Cutting Myself Some Slack

I am beyond exhausted, like the last few weeks of non-stop doing and travelling all came crashing down on me this week. I had lunch with a friend and could barely form conversation even though I kept one child from terrorizing a restaurant without any meltdowns and the other from losing her mind exhausted, hungry, and refusing to eat. I curled my hair, I put on make up. All of these things I somehow mustered even though all I want to do is crawl into a cave and sleep for weeks. It all feels like small victories.

Then my husband came home and I stumbled through conversations with him, wishing more than anything that everyone would just stop talking to me. I could hear his frustration, his unspoken “What’s wrong with you?” but I am just too tired to feel anything other than indifference. I love him and he loves me and sometimes we’re shitty to each other and we roll with it and tomorrow I’ll wake up and maybe I won’t feel so detached. Or maybe I will. But he’ll love me anyway because that’s what he does best.

So there’s the detachment and the exhaustion and yet I still have responsibilities to take care of my family. I have to feed them, feed myself, even though I don’t feel anything resembling hunger. There was nothing in the fridge to make a meal from scratch and even if there was I doubt I could muster up the energy to do it, so I grabbed some spaghetti sauce, noodles, and precooked meatballs to throw together. While pouring water over the noodles I finally felt something other than the┬ádebilitating exhaustion; guilt.

The fuck?! Here I am, somehow fighting through the day to continue getting shit done and I feel bad about what I am feeding my family instead of congratulating myself on even feeding them at all.

Again, the fuck?!

Why? Who cares what I feed them, who cares if we pile into the car and grab some McDs because Mama just don’t feel like it tonight. Why should I feel guilt because it’s not a cooked-from-scratch-pinterest-worthy masterpeice? I mean, fuck, I have “ethically raised hormone and antibiotic free” chicken and grass fed beef in my freezer, but ask anyone in this family what their favorite thing is and we’ll all answer meatballs. Because they are delicious, perfect for days like today when life catches up to you and you just ain’t got time for that. So why the guilt? Why the little voice in my head that says “Aren’t you supposed to be a stay at home mom? What did you even do today?”

A little voice born from a society that tells us we need to do more, be better, never show weakness, sleep when we’re dead. Well, little voice, I did a lot even though I didn’t want to do any of it, including keeping three people alive (one with just my body!). So excuse me while I push you aside and pat myself on the back instead.

Good job, Melanie. You’re doing just fine…

Then I dropped all of the noodles into a sink full of dirty dishes and the baby woke up…

So is life, sometimes it’s a dick. I made a second batch of noodles, the baby sat happily in my lap, and we had a nice dinner as a family. We talked about our day, we shared bites and laughed together. I was still tired, our meal came from a bag, but we were together and we are happy.

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