Ever want to just be understood? When you talk things out loud you want someone to commiserate with you, understand where you’re coming from. If you say you’re tired because of your children, let’s say, you’d hope that your partner is on the same train and understands why you feel the way you do.
I made a mention of something that I think that we could’ve done better to my husband tonight and instead of understanding where I was coming from, I heard, “Well, if you’re that tired, maybe you should stay at a hotel.”
I guess it doesn’t sound so awful because you’re not in my head. In my head, I not only feel like he doesn’t think I can be a good mother, but he also doesn’t get the fact that I love my kids. I have so much fun with them. All I said was that we could’ve done better on some things.
Ok, maybe I was at fault, but when I hear things like, “I don’t complain because they’re my babies,” I feel like he’s comparing himself to me. I might be extremely ridiculous in thinking like this, but it’s always a comparison when we argue.
I always feel like he’s trying to show me up. Like he’s a better parent because he doesn’t complain about getting tired or being tired even though it affects his health overall. It’s like to him, being tired is a sign of weakness. I’m not afraid to say I’m tired because I know the value of rest, but when it’s used as ammunition or for something to come up later when he says, “Well, I do everything around here,” I have to always be on my game.
That fucking sucks. I have to be on my game for work and on my game for home so that I don’t end up in a predicament I don’t want to be in. It’s horrendous sometimes.
Today I saw a TikTok of Eva Longoria complaining about how it sucks that the next day you have to do things to “make it a day” all over again. Yes, it’s true. You have to do something every day. But why? In the grand scheme of things, we have been here for a smidgen of time compared to let’s say the Dinosaurs and we have made up these rules and laws about how we’re supposed to manage our lives. These things make us stressed and go crazy. For what? For a legacy?
It’s incredible to me how much we think we matter in this world. We’ll be gone in a blink of an eye. Sure our kids will be around to bask in the glory of knowing their parents did white collar jobs so they could live a cushy life. Sometimes, I just don’t see the point.
I’m not perfect. I’m not. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and where I’ve been, but I don’t want to have to have the stress of holding myself to a standard, to be like everyone else, to have someone laugh and say, “You do you,” but with an added eye-roll, kind of like saying, “Sure, sure. You’re doing it all wrong, but sure.” I don’t care about that and I never have.
Sometimes I just want to voice my opinions and be heard. I don’t want a snarky comeback because in 100 years it won’t matter. At the moment it does and that’s what we’re really living for, right?
It seems that we are always “too busy” to take care of ourselves. There are so many items in our lives that demand our attention, that at times, or better said, way too often we put our own personal time on the shelf. If we simply created a task for ourselves every day to have a little alone time, it’d be simple and create a habit. We either dabble a little each day or we wait until the weekend and try to get it all in at once.
However, let me ask you a simple question — how often do you brush your teeth?
Most of us will say, “When we get up (after breakfast)” or, “before bed.” This is pretty close to what my dentist recommends each time I visit, as well as nicely advising me to make sure I’m using my floss. We all know that if we do as the dentist suggests our teeth will be their best pearly whites. This results in about 14 teeth brushing events a week, and not much time out of our super busy day, either. We manage to always fit that in, taking up about 5 minutes in the morning and evening.
So how does brushing our teeth twice a day relate to our personal time you ask? Okay, what if we waited to brush our teeth until the weekend, like we do with managing our personal alone time? Seven brushing events on Saturday and seven on Sunday, would that accomplish the same thing as brushing daily? No, it doesn’t really cut it. Okay, what if we brush our teeth every other day? No, doesn’t accomplish what our teeth need to be their best pearly whites either.
We need to do the same with our personal time and mental health. We need to take care of it daily, like brushing our teeth. We have made a habit of taking those few minutes each morning and evening to simply brush our teeth. We can take just a few minutes to do a few yoga poses, meditate, stretch, write in a journal, listen to our favorite song and dance it out, or whatever to aid in our own health each morning and evening. Being connected to our own being and what it needs each day will aid in making sure we are taking care of our whole selves. Starting a new habit takes continuous doing. Brushing our teeth became a habit that we do every day and we don’t even think about it!
