The other night, I took a hot bath. Well-deserved, after a long day of slaving away at the office and then serving as butler, cook, maid, and chauffeur for my lovely family. As I let the hot water soothe my tired body, I felt the urge to cry. I’m not talking about small, dainty tears melting subtly into the bath. This was a hankering for a deep, soulful, tsunami cry.
But as much I wished for that cathartic eruption, nothing came. Nothing. I was exhausted to the point of complete numbness. We all know that tsunami cries take heart, and my heart was clearly shuttered up and closed for business.
Who has time for heart when you’re bustling and hustling from 6:30am to 8:30pm? My days whir by in a rush of astounding productivity. Like most moms, I can’t believe all that I accomplish in just…one…day. It’s either revolting or amazing, I’m not sure. Getting the kids off to school, exercising, work, homework, making lunches, making dinner, baseball, gymnastics, soccer. Not to mention the constant comforting, cajoling, prompting, refereeing and life lesson-imparting.
My mind is always getting ready for the next activity, transitioning from mom to wife to boss to mom to who am I again? I feel like I’m leaping from the top of one building to the top of the next, all day long.
Not to mention the nine trillion, mind-numbing, behind-the-scenes things that I do just to keep the house clean, the children clothed and fed, the cat alive, and the plants green. No one ever says “thank you” for these trifles, but it’s these details that smooth the surface and keep everyone shiny and happy.
Everyone, except for me, sitting in the bathtub, just trying to squeeze out some damn tears. I need a release. I need a break, but the mornings keep coming, and I have to do it again and again.
I’m so tired, my bones literally ache. I always have a headache. My feet scream obscenities at me. My husband and I are like two ships passing in the night, playing man-to-man with our two kids. I want to slow down, but the train is moving so fast.
Something has to give, but what? Clearly, I don’t have all the answers. All I know is that “having it all” is back-breaking work.
I know I need to give myself some grace and some space. Go lightly. Sleep. Meditate. Steal some me time. Reset my downtrodden attitude. Get a pedicure.
But maybe, in addition, I just need to let myself have a moment. Squeeze out those tears, thrash around for a few days like an angst-y teen, shut myself in the closet and hurl out some F-bombs. Having it all is hard. I’m tired, and I’m doing the best that I can.
God-willing, this feeling will pass, and I’ll get in my supersonic working mom groove again. Until then, if you need me, I’ll be in the closet.