This might turn into one of my whiny posts. I think we all know that I do that on occasion. Something gets under my skin, and I have a little vent fest on ANRC. I’ve had more than one time where I’ve re-read a post a couple of weeks later and think, “[insert any four letter word here], you’re whiny, just get over yourself!”
So please, if this turns into a whiny post, forgive me in advance. My promise to myself on this blogging journey was to share my truth. Truth is often a moment in time. And in this moment, this is my truth.
While I type this post, here is what I am enjoying.
It looks like I’m taking pretty good care of me, right? Prosciutto and Chevre Tartine and a glass of Pinot Noir. Life. Is. Not. Bad!
And it’s not.
But I’m also feeling really guilty that this is where I am.
Tonight was one of the evenings that happen about once a month in our house. I’ve reached my limit with being confined to my home, so I tell Kyle that I will be writing my post from the local cafe after Owen is in bed.
We ate dinner as a family, I put Owen to bed and I told Kellen I was going out for some mommy time tonight, but would read him a story and have some cuddle time on the special round couch first. The story finished and he started to cling. I recounted all the fun things we did today and what a fun day it was and that he should spend time with Daddy for his last half hour before bed. Finally, I wrapped him up in the blanket and handed him to Kyle. Kellen squirmed out and ran to door. He threw on my boots and his coat over my t-shirt that he had chosen for pjs tonight (pretty sweet, I know) and demanded that he was coming with me. I explained that it was mommy time and I’d be leaving by myself. We saw the meltdown brewing. Kyle encouraged me with a whispered “go!”, as in, “let’s get this over with.” I walked out, waved as they watched me leave and drove to the cafe. When I arrived I had a text that said, “major meltdown.”
My, not very grown up and really honest reply; “I can’t win.”
Yes, of course, I deserve the occasional night away. But, why does it have to be so hard to get? Last week, when Grandma Sandy was here I chose to paint instead of hit up the cafe for a long lunch. Some say that was a bad idea, but I also would argue that sometimes having my house, the place I spend 99% of my time, in a state that makes it most enjoyable is just as good, if not better, for my sanity than getting a break for a couple of hours. Truth be told, while I did much of the painting, I had the pocket doors to the playroom shut and Grandma took care of the kids. Painting, in that case was “me time.” I guess.
Towards the end of cold and flu season, I start to feel sorry for myself. Valid or not, this is why: Days upon days inside the house, the only outings are to drop off and pick up Kellen at school (I don’t even enter the building further than the foyer) or doctor or therapy visits. During the day there is pressure to work on eating, fine motor skills, walking, language, giving feedings and giving love to Owen. There are always many undone things on the administrative to-do list of Owen’s care; call in a weight, schedule an appointment, fill in paperwork for the new specialist, etc. After school, I try to have a “project” which usually includes something very messy (Blue Goo was today) to occupy Kellen. Just before Kyle is due home, I turn on the TV for Kellen and attempt to do the dishes (while Owen’s angling to climb into the dish washer) and assemble something for dinner, but truth be told, 50% of the time, Kyle ends up doing the meal. We eat. Then I get Owen ready for bed (30 minute process when does not get a bath) while Kyle spends time with Kellen. At the end of the night I try to acknowledge the existence of the man who I love and every once in a while it’d be nice for my self-esteem to look in the mirror and have clean hair and a lightly made-up face looking back.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I need to remember to “take care of me.” However, on nights like tonight, I can’t help but think, “how in the hell is that supposed to happen?” When I take the time, it turns into a meltdown…or a sick kid…or….or…or.
As I sit here in the cafe, one of two things is happening at home. 1) Kellen’s meltdown won’t stop. If it goes on too long, Owen will wake up and he gets very upset when Kellen is upset. Owen crying hard is a big mess. He starts coughing and retching and it can turn into something like an asthma attack and can require a neb. Kellen has a bit of unnerving reaction to these episodes of Owen’s. Instead of being calm and letting you focus on Owen, he becomes anxious and wants you to make him feel better by paying attention to whatever he’s doing. He talks loudly and gets in your face as you’re trying to stay calm and help your other kid breathe. It’s sheer chaos. OR 2) Kellen’s meltdown stopped before too long and Kyle’s sitting on his laptop and catching up on all the work he needs to do from being gone on business most of last week. He works almost every night after the kids go to bed.
Truth is, he needs some “Kyle time” as much as I need “Tatum time” and at the end of the day, some days I take one for the team and some days he takes one for the team. Most days, we are BOTH taking a lot for the team.
As I conclude my after dinner appetizer with an after appetizer tea and red velvet cake, I am finally starting to relax (I’m sure it was the tea and not the Pinot Noir…dumping my soul on all of you may be helping too).
Now that I’m calm and have thoroughly licked my wounds, here is how I know we will survive:
1) This is a moment in time.
2) This moment is much better than that moment twelve months ago.
3) Some moments are just meant to be gotten through.
4) Red velvet cake and mint tea (or maybe it was the pinot noir) truly can change your perspective…if only for a moment.