Can we get honest here for a minute… (you know… sort of my MO) about parenting and running a household… and in recovery… Damn… I’m no martyr but shit is hard and I’m whooping it’s ass! Well, mostly and sorta kinda. Some days are darker than others but the sun always comes out eventually. If I’m going to preach honesty, though, allow me to say that parenting and doing life sober is tough as shit!
So let’s talk about the stuff that no one ever sees. The dishes, the dust bunnies, the random toys, crafts, school art projects, clothes, coats, shoes, bags, mail, groceries… ALL of the shit has to find a home inside our homes, right? That in and of itself is a conquest. Oh yes it is. Apparently I also believe in aiming low at some things as to have plenty of celebrations in my life. 😀 You’ll find I have a lot of those areas. Aim for mediocrity as to create less work. Ugh… but a little true. So, yeah, where’s my medal for finding a home for little tiny clothes pins that my daughter thought she just had to have to do a project. Or what about the ONE MILLION Legos that my boy children think are never enough. The struggle is real, ya’ll. Why do you think that there are thousands of organizational receptacles and professions geared towards such? Because that shit’s hard.
Do not get me started about cooking. Again, aim low, friends. Saves you an enormous amount of time. I joke, but last night when I made rice noodles, popcorn chicken, and strawberries, presented it to my child on a paper plate and he said, “whoa… it’s like a five star restaurant” you feel good inside. 😀 I think cooking takes up an enormous amount of time, because not only do you need to prep, cook, plate, and clean up, but then you need to beg and barter with some of your children for upwards of a half hour to even put a piece of said meal in their face hole. Where’s my medal for not shoving it down their face hole at least 3 times a week? I like to cook. The way I’ve parented around food and the way my kids eat has made me hate to cook. Meal time…. that shit’s hard.
Wanna dish about laundry for a hot minute?? I somehow, someway, one day found my groove thang but for years upon years the laundry made it to the washer and the dryer and that was it. I spent years picking out clean clothes for the kids to wear from a mixed up basket of everyone’s things, swearing the entire time about what bull shit laundry was, throwing it in the dryer to get the wrinkles out and handing it over to them to get ready for school. Yep, years. She who keeps such a tidy house… well, don’t ever open the laundry room closet… it was a hurricane…. the opposite of tidy. Now I try to dry, fold and the kids put away. It’s an every other day thing and I completely hate it because there is nothing not time consuming about it, but I find the time and make it snappy. Now there’s still a gigantic basket of socks on top of the dryer that they fend for themselves for daily because ain’t noooo body got time for that crap.
Homework and work work…. C’mon, who’s with me on this?? I work from home which is a complete luxury, I do not ever take this for granted, but working around the door bell, the pop ins, the littlest one needing to eat, play, have a therapy sesh or bathe, and phone calls… gooood grief, it can feel like I’ve worked a 15 hour day some days because I’m squeezing in actual work that I get paid for in between the work that I don’t. And then… AND THEN the big kids get home from school with more work that they need my help working on! Jeeeesus! Where’s my gold frickin medal damnit?!! That shit’s hard.
Ah… raising a baby with special needs. Let’s chitty chit chat about that. First I must mention the near or total PTSD that comes with the intense fear of having a baby that is struggling to stay with you in the beginning. I can’t pretend to explain that fully. It’s beyond terrifying and horrible. The tests that they put the teeniest tiniest little being through, the waiting for the results from those tests, those tests not resulting in a diagnosis, the waiting for a diagnosis. Oh my lands…. it’s all impossible to bear. Then comes the diagnosis…. but not before an insane amount of medical intervention just so your child can live on… The processing of the diagnosis… hearing it for the first time, the research, the tears, the emotion. Oy vey! Just that. No words. After the diagnosis you hear things like, “utilize your resources.” Do you know what that has meant for us? Geneticists, surgeons, multiple pediatricians, dietitians, endocrinologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, orthopedists, specialists, xray techs, annnd injections…. daily…. since he was 4 months old. Whew!!! And that’s all so that he can live a “typical” life. Worth it? Totally… balls out totally worth it. He’s amazing and has made me a better person. He’s hilarious and generous with his love. He’s a little piece of heaven here on earth and I’m blessed to be his momma, through and through. Doesn’t change the fact that he is completely high maintenance and time consuming. That’s what we’re talking about here. Fitting all of life into life. A huge part of my day is being a good momma to this needy little love. That shit’s hard.
Staying emotionally fit, spiritually fit, and sober (I disclude physically fit because I’ve yet to wrangle that one). Now there’s some monsters right there! My answer for everything used to be to throw a bottle of wine at it. No joke. Let me just get through this here day and top it off with a couple of bottles (or box… not picky) of vino. That worked for a while but it’s very, very difficult to grow into yourself emotionally or spiritually when you’re numbing yourself with the sauce. And those other things became important to me. Okay okay so it wasn’t as profound as all that… I had to hit a rock solid bottom that had a couple of trap doors, and I had to hit it hard. Really really face plant. But what came from that was a seeking for spiritual and emotional growth that has changed my life. But that, my friends, that shit is hard. Freaking, freaking hard. Living life on life’s terms and not my bottle’s? Not even in the realm of easy. Meetings, therapy, energy work, reading, studying, praying, writing, talking and doing. That in and of itself could fill up a day. Sober is hard if your body and mind have a different plan. Fighting that shit is tough, but possible and beautiful. Freaking amazing really.
So this is getting long for me so let’s wrap it up… what have we discovered here?? That choose a topic, choose a life task and break it down. Just doing that one thing well could straight fill up a whole day, right? I’ve talked about this before in reference to balance but I just want to be really clear here. Doing life on it’s terms, with any sort of grace is a full throttle lot to ask. And we do it. We do it. Some days we knock that shit out of the damn park and some days we’re lucky that the house is still standing, but I guess that’s my point. We need to be gentle with ourselves. There is nothing about life in general that is easy and doing it even a titch well is big, often really big and really heavy. But we’re doing it. We’re learning about ourselves, trying extra hard to see that our children won’t need therapy later in life (or rather working really hard to help pay for their therapy later in life), and deciding at the end of each day how we might be a wee bit better tomorrow. It’s really all it’s really about…. not being better than anyone else, but better than the person we were the day before. That’s it. If you’re anything like me, it really helps to dumb that shit down that way. If I’m not trying to complete never ending lists, or achieve things that aren’t ready for me yet, or or or, but rather just aim to be a little better than I was yesterday it all seems a little more doable and a little less daunting. And in this here little world we live in that is full up of bull shit hard living… that is enough. You are enough. Say that today and everyday until you believe it. The rest will fall into place.