This is not a post about my great life. You will get plenty of those in the future, because I have in fact decided to focus on two things in my year 33: gratitude, and ME. Whoa, selfish. There’s a reason for that, and here it is.
On the eve of 33, it is 8:51PM. I worked a pretty standard 7:30am – 5:15pm today, rushed to daycare to pick up Lily before it closed at 6, brought her home, played (and simultaneously prepped for bath time.) Around 7, just as my husband walked in the door from work, I brought her upstairs and launched into our new and imperfect bath routine. See, we don’t have a bath tub, just a shower. So we’ve had to get creative and Lily IS NOT FEELING IT. Anyways, after we sock our way through experimental bath time (husband sees me struggle with wet baby and offers to stick around,) we rip wet baby from her bath toys and she screams and fights me while I get her into her pajamas. Husband bids us adieu. Now wait- don’t get mad at him. I told him to go out tonight; I want him to leave the house, park his ass at a coffee shop somewhere and send out 100 job applications because his job sucks and it’s ruining our lives. Again, we’re getting off track. Lily and I sit down to read a story (the next piece of her daily bedtime routine) and she does not want to read a goddamn book. I don’t know if it’s because she’s mad still, she’s exhausted from daycare, or because Dad usually reads the book and I am not Dad- but we skip the goddamn book. I turn on her sound machine, flip off the light, and rock her gently while offering another new addition: water sippy. Bye, bye bottle. Bye, bye comforting milk. Bad for their teeth, pediatrician says! Lily takes one sip and then gestures frantically for her pacifier. I give it to her and we rock a few more minutes. I sing to her, and put her down in her crib. Usually, she plays or rolls around for a while and eases herself to sleep. Tonight- she does not.
I clean up the bath mess. Take the pile of dirty baby jammies downstairs because if I don’t wash them tonight, there will be no clean baby jammies tomorrow. Plants. I didn’t water them yesterday because I worked from 8:30am to 9pm. I work at a wonderful place with wonderful people and I work 4 days a week. It’s pretty heavenly except, well I try to squish 40 hours of work into 4 days. Corporate tells me I am only averaging 37 hours per week, but from my end, it sure feels like 39, at least. I water the plants (already dying,) and then go back to start cooking things. Poor girl has eaten mom’s meatloaf for like 3 straight days now. I have chicken I forgot to thaw, and cauliflower that’s already going bad on the countertop. Because it’s my birthday tomorrow and remember, 33 is about ME, I decide to whip up some Italian breaded cauliflower: my favorite. Also, I will soak and clean Lily’s humidifier which hasn’t been soaked and cleaned since the last time it occurred to me, long ago. While I make the cauliflower, Lily continues to whimper and cry. This is not like her. Do I Motrin? Tylenol? Teeth? Just tired? Should I try the sippy again? I’m going to wait it out. I glance at my phone- 4 texts waiting to be read and a voicemail from my mom. Oh, shit. Didn’t put the laundry in yet. Have to finish cauliflower. Hey guys – haven’t had dinner yet.
So it’s 9:01. I cooked the cauliflower. Lily fell asleep about 10 minutes ago. I put the laundry in. Vacuumed. As I unpacked Lily’s daycare bag while cleaning the living room, I pull out an art project covered in sprinkles. Now my floor is covered in sprinkles (and cauliflower.) I haven’t eaten dinner. I haven’t painted my nails. I haven’t sat down until the urge to write hit me about 6 minutes ago.
I wanted to share this reality because this reality is my day, every day, and that’s how I spent year 32. Hustle, move, hurry, clean, clean, cook (but not as much as I SHOULD have,) clean, dust, fold, plan ahead, package, freeze, and above all, always try to “make my life easier” by doing EVERYTHING. Everything. I work full time. I run my home full time. I raise my child full time. I know these are all things almost every other American parent is also doing. Maybe some of them are doing it with help or without help, as a single parent or with a spouse. I know from talking with my friends that this is also what they are doing. We are tired. We are frazzled. We are fried. We don’t understand why our spouses don’t just say the words, “I got this. You go sit down.” Our expectations are unrealistic and I have no idea where they came from. This is not how life should be every single day.
That’s why 33 is going to be about ME. Because, who can really go on like this forever? Not I. Not I.