A typical day for me begins before 7am. Kinsey has settled into a 7pm-7am schedule, and while I miss the days when she would sleep in until 9am, I like to roll out of bed, grab her from her crib, and spend a few minutes cuddling in the “big bed.” We run our errands, and are often home before 9:30am, which means that I never deal with lines or crowded aisles. We spend almost 2 hours a day in total, reading books. Kinsey really loves “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” I power through board book after board book, but this one, she stops creating whatever mess that she is working on, and listens to the story. We usually watch at least 2 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, or the first half, or the last half, of the Lorax. Kinsey loves music, and dancing, and I have probably seen the Lorax, in parts, about a hundred times over. (Suggestions for other movies with catchy musical numbers, appreciated). We do puzzles. Or, I do the puzzle, and she pulls off the pieces and holds them out shouting “du! ah! uh!” And I respond with, “Yes, that is a cow. Cow. Cow. The cow says Moo. Cow. Where is the duck?” And, she gets it right about 1/3 of the time. We listen to music. A lot. Kinsey spends close to 3 hours in total playing by herself. Some may respond with “What? by herself?” and get all judgey, but I believe that independent play is important. I will often hear Kinsey working on saying new things, one word in particular that begins with a “D.” I’m pretty sure she is trying to say “Dog” but only time will tell. Our day finishes up with cuddles, and a couple of stories, and Kinsey curls up with her Hippo and the day ends.
This is my life. On repeat. I love every moment.
Except today, I cried a lot. I can’t really explain what the problem was, except that, I talked to one of my closest friends on the phone for the first time in a very long time, and when she asked how I was doing, tears started streaming down my face.
I do a lot for my daughter. I try to keep her alive, happy, and am now starting the part where I am responsible for how she interacts with others. It is a very massive responsibility.
And, lately, my husband’s job has consumed much of his time (not by his choice), and so the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, has fallen on me as well. And somewhere, in the trying to do everything for my family, I forgot to submit a very important paper to one of my graduate classes.
I got an email today that said “I am grading your final projects” and suddenly my heart started racing, and I quickly replied back with “I thought they were due on Monday? Did I really do this? Please advise. I may have a heart attack over my massive oversight.” Thankfully, my professor is an angel, and replied with “I thought it was weird when I didn’t see your paper. Submit it by Monday, and I will not take off any points. Just breathe.” Grace given to me when I was completely undeserving of it. This is graduate school, and what in the actual fuck was I thinking?
I was thinking that time with my family, all of us, together, is a rarity. I was thinking, it was April 1st, not April 9th. I was so consumed with my job as a parent and a wife that I forgot that I exist too.
I used to do things for me. I used to run for me. I used to have coffee dates with my girlfriends without a baby attached to my person. I used to laugh more genuinely because I took time for myself.
I am severely starved for alone time. And, this has been a complete and total failure of my own doing, because I never stopped and communicated what I needed. I thought that I was not important. I thought that I could handle all of it. I thought, that I could give and give, and always feel good about it. That is not true to who I am, as a person. While, I would love to be completely devoted to others, my mental health can not be well if I don’t stop.
This post is hard to write. And, because I am being vulnerable, you should know that I write it through tears, because expressing this monumental moment in my life, is difficult, in a way that I did not expect. I can easily admit that I am not the perfect parent, or that I am not the perfect wife, or friend, or sister, or daughter, but to admit that right now, at this moment in my life, I feel like I am failing at all of it…well, it scrapes at my heart, and I feel ruined.
Lately, I have neglected this space, where I write, because in all honesty, I have been deliberately neglecting myself. I don’t know how I will put everything back into its rightful place, but I hope, that in admitting that I need to change some things, that I will actually hold myself accountable to doing that.
I suppose this part is also mommyhood. And, marriage. And, life. Hard parts. Questions. And, some difficult truth.