Motherhood: The Balancing Act
Motherhood & Murphy's Law
There has been so much going on. I blame motherhood and Murphy’s Law for being absent. The house is the inevitable, constantly cluttered mess. The Ritalin is no longer working, and I have 2 more weeks until I see my shrink. The heat is keeping us inside, and the kids are getting cabin fever. Diva is testing her bounds, and getting more more defiant by the hour, as each boundary becomes a mere hurdle. And today, we are all suffering from severe allergies. I am still working out the kinks to be able to post at least once per day, but have some new solutions falling into place that will enable me to get back to my normal blog posting (from the bed), and then editing minimally from my actual desk (after Diva is asleep).
Last night Diva ran in the bathroom to let me know she had to go potty as I was getting ready for bed.
“Really bad. Right now.”
Wow! So I stripped off her diaper, slapped her on the toilet, and lo-and-behold, she went! She is finally feeling that it is time to ditch the diapers.
But what gives with me not posting for days on end?!? Besides the fact that I suck lately more than usual? Oh, where to start?
Diva believes that she needs to test her bounds, which has left Hubs and me at our wit’s end. She has honestly been a monster. It is physically draining. The constant mental strain to keep from pulling her little head off has seriously taken its toll. By the time I get her in bed, I’ve been crashing out with her. Plus the heat has gotten to me, literally. I am still recovering after overdoing it a few days ago. The throbbing in my head has gotten much less intense, but is still there, and I get dizzy when I walk too quickly, or if I get flustered. I really hope it wasn’t a small heat stroke, but honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me. My temperature has returned to normal, and all other side effects have subsided, other than my constant thirst. Now, to add insult to injury, we are all battling horrible sinus drainage.
I was outside for over 2 hours Monday morning, I took multiple breaks to come inside, and I was drinking lots of fluids, no, not caffeinated, either. I was good, but I just lost too much fluid, too fast, and got dehydrated. It was enough to scare the crap out of me, though, and my son, too.
Her antics have been nonstop; a constant barrage of bad behavior, interrupted by more bad behavior, and topped off with even more outlandish bad behavior.Hot Mess
Now, back to Diva and the last several days. She has been hellish, to put it mildly. Even with help, I have been hanging on by a thread. Her antics have been nonstop; a constant barrage of bad behavior, interrupted by more bad behavior, and topped off with even more outlandish bad behavior. So, yesterday morning, even with a throbbing headache, and grossly weak, I decided to take a stand. There would be serious consequences for bad behavior. No looking the other way, no instant forgiveness, no wiggle room, and no yelling. It stops, and it stops now.
Respect is taught. Respect is earned. It is NOT inherent. Therefore, as the teacher, I will earn it by teaching it.
It went fairly easy for Boo. He caught on very quickly; Diva, not so much. She is stubborn, and is not thrilled about relinquishing her reigning title as boss. That’s a bitch. Too bad. Get over it. No tablet. No TV. Mommy’s not playing. We listened to Slacker for a good part of the day. The only TV was with Boo while Diva napped, and then Cinderella before bed.
I’m not going to lie. It was tough. It isn’t fun saying no. It’s not fun having to be the “bad guy.” It is tiring to have to take a stand against every single act of insolence by getting in a tiny, cute, bubbly little face, and saying firmly, “No, that is not what I expect.” But what’s really not fun? Being in fear of leaving your house because the tyrant in the car seat is liable to meltdown in public at any moment; a time bomb waiting to explode humiliation and desperation at any second. And I’ve had enough.
So, after a very different day, she and I watched Cinderella. She has surprised me a great deal throughout the day by behaving the way I asked relatively quickly, and saying, “I love you,” out of the blue, and helping without being asked. Intentional parenting is hard, but so full of little victories, from successful meals, napping on time, to cooking together, watching a movie, and hearing, “Mommy, me love you.”
Watching Cinderella was more than I think I can put into words, though. As she danced with Prince Charming, Diva and I swayed back in forth as she sat curled in my lap. That was simply golden. When it was over, I couldn’t help but tell her over and over “thank you.” I remembered watching that movie with my mom when I was just a little older than her, and now I’m the Mom. Watching Cinderella with Diva was one of those bucket list items that I’ve had since I was a girl among those “if I ever have a daughter” plans. Since I found out I was having a little girl, I have waited and waited to watch this movie with her, and let me tell you, it was exactly what I had hoped. I had built up how it would be, and astonishingly, I was not disappointed. Diva kissed me on the cheek, the other cheek, the forehead, and then the chin. It was just magic. Like the most amazing chocolate ever created. For a small moment, all was right in the world. Things were simple, happy, and perfect.
Let the world go to hell, and soak in the happy that is ready to fill your own private world.Hot Mess
We need more of that kind of happy. I know I do, and the world is going to hell faster than a dust devil through West Texas in late August. People suck, humanity is at the brink of total collapse, and here I sit happy as a hog in shit because I had an hour of the best happy a person can ever hope to grab.
Be selfish once in a while. Let the world go to hell, and soak in the happy that is ready to fill your own private world. Escape for a bit. Let the dishes and laundry pile up. Grab a bucket of chicken, and just relish relaxing with your best friends. I have 3 – Diva, Boo, and Hubs.
Yeah, I have been sneaking in some mother-son time in the last few days, too. Late-night TV and Camp Google while Diva has been sleeping. Hub has been fighting his own fires, but I’m hoping that soon I can catch up with him, too. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in my motherhood task list that I forget the most important tasks. In taking care of my family, I forget to take time to care for my family by spending time with them.
It is hard carving peace out of chaos, but you just chisel away. You keep trying to find the right angle until you finally get it. And it starts to take shape. Keep chopping, keep swinging, keep chasing, and keep fighting until you find a way to get the happy you have been waiting for. Miraculously, it will appear out of nowhere, just as you were about to give up, something snaps into place, and everything works out. Intentional parenting, and absolute consistency do add up. It just takes time, hard work, discipline, and is not easy. Learning to let go every once in a while, and finding out just what can be let go of is a tightrope. Motherhood is a balancing act. It is an art form. We are the artists. Our legacy is our artwork. Every now and then, we have to step back and admire it, as well as critique it.