On a Tuesday.
Normally on Tuesdays I go to my parents. I drop off Dean, take Chase to swim, come back to their house, and then go to CrossFit. My dad had a little tummy bug so we didn’t go over there today, which meant I brought Dean with me to swim class. I figured it would be good because starting next week, he is going to be taking class with me while Chase takes his class. I was bummed I couldn’t workout today but other than that it was a normal day.
Every single day I repeat my gratitudes to myself that I have a supportive husband and a healthy family, even when I am the moodiest and crabbiest I can be. “Health is Wealth” - The Sisu Way - and that phrase is so dang true. However, this does not mean the overwhelming feeling we get as moms is something we should not acknowledge, discuss, or put out there on social media. We can keep it in perspective, of course, but we still need to talk about it. I think this is a big reason why women hide and feel ashamed of Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety. Yes, they are grateful but they are also still overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, and struggling….and that is OK!
I decided to stay at home with my kids and not go back to work. Not everyone gets a decision and not everyone wants to stay at home. There are all different scenarios and every single one needs to be respected. BUT whatever you decide or have to do, it is all hard because...motherhood. We need to support each other more. We need to do better.
I really miss my high school kids, using my brain, making a difference, and being around older teens and adults. Can I still feel like it is hard to be at home even though that is my choice? Yes. Does that make me ungrateful? No. Often times when I am having a bad day my husband reminds me that I can go back to work and get a sitter/daycare for Dean if I would like. However, I don’t want to do that either! Catch 22. All of the feels.
I think teaching my pregnancy and postpartum athleticism classes in March will help me with this balance, and I am very excited. I often work on this after the kids go bed. I am using my brain again on my passion project and it feels damn good.
So all of this rambling brings me to my Tuesday morning. Since it is not safe to allow kids to wear puffy winter coats in car seats, I often put them in a fleece and run into wherever we are going (unless it is like danger below zero cold). I get Dean out of the stroller and, of course, I am worried that he is freezing while I get Chase out of his car seat. We walk into Aqua Tots and the stroller is covered in snow on the wheels, so I instantly feel horrible that they are going to need to mop all of the floors after we leave. I try to get the snow off on the carpet but it won’t all come off. Dean already wants to get out of the stroller. Chase sits down and starts to take off his sweats. Dean is climbing out of the stroller so I hurry and try to put Chase’s goggles on. He wants to put them on himself, but he is taking too long and Dean is gonna take off running. So I have to help him and he is upset, of course. So, Chase gets into swim class. This is the last time I will get to watch him since next time I’ll be in the pool with Dean, so I want to watch class but Dean wants to walk around everywhere, and I don’t want him touching everything because... FLU. They were just sick for 5 days with fevers and coughs ( I don’t think it was flu because Jared and I didn’t get it). Then he hits his head on the clear glass and is screaming crying for a minute and the desk people ask if I need an ice pack! I knew he was fine; Dean just has dramatic cries. He calmed down pretty quickly but didn’t want to be held so I missed a lot of Chase’s class. While following Dean around the lobby, I realize I have a tank top on with my pants and winter boots. I look around and everyone else seems to have sweaters on since, you know, it is winter.
Chase gets done and by this time my back is killing me because... Diastasis Recti (normally I can control how I move when I pick up Dean and recruit the right muscles but when is in public or moving too fast that often goes out the window.). For the first time in forever, I am late at the door when Chase comes out because I forgot how much crap I brought with me and had to pack up and run down to the other end with Dean in one arm and the stroller filled with the coats, boots, and bags. Chase is freezing and I can’t find the towel. We go back in and shower up after the teacher report since Chase’s skin tends to get dry from the chlorine. So I am trying to shower him with one hand while holding Dean in the other. The older lady that often comes in for open swim, took the shower head from me and ended up showering Chase off- so, so sweet!
I explain to Chase that we are going to go into the bigger changing stall so we can bring the stroller and Dean. Normally he likes to pick which stall we go into, so I know I have to prepare him well for this change. Buuut...Nope. That stall was taken by someone, and I was so angry. I hate being angry over something stupid like that because I am the farthest thing from an angry person!!! And there is no reason why she would avoid that stall since the morning classes are not very full and there is not much going on back in the changing area. So now I am angry at myself for being angry. I put Dean back in the stroller and keep the changing door open so I can watch Dean. The door kept closing so I had to hold it up with my foot while I am trying to help Chase because...child abduction fears.
Chase likes to dress himself these days, which is so helpful, except for now. He was moving too slow and Dean was about to lose his mind being in the stroller. So, I had to tell Chase I was going to help him get dressed and, of course, he starts crying and screaming. I tell him I am sorry and I love him, but we just have to move a little faster today. Then he asks me why I am disappointed because my voice is cleared distressed. So, I told him I wasn’t disappointed with him but that mom was just flustered. Then I cried. UGH. Manic Mom right here folks! I get him dressed and pack up all of our stuff. The lady from the big stall comes out and asks if we are going to be here next week and I said. “Yes, actually, we will be in class with you.” She replied, “ok next week I will make sure not to take the big stall so you can go in there with your stroller.” I thanked her and felt so embarrassed as I am sure she heard me freaking out for 10 minutes. I made a joke that I would see her next week probably be just as flustered.
So we are so close to getting back in the car. Then SHIT...I hope Dean doesn’t fall asleep on the way home and ruin his nap. Then SHIT I promised Chase to buy him a treat if he went down to get the ring without his goggles. So he tells me he did, and I honestly thought they ran out of time and didn't do it because I kept trying to look and see. I must of missed it while Dean was running around. I wasn’t sure if I should believe him or not (most of the time he really does tell the truth but still) So I had the front desk lady go ask the instructor and low and below Chase DID get the ring. He spends forever picking what treat he wants, and Dean is starting to scream. I feel guilty for not believing him (because lately Jared and I working on telling Chase a lot that we “trust him”) and feel bad that Dean wants out of the stroller.
We get back outside, and it is cold. So I have the jacket guilt again! We get in the car and sanitize our hands...mine burn from washing them so much lately because of the household sickness and because I still have a virus in my eye that is super contagious. I take a deep breath as I sit down in the driver seat. I tell Chase to keep Dean awake during the 5 minute drive home. As we pull in to the garage, Chase alerts me that Dean is about to sleep, and I got him out of that car seat pronto! Success! We all go in the house and get some food. The house is a mess, which always triggers my anxiety, but we did it. Until next week….
Oh, and because I had a random but very intense desire to write this blog, Dean is watching a movie while Chase is napping (apparently chewing on my glove). And, guess what?! I feel guilty about that, too.
I am fully aware that I need to be grateful for today and all moments like it, and I truly am. That just doesn’t take away from the fact that motherhood is still a damn struggle! Listening to others share their struggles has helped me immensely and made a huge difference in my life. The more we share, the more others share, and then the more supported we all feel. Please, no more social media facades that we are all handling our shit all the damn time. Lets share those postpartum bellies, therapy stories (I just made an appointment with my therapist!), marriage struggles, and motherhood feels - both good and bad. I truly feel that this is what we all need as mothers to be able give ourselves grace without guilt but also push ourselves to be the best we can be, too.