Fine. I’ll admit it. I wadded up my “SuperMom” cape, tossed my “Queen Mom” tiara and crumpled into a heap in front of my husband. I could hear their pounding feet on the floor above me as I agonized my discontent in the basement. I could hear some screams, not death or fear screams, but I just Couldn’t. Answer. Another. Tantrum.
“There’s 6 of them and 1 of me. I’m done. I don’t want to be mom right now. I want to change my name, go in the witness protection program and become Jane Smith who does nothing but work in her garden all day in some small town in Montana and the only thing she raises is prize Begonias. Begonias don’t talk back or destroy the house.”
Not being a mom…well, that’s not true at all. That’s the final cry of someone worn and feeling madly out of control. Being Jane Smith…well, it might still be kinda cool.
My husband moved like he was going to hug me, which broke me right out of the fetal position and ready to run. He was working on a busted septic tank and yeah…no way was I going to let him touch me.
“You had everything under control before, but lately you are just trying to survive the day. What’s different?”
That’s the thing about being emotional around a man. They don’t want to sob with you into a pint of Rocky Road, they turn the stupid thing into something logical and fixable. The worst part was, deadgumit, he was right. I was only being overrun because I was reacting instead of acting and kids are like sharks in the water. First sign of blood in the water and you aren’t even treading water, but fighting off the fins.
Last year was my first summer with so many kids, but I was prepared with activities, charts and schedules. I’m not sure why I wasn’t prepared this year, but I had tried to handle it with no plans, which is like trying to wrangle a herd of cats.
Lesson received Oh Great Septic Smelly Man and I’ll kiss you for it when you wash the stench off. Yesterday I woke up with the intention of acting and not just reacting to survive the day. I pulled the “SuperMom” cape out of the trash, dusted it off and looked all those little sharks square in the eye.
Together we made out a hour by hour schedule, filled out chore charts, created a journal and craft list, bought used books for a reading club that gets you a trip to the bouncy house place and I took my summer back like a boss.
This is life. Sometimes we are so busy fighting the fins off, we forgot how to swim. We get so worn out by reacting, that we are exhausted and considering being “Prize Winning Begonia Jane Smith In Montana.”
It’s take charge time.
Break down every aspect of your life into manageable slices. Hour by hour, if necessary.
Don’t say “I’ll try to handle what happens.” Say “I’m going to make it happen.”
Make sure you reward yourself for acting like a boss.
Turn your sharks into guppies by remembering you came to swim, not just tread water.
Ask for help from someone who is invested in your success/happiness/survival.
You’ve been given this life, because you are fully equipped to own it. Don’t let it wear you down and cause you to simply survive the day. There is absolutely no joy in just reacting and being out of control. Face your fins that are waiting for your to falter, don’t show fear and start swimming again.
Oh and you, parent, that chunked your superhero cape. Take that sucker back and dust it off. You earn it by being there, not just being perfect. You will get tired and you will feel worn. You will have days that look less than perfect and Montana looks inviting. You are going to lose it and mourn the day, but you were there…every day, plugging, chugging and puttering through alongside your kids. Learning, growing and figuring this life out. You are raising a parent as much as you are raising kids. Cut yourself some slack and start acting instead of just reacting.
It’s take charge time. Are you ready to rock this life like a boss?
Categories: june 2013 diary entry