Consigliere Barbie and I were sitting down doing some work on our upcoming Recess adventure this morning, when I interrupted her for the millionth time - as per usual - while doing other work not related to Recess. She loves this part of working with me, I knows it.
Anyway, a bit into the unrelated work update, I could tell she was like, ANNNNNNND? She then flashed me a familiar eyebrow raised smirk, code for: "What's the point? And if there is one why are you rambling to get there?" (ps: it takes a village)
The point of this is that there was a different blog here this morning.
Here's what I was trying to say:
I often find myself at the end of the day just wanting someone to know and see all I do to wrangle life, especially the life that happens between the hours of 3pm and 9pm. I want a knight in shining armor with a case of an acute listening addiction. Or a couch full of truly interested, yet nonjudgmental therapists who all agree Freud was a dunce. Or maybe just an elf with a knack for saying all the right things while doing the dishes. Or perhaps merely a Finnish au pair to wake me up in the morning while recounting my heroic feats of motherdom the day prior as the kids dance around me, fed and dressed for school, singing my favorite Johnny Cash song.
You know what I’m talking about. When you feel like you are up to your eyeballs in life and you start wanting someone to come and save you. BUT, you want that saving to happen without having to ask for it. You want someone to just see you. And then wrap you up in the cozy embrace of GIRL, LEMME LEND YOU A HAND CUZ YOU DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE."
Yeah. Guess what?
A rough day as a busy mom is one of those things that A) no one really wants to hear about; B) from which you cannot be saved; and C) probably not really the actual irritation in your life.
It’s a freakin’ bummer to realize A, B, and C, honestly. I mean, it can be downright painful to truly realize this to be true. Be warned, you’ll go through a bit of toddler level tantrum about it when you first start embracing it. And you’ll certainly go bananas liking/sharing each and every op-ed piece on facebook about the travails of motherhood and how gnarly bedtime is (don’t worry, I do too). And then you’ll go read those tragic "articles" through tears to your partner or your pet lizard and they will both either fall asleep or answer insensitively. AND THEN, you’ll pull from the depths of your throat chakra generations of subjugated women’s cries and declare a total mistrial in the land of Who Had a Crappier More Difficult More Pooped Upon Day.
And this is where you wiggle your nose and huff and puff and turn into a martyr. Don't worry. It's not entirely your fault.
I believe wholeheartedly that this whole situation happens because of three main things:
- We are overwhelmed with insane pressures to do it all, which results in us experiencing the normal delightful buzz and necessary inherent demands of our children as an overstimulating parade on our personal space.
- We no longer live in a tribal, connected community in which sisters, cousins, friends, or wise old women are around to remind us this is all temporary, to ask for help, and remind us that we are not stuck alone in a enclosed house with big walls all by ourselves.
- Our methods for being seen by others externally are far more developed these days than our habits of seeing ourselves internally. We look to outside things to make us feel better rather than practicing habits that make every bit of a rough day melt away with a few deep breaths.
The loss for us? Huge. We end up in pain. We allow ourselves to believe we are alone. We don't get access to our playful selves. We block ourselves from the joys all around us in the very pulse of our kiddos. Bigger loss? Our kids don't get to respect and learn from the unique culture of our unique selves but instead grow to respect and learn from the robotic culture of the hurried world around us.
Deep breath. While you understand this, please take the blame off of you. Shift your perspective. Drop which pieces may offend you in this reality and to which part of your rough day you feel you need to stay attached.
I know that you all immediately want to do as I want to do. You want to change the environment around you, stop being so busy, be more connected to your kids, create healthy boundaries between work and home life, etc. But, I don't think change starts there at all. It starts first with complete and utter recognition of where you are right now.
Confess the truths to your overwhelm. Be gentle with the list and follow each confession with the incredibly cheesy self-helpy phrase, "but I love and accept myself." Expose the stuff that competes so desperately for your maternal space and then watch how it all fades away in the presence of that Light. Here I go:
- I've obliterated my attention span through quick facebook scrolls and headliner news articles and being always on the go. (but I love and accept myself)
- I do not know how to sit still. (but I love and accept myself)
- I give myself a really unnecessarily hard time often. (but I love and accept myself)
- I've attached myself to the generational trend that glorifies being busy. (but I love and accept myself)
- I'm afraid that if I stop, things will fall apart. (but I love and accept myself)
- I'm both afraid of failure and afraid of success. (but I love and accept myself)
- I do not ask for help often enough. (but I love and accept myself)
- I have not yet cultivated a spiritual practice that works for my unique belief system. (but I love and accept myself)
- I don't sleep enough, which results in a constant hurry for my kids because I often run late because I'm not prepared to start my day. (but I love and accept myself)
- I have put too much on my plate. (but I love and accept myself)
- I drink too much caffeine. (but I love and accept myself)
- I don't always prioritize the people in my life and my sisterhood. (but I love and accept myself)
- I take things way too seriously way too often. (but I love and accept myself)
- I forget that 99% of struggles are temporary. (but I love and accept myself)
- I often forget that motherhood is actually supposed to be arduous, humbling, trying, patience-requiring, full body and full soul work. (but I love and accept myself)
So. Before you send me emails saying, ARE YOU OKAY, --- dudettes, I am totally awesomely more than ok. I'm actually brilliantly happy. I freaking love what I do for my career. I am healthy and whole. I am loved. I love. My children are wild free range curious courteous munchkins. My world is full. All is well. I'm just willing to say that I have these skeletons in my closet and I'm gonna sit and have tea with them instead of acting like they aren't there so that I don't ever got lost in martyrville. It's time to be real with the things that we don't need and that hamper us from experiencing fully the playful wandering journey that motherhood can be.
Oh, and, you are not alone.