Photo: I love Friday mornings. Friday mornings are for the renewal of the covenant between flour, sugar, butter, spices, and flour. A little heat, a little time, a stretch in the early morning light, and wow–you have a house full of good smells, a moment for savoring the end of a busy week. You can’t feel bad when butter, sugar, flour and yeast combine do good things in your oven. You can’t feel bad when your Friday starts out with those things! It’s impossible. Now, imagine putting pumpkin cream cheese frosting on those. Yeah. T’was a good Friday morn’.
Ursa Major is having a fantastic kindergarten experience.
Ursa Minor, having completed his first full week of school, including two days of Lunch Bunch, is having a fantastic kindergarten experience.
The Husband, daily walking out the door with a custom bagged lunch and coming home to a clean house with educated children and a well-cooked meal, is feeling pretty good about the way things are running around here. He gets to go to work and be validated as the big-brained amazing man that he is, and then he gets to come home to relax and be loved. What more could a man want? So, fantastic experience for The Husband.
Of course, someone had to make all that happen. Someone had to facilitate all of this fantasticness.
Which means that Mommy is not having a fantastic experience.
I sat in the office of a dear friend today and, upon being asked how I was doing, I couldn’t tell one more lie.
“I’m absolutely miserable. This is absolutely miserable!”
For every giggle and smile, every happy sigh after a hearty meal at school or work, every satisfying moment of intellectual stimulation, there was a groan, huff, grunt, pop of a muscle, under-breath curse, or growl coming from the woman of the house. Super Mom. The woman who did all the things, mostly in service to everyone else.
And when I did do those few things for myself… the results were mediocre at best. Fiction was not written. Blogging was barely done. I want to submit a short story and I haven’t had a moment. I have holiday crafts that must be prepped before the end of the weekend. I haven’t been to Wegmans in over a week.My locs are screaming for a retwist. Even just a deep conditioning would do wonders!
It’s one thing to get to the end of a week feeling accomplished and badass, knowing that you conqured your week, feeling ready to do it all again. It’s another thing to just feel spent, aching, dreading all of the things you’ve left undone. It’s hard to find the necessary stillness to recharge, to regroup. It’s a vicious space to be in. For me, it creates more anger at myself than anyone else. I want to be better, more efficient, more diligent. This is, of course, not helpful.
My friend told me that I’m not alone. A lot of women go through this. Life with young children is draining. Life with a busy family is draining. Caring for everyone else is draining.
This is what it feels like when the jar is damn near empty.
I accomplished one thing, at least: I sucked a little less this week. Major got picked up for guitar on time. We made it to Back-to-School Night. I freaking made cinnamon rolls.
That means I have the opportunity to suck a little less next week. And the week after.
Ambitious as I am, it is painful to make my weekly goal to be “suck just a little less this week” but this is what starting from scratch looks like. I have so much to learn, but most of that learning has to do with myself, my household and my mothering. I didn’t realize how much growing I’d have to do to make this transition work. So much rests on how well I manage my stress and obligations. It feels so unfair in a way. How easy it would be to sink into a warm, deep sleep all weekend… to order out every night… to ignore my husband and children…to let it all fall away …
Next week is another hard week. I’ll be there with my game face on and my best foot forward.
On this Friday, with a full Harvest moon and an undeniable chill in the air, I wish you rest and refuge. Soak those aching bones, calm your restless mind, silence the inner voices who are saying that you aren’t doing enough. Even if it is only for a short bit of time, take care of yourself, Dear Reader. Love yourself a bit, giving yourself the gift of stillness. I wish you soup, Dear Reader. Your first bowl of the new season. Savor it with crusty bread and crispy salad with late summer greens. I wish you rustling leaves, maybe a few starting to blush, another few taking the leap a little early. I wish you laughter and music under a sunny sky, the warmth of a held hand, the magic of a kiss on your cheek. Be kind to yourself and to others this weekend, Dear Reader. And don’t forget to tell someone you love them. I tell you every week, and I won’t stop. This world is so crazy right now. Being loving and kind can only do good in a world that needs it. Remember, as you speak the words to others, that you are loved as well. Deeply. Unabashedly. What you do in this world matters to someone out there, even if they don’t tell you so.
Until Monday, get some sleep and take care.