Last year I chose a word that I wanted to define my life, My word of the year, if you will. This year, I am moving on to a new word. Balance.
A few weeks ago I broke down. It felt like I cried the entire day, and no matter how hard I tried to shake it - I would just end up crying harder. In the end, I did end up feeling better but those big crocodile tears are hard to hide, especially from a curious two year old.
The day started as any other, I got up with the boys and I made them breakfast like I do every morning. I gave the dog her food and let her outside. It was cold and rainy. The cold part is normal for December weather in Buffalo, but the rainy part isn't. We're usually covered in snow. It was dark and gray and just plain crappy. While I was cleaning up our breakfast dishes Oliver was watching Oatmeal play in the back year. He looked at me and said, "It's a beautiful day!" He smiled as he said it, like he couldn't see the rain and the gray, dampness in the air. Unless of course, he did think that the dreary scene was indeed beautiful. And that was it, that's all I needed to hear to send me into an all day crying fit.
He doesn't see the imperfections. He doesn't see that the house is complete chaos and that its 3:30 and I still haven't figured out what were having for dinner. He doesn't see the mom with messed up hair and no make up on. What he sees is beauty. In everything. But mostly in the things that many of us would see as crappy.
I've been finding it hard to find a balance in my life. I want to be the best mom that I can be, but it feels like i am being pulled in 42 different directions. Landon has needs that need to be met, and Oliver has completely different needs that need my attention too. I feel overwhelmed in my quest to find the time to give them all of me, and yet have some of me for my husband and myself.
I look at my house and I see all the things wrong with it. I see that there is no pantry and all of pinterest is talking about how to organize your pantry. Well what if you don't have one? I get frustrated because there is just not enough space for everything. Yet, we have so much. I could kick myself for getting upset over no closets downstairs, coats hanging off chairs where Oatmeal can chew on the sleeves. I want to paint all the things and decorate all the things, but I get kicked back to reality when my favorite picture frame is knocked off the highest table I have and the glass breaks. Then I remember that all those crafts and home decor that I want so badly is going to have to wait because the two little kids that live here, this is their house too and it needs to fit them. Decorate lanterns filled with Christmas bulbs won't work on my coffee table, it needs to be clear for Oliver to line up his star wars guys.
So during my freak out I cried to my friends and something my friend Elyse said just stuck out, she said, "No one can be and do everything all the time" and that was it. That was my problem, I was putting too much pressure on myself to do all of the things. I wanted to be the mom that does all the things with her kids, had the house that was clean and cozy with handmade this and that. Dinners made from freaking scratch - yeah it was exhausting wearing all of those hats and tying to juggle everything. And instead of actually accomplishing all of those things, I was just getting overwhelmed and felt really -- defeated.
Does any of this even make sense?
I felt like I was failing my children. That I wasn't giving them the best of me. But the reality was, the only person I was failing was me. I had set this bar so high that I was disappointing myself. Everyone else was okay, they were being taken care of, fed, played with, they were happy - but because I wasn't happy with me, I thought everyone else wasn't happy with me either.
It was a huge slap in the face. And to be honest, it felt good. Because after the chat and once all the tears had been cried, I felt better. Freer.
I knew that there would have to be some kind of balance in my life. That is okay to say no sometimes and to ask for help. That taking a break for myself, doesn't have to lead to that dreaded momma guilt.
It's a new year and I just really not only want to be the best momma I can be, but I want to be the best Lindsay and I know the first step in becoming that person is by creating some peaceful balance in my life. So now is when I start.