I had a bit of a break down last week. Just for a short moment. But a real one. It was a mix of exhaustion and accumulated frustration, I guess. Of course it took me by surprise when I should have known better. There is a reason why every other mother (and father) out there tell you that you have to preserve yourself, that you have to take that crucial time for yourself. But just like most mothers out there, I put myself after everyone else.
I want to make sure that my kids are happy, well fed, well rested, well entertained, that there is food in the fridge, toilet paper in the bathroom, clean clothes awaiting everyone, that diner is ready by noon and maybe even a cake in the oven (serial baker here).
What sparked the break-down shouldn't have [sparked any break down]. I needed to escape my duty role for a moment and was looking forward to my first Muay Thai class in ages. I was all ready. I had tracked down my sport's shorts, my sport's bra - absolutely nothing sexy here - I had packed my bag with my gloves, my shin protection, my mouth guard even. I had water and a snack. It was all there and I was ready to go while patiently nursing. Only hubby did not make it home on time [from work poor thing]. And I lost it. I did. It drove me somewhat of crazy. It took all of us by surprise I think. I mean most of time you get frustrated but try to remain calm, swallowing the pill, breathing in and out and thinking this too shall pass. Only this time I had put way too much anticipation towards this me-time that I was about to have. Two hours with zero kid. wow.
And the frustration exploded.
I am glad it did [explode].
It was much needed indeed. Better to avoid, I agree. But sometimes you've just got to realize that you ain't no super-woman. You're a woman with feelings, desires, hormones and un-desired hair growing on your legs but who has got time for this after two kids? Well we should make time for this. Because no one is going to find you sexy if you don't feel sexy and no one is going to make time for yourself if you don't make it yourself. Easy. We know it. I know it. But still, I thought I could do without.
I do make time for myself in some ways, like when I grab my camera to document our life. I love doing it. But there's always at least one little one around.
Here I needed time without anyone potentially expecting something from me.
Instead of muay thai boxing I ended up knocking on my friend's door with a beer, begging for her ears to listen to me. Pathetic , that's probably how I looked like. But women and mothers know and I was able to find the comfort I needed to go on with our evening and survive the night. High five to you, friend.
Two days later, I was able to go and throw some much needed punches and kicks and came home with a purple big toe. How I loved my purple big toe. It was mine to keep and cherish and no one else's.
I realized that for the first time in months, I felt vulnerable. And that vulnerability happened to be okay. I love my family. More than anything else. I have grown a lot of patience the last three years and my heart is filled with the most magical love from mornings through nights. I want to be present for my kids and husband [again, poor thing]. And the last thing I want is to lose my cool in front of them. No one knew how badly I needed one hour of my own, not even me.
I am blessed with a very supportive man in my life, one that always encourages me to reach for my dreams. I owe him and everyone I love to care for myself so I can care for them as much and as hard as I want to.
I am learning that a little selfishness can go a long way when it comes to growing a family. I don't even think that it's anything close to being selfish to want to have a moment to re-connect with yourself. It's closer to smartness because of all the goodness that comes out of it.
I can make our life look absolutely wonderful through photographies I share but I want to stay real and acknowledge my weakness when it comes, I believe it to be the first step towards finding the light again when everything becomes blurry and when darkness tries to take over our pretty damn good colorful life.
Dear better-self, I am coming for you.