Wednesday, January 22, 2014

squeaky wheels and self-care


Our dear friend Sasha was visiting us for the past couple weeks. It was lovely and wonderful having her here and having so much time to just hang out. This morning she flew back to the west coast, and our single-digit winter temperatures have returned, and perhaps it is no surprise that as a result I was not in my best mood a lot of today. The day was made somewhat better by Q and I spending the afternoon watching The Muppets (the 2011 movie, which may be my favorite of all the muppet movies yet), then after getting D from school we visited our old nextdoor neighbors at their new house. Of course then when it was time to go home Q threw a fit and I had to carry him and his eleventybillion layers of cold-weather stuff (which he refused to put on, of course) to the car and the cloud of gloom returned.

The other day I found a list of goals I had written out for myself, to do while Zach was on his extended winter break. The goals were simple things, like read a few books on my to-read list or work through a few lightroom or PS elements tutorials. And, well, almost none of them happened. Part of that was there never seems to be quite as much free time as I imagine during these breaks, and I could list out all sorts of other excuses, but really time just gets away and other things always come up and I couldn't help but feel irritated with myself for not making time for even those simple things.

When we got back from our Texas trip I quickly got to work unpacking our suitcases. I was so proud of myself-- I got everything out of the suitcases themselves, stacked it all neatly into piles according to where they needed to go. I put away the boys' clothes, put Zach's stuff away, filled the dirty clothes hamper with our dirty stuff, and after all that I looked at the pile of my own clothes folded on the bed waiting for their turn...and there they sat the rest of the day because I ran out of steam taking care of everyone else's stuff and just couldn't be bothered. I posted a picture on instagram of my sad pile of deserted clothes and half-jokingly wondered if this was a metaphor.

As I write all this I can hear my mom's voice reminding me when I was a kid that, you know, Marcy, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and you gotta squeak every once in a while, honey. My little family includes three other wheels who squeak a lot louder than I do, and this process of carving out time for me and my shit is a two-steps-forward-two-steps-back dance I've been struggling with for the almost-six (!!!!!) years that I've been a (stay-at-home)parent, and I will likely be whining about this same stuff years from now. Or maybe not, maybe it will get easier as time goes by and my little kiddoes become less little, less squeaky (...or simply big enough to reach the bottle of grease on their own). Time will tell, I guess. And I don't mean to paint this bleak picture or make it sound like I am deeply unhappy or whatever, because really there is so much good in this life of mine, of ours. But I suppose we all have days that feel a little blue, and reminders of things we could stand to work on.

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