I have been hiding behind food blogs and Hawaii pictures and funny anecdotes because writing about real life for the past three months has been too hard. Grant and I have been struggling to keep our relationship healthy. I have been resentful and anxious and fatigued with my full time gig of parenting Purslane and Knox. My body is still soft and not as strong as I hoped it would be almost two years after my last pregnancy. Our house is chaotic and months have passed since our last dinner party. I practically run out the door on the one day a week I work and only when I walk in the door of the hospital do I feel like I am playing offence instead of defense.
I had lost even the illusion of control. I used to be able to hide behind play dates that were no more than an hour long, or better still, days would go by where we did not leave the house at all. Because parenting outside the privacy of your home is so much harder then having your own walls to hide behind. Not inviting people to eat with you is much easier then trying to cook a meal during the witching hour- the magic time of day when all children realize that they have base human needs that need to be met RIGHT NOW and you are just the parent to do it.
So we hid. Or more appropriately, I hid. I stopped inviting people to our home. I stopped taking the babes out in public or took them to places where we were alone and outdoors. Grant and I told ourselves that having evenings together as a couple was a thing of the past and grew resentful of the long summer daylight hours- treating our children like they were things to be dealt with instead of delights that we got to play with longer. I convinced myself that this season of life was going to be terrible and I needed to just make it through instead of thrive.
Last week I made an appointment with my PCP to have some neurological symptoms checked out. I have had numbness and tingling in my hands, blurry vision and extreme fatigue for several months. Of course, I self diagnosed with MS or a brain tumor. She worked me up, drew some lab work and referred me to a neurologist.
Everything has come back normal. I am a tired Mama who, with the air of a martyr, gave up the things that used to make me happy, brought me joy, peace and contentment. My mother in law asked if I had considered the fact that I might be a high functioning depressive. Maybe she is right, but I think it was more that I believed my own story about not being able to handle my own life. Every bad day or bad moment became another reason why I should just be content to fold up deeper inside myself and cloister us off from community, friends, and family.
And bigger then all of this, I believed the rumor that no one was as interested in my self-preservation then I was. Grant just wanted me to be a good wife and a good mother. My friends just wanted me to show up and be a good friend to them. My boss just wanted me to be a good nurse and make the hospital look better. Purslane and Knox just wanted me to take care of them. Everyone in my life just wanted whatever I had to give. It's a fallacy that made me suspicious and stingy with my time and my affection. I felt frantic to take care of myself because no one else would.
I had it all wrong. I was asking all the wrong questions and beating myself up with the wrong answers.
If I simply started from the presupposition that my life is not only manageable but *gasp* full and overflowing with goodness, it makes getting out of bed easier in the morning. If I believed that people might actually enjoy the chaos created by two gorgeous and wild children, it would make serving dinner at 730 when the dinner party started at 6 less embarrassing. If I accepted that having a conversation with Grant interrupted a thousand times by little hands and voices was normative, I would be far less protective of his attention. If I valued the extra minutes to chat with Grant at night and to snuggle with Pursy in the morning, I would be more gentle with my persistent round hips that could disappear from more frequent sweat sessions at the gym.
So to those of you who have said you value the honesty and raw experience you find here at More Than A Weed, rejoice! I am hot mess who could use more sleep, should probably drink less coffee and gin, needs a new pair of jeans because I found a hole in the crotch yesterday and so on along those lines...
But maybe those are the good bits after all?