You know what I find amusing these days? When certain people tell me how tired they are. Really? I think.
Now, the people who are exempt from this sarcastic reaction by me are full-time working mothers. Or, mothers who have just given birth. Or mothers with toddlers at home. Every. Second. Of. The. Day. The rest of you, I’m sorry, but suck it buttercup! I know this is bound to piss some people off, but…as you’re told when you’re little, not everyone will like you.
See, here’s the thing, I know a woman who doesn’t work. Whose kids are well into their middle school and high school years of schooling who repeatedly tells me how exhausted she is with her schedule. And all I can think is, Really? Because as far as I can tell, you have the first 9 hours of the day to yourself. Uninterrupted.
I know another woman who only works a couple days a week with no children and she is one of the most exhausted people I have ever met! I know this because she is constantly sighing heavily and recanting her exhaustion. And all I can think is, How do I find me a two day a week job that I can live off of??
I know another woman, who works full-time with no kids who tells me that she can’t possibly do multiple house chores in one day because it’s too exhausting. And all I can think is, What the…?!?!
The thing is, I know a multitude of full-time working mothers, full-time working mothers with babies, with toddlers, with big kids, with multiple kids, with kids with disabilities…so when someone other than them tells me that their tired, I can’t help but inwardly pretend that with my magical super power I pick them up, crumpled them into a tight little ball and punt them as hard as I can, off the side of a mountain somewhere.
I saw a woman the other day more pregnant than me at the grocery with a belly almost out of reach of her arms, her 5 year old in the front seat, and a cart full of groceries. I just stood there looking at her, literally my feet planted in place just staring at her, while the rest of Wegmans zoomed around me. And, all I could think to myself was…how does she do it??
The thing is, I’m not one of those working moms quite yet and these days I am so…exhausted. I wake up anywhere between 330am and 5am every day of the week. That’s after having been up half the night, tossing and turning because I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in longer than a half hour. And, I’m on the go attending to, mostly, other people’s expectations until 830/9pm. I haven’t taken a nap in weeks, partially because I feel guilty not attending to tasks and because I have a puppy who simply just won’t let me. Not to mention, there are certain things that if I don’t do them, they just won’t get done.
I broke down one night this week as I was taking Dexter out to play ball because all I want is one day for myself. One day where I don’t have to attend to anyone else’s expectations. No my dog’s, not my student’s or employer, not my parent’s/family’s, not even my husband’s. All I want is to be left entirely alone, to myself, to do whatever I do or don’t want to do, without the expectation or pressure of having to do anything at all.
The thing is, feeling this way makes me feel worse. Because in 5 months, when the onion inside of me is finally able to be compared to a picture of a real baby (what’s up with the fruits and vegetables What to Expect app??) it will be a permanent expectation that I will not be able to escape. And what if….I fail at it? What if I’m too tired to give it all of me? What if there are days I just don’t want to do it anymore? See, even that right there, that thought makes me feel bad
This week a friend said something to me, as I was weighing the pros and cons, contemplating whether or not to get the flu shot this season. Something that has stuck with me all week. She said, ‘This is just the beginning of your mom-guilt.” I’m glad she said those words to me, because she’s right. There will be a thousand things to feel guilty over in this next new phase of life. I guess the trick will be figuring out how to go easy on myself, extend myself grace, and know that my best is good enough.