Sunday, March 31, 2013

Losing your shit

Okay, I lied. I'm a big fat liar, promising to blog often and giving myself deadlines that I'm incapable of meeting. People around me often urge, write a book. My response is always the same. I become exasperated and snap back that publishers require dead lines and I am incapable of meeting deadlines. Case in Point.


I am truly exhausted. I know, people say that all the time. They put their heavy heads in their blistered hands and sigh I am so exhausted. But those people pick up and truck on, right? Despite their apparent exhaustion, they keep moving. Another day of work, another meeting, another long drive home, and finally, another one bites the dust (er.. falls into bed). I guess I'm one of these. Every day grows longer, more worrisome; I look at myself in the mirror for a long time and think for a few uncomfortable moments, how are you going to get through this?  My feet shift and I pull down my shirt and I tighten my pony tail. I put on a tense smile and return to work, exhausted but still moving.

Everyone has a breaking point. You can be strong for a long time- years even. But there will be a moment when you lose your shit. This shit-losing process can produce a number of reactions. You might be lying in a bathtub, chain smoking and humming Johnny Cash songs until the break of dawn. Maybe you're one who will make sudden moves- quit your job, leave your family, shave your head, do drugs. Maybe you'll reduce yourself to a pile of dirty clothes and empty ice cream tubs, watching reruns of I Love Lucy.

When I lose my shit, I work harder. I play harder too, which is probably why I work harder. I'm trying to compensate the late nights out with pancake breakfasts, trips to the zoo, the park, warm milk before bed, extra bedtime stories, hours of puzzles and lego building. I go out until the sun comes up and when I get home, back to reality, back to Kade, I muster up what's left of me to be a Mama.  Really, I'm always a sort of Super Mom. I like to focus my energy on my parenting, especially within the walls of my home. It's important to me that Kade's childhood is whimsical and wonderful and honest. It's imperative to me that he learns things like patience and kindness and respect. But when I lose my shit, I really lose it.

For example;
I have slept an average of 3 hours a night for the past month and a half. If it's 3 o'clock in the morning on a Tuesday night, you will find me in my kitchen, sprinkled with flour. There is butter in my hair as I'm whisking and baking. Apple Crisps, animal crackers, breakfast cupcakes, home made veggie nuggets... you name a healthy and vastly complicated recipe suitable for children, I've conjured it up. And if I'm not baking? Sewing. Quilts and baby pants and mittens and coasters fly from my sewing machine quick as lightening, into a giant pile beneath my desk. 

Some nights, I glance at the clock with blurry eyes and it's time to get ready for work and my kitchen is covered in flour and empty bowls, dripping with batter. I wake Kade up and serve him a breakfast cupcake. I whisk up some eggs and ham and brew yet another pot of coffee. I lay my head in my blistered hands and sigh I am so exhausted.

At work, it's like I'm switched on auto-pilot. Before I know it, the day is over and I'm on my way home, wondering where the day went. I smile warmly at parents and redirect students and solve all sorts of frustrating issues but I am not present for any of it. I am in the background, resting. Resting while Super Mom, Super Worker steps in my place. She's sensitive and clumsy and has an awful memory... but she gets the job done.

Things will get better. I know they will. But for right now, they are hard. I'm frustrated and sleepy and fuzzy headed. I try to focus on my faith and that in itself seems a daunting, truly exhausting task. I know how I should take care of myself; get enough sleep, don't drink, eat, for hells sake, EAT. And, maybe most important, surround myself with people who matter. People who I count on for long hugs and warm beds and poured shots, toasts in the air, "To Jessica. For being a kick ass mom."

This will blow over, I know.

And until then, I will keep going. I'll buy myself flowers and keep ice packs on my head and maybe sink into a hot bath humming Johnny Cash, minus the cigarette. And I'll surround myself with friends who are warm and who care and they'll help me escape for a night or two and all will be well again soon.