You know that feeling you get when everything is going completely down the shitter and you want to throw in the towel, but then you realize there aren’t even any clean towels to throw in?! Been there, done that, just bought the motherfuckin’ t-shirt and guess what? It doesn’t fit.
You may be at your breaking point. You may have had bad news, one thing after the other and it never seems to end. Then, while pacing around trying to calm yourself down, you may hit your hip against the corner of the counter where it hurts like hell and leaves a dreadful looking bruise, and you mentally scream who the fuck put that counter there?!? Maybe that last part was just a personal experience, but we all get to a point now and then where we want to call it quits. Give up. Ride away into the sunset on a horse while sippin’ a canteen full of whiskey and singing “Let it Go” at the top of our lungs, but with cuss words in place of the real words.
Only then, you see those eyes…their eyes; following you from across the room, needing you, and depending on you. The world around you may seem like it’s falling apart. You may not know the answers…to basically anything. You may doubt yourself. You may question whether you are even good enough for them and think that they deserve better. How in the hell are you going to get through this? The heavy feeling in your chest makes you question whether you accidentally swallowed an apple seed and a Granny Smith Tree is growing rapidly in the warm, moist environment of your esophagus (I’ve always wondered about this). But really, it’s that same ol’ sonofabitch called “worry” messing with you. You try and breathe. You try and keep your cool, because their eyes…they are watching you. To escape, you could throw back shot glasses full of M&M’s, or say screw the chocolate and go straight to vodka. You could hide in the barrel of the dryer, because you know no one would find you there. You could fade away within yourself and go through the day without speaking a word unless it’s necessary, and typically only perk up around people who can’t tell that it’s fake.
This last week has kicked my ass. If I have a child who is struggling and I don’t know how to help them, it consumes me. It consumes me to the point where it’s not healthy. I worry to where I can’t sleep, I can’t think, I can’t function. I constantly criticize myself for things I could be doing better or things I haven’t done. I am so far from “the perfect mom” that it’s no longer even on my radar. So last night, when I was walking around in tears because the only warm weather pajamas I could find for my first grader’s pajama day today were so small that they looked like Richard Simmons’ workout clothes, it triggered a lot of emotions. My eyes filled up with tears. I can’t find anything! I am so disorganized! I started asking myself, if you can’t even handle freaking pajama day, how are you going to handle the big problems in your life? Because pajamas seriously, are the least of my worries. Then I looked over and saw my first grader sitting on the stair looking at me with those precious eyes.
“Mom,” he said.
“You’re pretty and I love you.”
After a power-hug and teeth brushing, all my littles were ready for bed. I told my husband I would be right back. I ran up to Target and bought some summer pajamas and a bag of M&M’s that I tore through on the ride home, like a lion ripping through a zebra carcass. Then I thought to myself, I have three little sets of eyes watching me at home. If I crumble, what will they do? I can’t let this worry take me…at least not while they are watching, so there, on the road, going 35 mph down the middle of suburbia, I cried. I cried my eyes out. Then I came home, got my shit together, and kissed my boys goodnight.
I sent my older two to school today, one in brand new pajamas. Only, wait! Mom fail! I didn’t wash them before he wore them. But guess what? It was because my washer and dryer were both full. This is because, instead of throwing in the towel…I decided to wash the fuckers…all of them. And after I’m done writing this, I will go and fold them and put them away and I will probably mentally cuss a lot while I do it. Everything is going to be alright, because it has to be. Besides, I can’t find a horse to ride away on that can hold five people…and I can’t give up because they all need me. Looking at those little faces gives me strength to get through it…and I’m not going to lie, a little Xanax doesn’t hurt either.
So if you are hiding in the pantry or the closet, or in your own mind, go ahead and come on out. They need you, and in their eyes, you are perfect…and pretty, and they love you.
Just watch out for that damn corner of the counter, because that REALLY freaking hurts.
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