This month has been insane. I haven’t slowed down enough to even think about writing more than once a week, if that. You know how they say “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? Well yesterday my cup ran dry. Back to back weeks of sickness raging through our house coupled with stress at work and The Hubs working strange hours had me giving more than I had in me. To put it into perspective, I had to take my husband to the ER this weekend at about 3am and then go to see Crazy Eyes in her first ever dance recital about 12 hours after we got home from the hospital. She was amazing, by the way. She missed nearly every step but she did it with confidence and pizazz. I couldn’t be more proud. (I was also proud of myself for carrying her up four flights of stairs on my back afterwards.)
I couldn’t have survived this far into the month (or this long in parenting really) without my family and friends. My parents and in-laws kept the kids overnight to let me rest when I was sick or to keep them from getting exposed to The Hubs’ cooties. Friends watched The Twins for us while my Mom and Bonus Dad were out of town. My brother called and harassed me to keep me laughing. My best friend sent me messages of encouragement. They all did their best to help keep us afloat. They cared for me and tried to keep my cup full.
You can imagine my shock when I suddenly realized that I’d given all I had left to give. I thought I was doing okay…well….surviving at least. Then yesterday I broke down. I told my Husband that I didn’t want to parent even though I hadn’t taken care of the twins since Friday morning. I cried and told my Husband all of the things that I’d been feeling but didn’t want to say or even think. A lot of what came out was guilt. (Good ole Catholic right?)
I feel so much guilt any time I try to take care of myself. I know that it’s irrational and misplaced but I really struggle with it. I feel guilty if I’m doing something creative that’s not food related because I feel like I should be spending time with the girls or cleaning the house. (Food is essential to life so I can’t feel guilty about it. *eye roll* I never said my logic was sound.) I even write my blog while multitasking 9 times out of 10. I feel guilty asking my parents to keep the girls overnight for anything that’s not necessary since they watch them so much and I work all week. I feel guilty spending money on myself because we have bills to pay. I gave in to the guilt over and over again and got lost in it. I tried to be super woman and got my cape caught in a jet turbine. I made excuses for why I didn’t have time to do anything for myself. Tried to pretend that putting bubbles in my morning bath or listening to audiobooks while I drove was enough to sustain me. (Putttinh bubbles in a 10 minute bath doesn’t make the bath any more relaxing in case you were wondering.)
So last night I picked up one of my old crafts. Within minutes I felt better. The most amazing part to my guilt-addled brain? The girls were fine. My husband was fine. The house didn’t burn down. No one scolded me for not spending every possible moment with my kids. I watched them play while I tinkered around. By the time they went to bed I felt like myself again. I was excited to snuggle and love on them as I tucked them in where before I just wanted them to go to bed and stop crying and leave me alone.
Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. If not, at least I have this to look back on.
Dear Future Self, Stop being dumb and go refill your cup!!! Sincerely, Past You