I took an objective look at this blog and as I scrolled down the page in its entirety I thought, “A first-time reader would take one look at this, ascertain that I am a weight-obsessed, slighty depressed mother of two and never come back to this domain ever again.”
It’s not totally accurate, but the posts speak for themselves, I suppose. True, I am fairly focused on losing my baby weight (since I know how much better I feel when I’m not hauling around an extra ten sticks o’ butter on my rear) and I’ve been finding the whole “I have two kids” thing a lot harder than I thought I would, but there is a lot more to me than those two things and I guess I haven’t been letting them shine through in my writing.
Last week the weight of the sleepless nights, the sick kids, the coughing husband, the disastrous house, the molding leftovers, it all just got to me and I realized that I was stuck in a cycle of feeling like a failure. It felt as though I sucked at all of the things I have been entrusted with: raising our two girls, keeping the household running, and cooking a few hot meals. Avelyn was acting like a total brat (parenting FAIL), the house was covered in dust and dog hair and a month’s worth of laundry was swallowing our bedroom (domestic FAIL), and if we had a frozen pizza for dinner it meant things were looking up (culinary FAIL). I am an all or nothing person and since I felt like I was failing at it all, the only option was to stop trying and to succeed at nothing.
I was ranting to Christy about these emotions and she said something I won’t soon forget, “Amanda, you have to give yourself permission to just survive the first year with a new baby, especially when you’ve got two kids to take care of.” If she weren’t a province away I would have collapsed in her arms and cried because that’s just what I needed to hear. (She’s a mother of three, so she knows what she’s talkin’ ’bout.) I took her words to heart and my perspective has since changed. I have taken the pressure off myself to do it all, since I know that right now I just can’t do it. And with that pressure gone, I don’t have to corner myself into the “I guess I’ll just do nothing since I can’t do it all (PS: pass the bon-bons)” mentality. I am choosing to focus on the things I can do: no, I can’t spit-shine the floor, but maybe I have time to run a vacuum over the living room; no, I can’t piece together a five course meal but I can try a new recipe with simple ingredients; no, I can’t control whether my two year-old has a tantrum in Wal-Mart but I can keep a cool head while she’s hurling her body on the cold floor of the toy aisle since I won’t let her keep the Dora umbrella. I can, I can, I can! Woohoo!
I don’t have it all figured out, that’s for sure. But giving myself permission to just make it through the days with the bare minimum accomplished motivates me to add a few things to the minimum, as opposed to throwing up my hands in defeat when I realize I can’t hit the maximum.
Thanks for sticking with me as I muddle my way through, you guys. I always appreciate your words of encouragement and great comments.
I just might make it after all.