost.
I know for the most part, this has probably seemed more like a rant than anything else. But I know I am not the only mom that struggles. I know we all want to be the best mom that we possibly can. And sometimes, it's hard to realize that we CAN'T do it all, no matter how badly we try. I have come to realize that to be the best I can be, maybe I DO have to have a little mess so that I can have a snuggle or read one more book or spin my boys around and around. Because really, those are the things that will matter more in the long run than whether or not I dusted those shelves or folded those towels.