I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately. Spitting into the wind. Taking one step forward and three steps back, minus the one step forward part.
I think that’s pretty much the same thing as being a mom, although I don’t think it’s we moms exclusively who fit those GOOD LORD I’M TIRED clichés. It’s just that… Good Lord, I’m TIRED, you know?
I know you know.
Two nights ago, I quit. Called my husband on the phone prior to dinner and said, “I QUIT. I quit. I quiiiiiiiiit. I quit, and I quit, and I quit. Not gonna parent tonight. Not gonna wife. Not gonna adult. Just gonna sit in the bathtub and read a trashy book and go to bed at 7. ‘Cause, DUDE; I’m twelve kinds of done.” I mean, I just quit temporarily, of course, but I still quit dramatically and with lots of words because otherwise what’s the point of quitting? And Greg, because he’s smarter now than he used to be, said, “OK,” and “fine,” and not, “so you’re sticking me with all the kids and all the work?” He’s SO MUCH SMARTER, friends.
Here’s how it went down:
At 5pm, I quit everything.
At 6pm, a kid started vomiting, so I unquit and got out of the tub and snuggled that kid into my bed with the specific understanding that I would requit as soon as the kid felt better.
At 8pm, the kid felt better. I re-quit.
At 8:15pm, the kid who has anxiety and panic disorders and developmental delay and questionable judgement because he’s made out of human had a meltdown. A wall-banging, anxiety-laden, ragey, annoying, heartbreaking meltdown. I unquit.
At 9pm, when that kid calmed and finally slept, I requit. QUIT quit. “I QUIT,” I told Greg. “I MEAN IT THIS TIME.”
At 9:15pm, another kid — separate from the kids above, because my kids share well, including the torture of their mommy — had stomach pains. I, however, did NOT unquit. You know why? Because this isn’t my first rodeo, folks. He had stomach pains, not a severed artery, and his stomach pains weren’t on the right side so I knew it was just gas and not appendicitis because the internet told me so.
At 9:30pm, the stomach pain kid was still crying.
And at 9:45pm.
And at 10pm, plus he added some screaming.
At 10:15pm, I unquit, and at 10:30pm, I took him to the emergency room.
At 11pm, he was admitted to the hospital.
At 11:15pm, he farted and felt much better.
At 12am, he was released, and we came home, and I got to explain to Greg that we will be paying an ER bill for gas and constipation. Again.
At 1am, I requit because sometimes you just have to have priniciples, you know? I whispered, “I quit,” but no one heard me because they were all finally asleep, and I technically requit in bed with the gassy kid on one side and the puker on the other because I’m also a mama and it’s what we mamas do. Still, priniciples.
I’m swimming upriver, friends. Trying to keep my head afloat. Sinking fast. Resurfacing.
I don’t know what to say about that other than this is life.
This is life. This cycle of drowning and floating and being dashed by the waves and finding our way to shore to rest and recover and forage for sustenance.
This is life. To sit by the ocean and to know its power from the sound and the memories of the pounding of the surf.
This is life, to rise again and brush the sand away and wade into the depths again.
This is life. To swim with long strokes and to succumb to the sea and to swim again.
This is life. This pace. This relentlessness. This strange joy in the journey even though we’re jabbed and jarred.
This is life, and I can’t tell you I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I’d honestly take a little less puking right now and a lot more sleep, but this is life, and I’m content, and sometimes that’s all we can ask.
This is life, and I unquit. For now.