Wowza. What a week. Seriously, just last week I wrote about quality time and happy sunshine. This week has felt like the exact opposite of that ideal. It all started on Sunday night when I found myself reaching my limit of frustration after every little thing the kids did. My fuse was SO short and stayed that way the entire week. Definitely not a good way to set the stage for a happy and productive time with the family.
I was hesitant to even write about this because of how real life is feeling right now but, let’s face it, there’s an ugly side to being a parent. The side of me that comes out when I am over stressed and haven’t slept. Not very flattering. Most of the time I don’t even recognize that person. I yell and say things out of anger to my kids and husband that are hurtful.
My immediate reaction is to want to be alone. Truly, what sounds the best is to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers until the next day. Clearly that isn’t always an option. I’ve found that getting out of the house and doing something that is just for me, is helpful. Although to be honest, even that wasn’t cutting it this week. The way I described it to my husband was that I felt as if someone had cut me open, poured out everything inside, and stitched me back up. I was beyond empty and drained.
I wish I could say that it was just a bad few days and I’m all better now. In some ways, I am. In other ways, I’m not. Halfway through the week I had to make a decision to simply put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing. The next thing that had to get done to take care of my family who depend on me. I cleaned the house, which always makes me feel better. I went to the grocery store. I cooked dinner. And so on. Those activities helped in the moment but now I’m at a point where I need to dig deep and continue searching my heart for real solutions.
My instinct is to think that I just need to be stronger. I need to try harder. Work harder. Be more loving and patient. While those things are true, there comes a time when I need to fill myself up first. Once I’ve done that, I can give to those around me. I have touched on this before in a more roundabout way, but now it feels very real. I’m battling to figure out what it is that truly fills me up and makes me feel alive.
Our family is a work in progress and we have many exciting things on the horizon. I want to be prepared to be the best mom and wife that I can possibly be throughout all of our ups and downs. Ultimately, I don’t have it all figured out. However, this week has taught me that it helps to get out of my own head. To talk to a friend, even when I don’t feel like it. To take care of my physical body by continuing my workouts and trying to eat healthy. To try not to overthink things and do the next thing that needs to be done.
Many times I have found that I get a sense of accomplishment from pushing through. The flip side of that is knowing when enough is enough. Learning myself and being aware of my limits. As a human being I can only be strong for so long and push through so many times. Something has got to give.
It comes back to my own personal “why”. Why I do what I do. The truth is that I do love and adore my family. They are why I get up every morning. With Mother’s Day being this month I find myself thinking about when I first had Josh. He was such a good baby! I LOVED being a new mom. He brought me a sense of joy and fulfillment that I had never experienced before. I want to cling to those memories. I know this difficult season of my life will pass and new ones will take its place, both good and challenging. Life is never perfect. But one thing I know for sure is that I can’t pour anything from an empty cup.