Small steps have a big impact over our lifetime.
I didn’t know I could feel like this. I didn’t know my partner would look at me with concern in his eyes, asking gently if I am okay. I blink plainly and say I am okay. But I can’t help but ask myself, “Am I okay?”
I have flashes of vision where I am watching myself in my normal grind and I recognize myself but then at times, I wish I could make myself stop moving, and hug her hard, tight, the all-knowing hug. The kind of hug that a loved one gives you when you need it the absolute most, while you collapse from the weight of whatever is holding you back. I know I am happy, at my core, my days are full of joy streaming from my miracle babies, but giving them that joy back is hard to muster.
My friends and family don’t know that I am constantly dehydrated–to scary levels that have stopped me in my tracks, where my partner has had to bring me gatorade x4 as we wait for my heart to stop pounding, when I don’t feel like I am going to pass-out, and my electrolytes to regulate. This is perpetual because when you are dehydrated you need to rest, seriously, after an episode like that. But I barely know what that rest is. My partner tries hard, but we have 2 kids, two little ones, who need us the most at this stage in their childhood. He worries about me a lot. I can see it in his eyes and it breaks my heart. I saw the way my daughter looked at me when I was crying, and it broke me more. I know I am doing my best, but it doesn’t feel very “best” to me.
I go through the motions, and am thinking 4 steps ahead to do, prep, gather whatever is needed for my children, household, etc. I cannot stop my brain, I am hard on myself. This is when I think of that scene from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood movie, when you see the mom lose herself after the kiddos have been sick and she checks herself into a motel and she does nothing but sleep for 3 days straight. Now granted, she was doped up, and coming off pills but there is a LOT of truth in the overwhelmed, exhaustion shown in that movie that I would bet any mother could relate to in some capacity. Now, I recall that scene and I think about how I need to book that quiet, solitary bed for myself to get much needed rest.
So I guess the answer is no, I am not okay. I didn’t know that I would feel this way as a mother. This level of exhaustion is so much deeper than I realized it could exist. It is starting to consume me. I feel my body shutting down. Everything aches daily. My brain struggles to focus and recall. I feel like I am on the brink of tears all the time. I lie to myself every day a million times a day. I lie to my family, I lie to my friends, I lie to my kids. I am not okay.
Did you ever want to change the world? Did you ever think that one day, you were going to be important enough to make decisions or have enough to survive on doing something that you’re passionate about in order to impact as many people as you possibly could?
I really did have the belief that I was going to change the world.
Recently, I was reminded of a good friend from college. We shared the same major, had many of the same classes and spent a lot of afternoons together, talking about social issues and topics that only two BIPOC people could truly have with each other. She gave me a nickname, a title of sorts, that made me feel like one day I would change the world. That, or that I was already trying. Either way, it made me feel valued, seen, understood.
While I was talking about her and telling stories, I got choked up, especially when I explained my nickname. I didn’t expect it to happen. It surprised me as much as it surprised my husband I think. We were in the car, and when I started crying he said, “You have changed the world and you will continue to do so.” Very kind of him.
But it didn’t help. The reason why I’m writing this anonymously is because if you knew me, you’d try to make me feel better, tell me everything that I’ve done, and how many people I’ve impacted. You, along with all the other hundreds of friends I have on Facebook, would throw me a pity party, without even knowing it. I would probably do the same in the most empathetic way possible to make you feel seen.
But this is different. I’m not satisfied. Could I tell my husband that? No way. Because he’ll just think about it from his perspective – sexually, most likely – get defensive and take it personally. I don’t need that. That leads to an argument. No, I keep this to myself because it’s an issue I have with MY LIFE, not the people in it.
I feel like I’ve jumped over hurdles, have made things happen, have been stabbed in the back and yet, I’m doing just fine. I also feel like I have nothing to show for the passion that I have for things outside my career. As much as I take my career seriously, I’ve been feeling that I’ve turned my back on that young woman I was in college, the one that my friend saw and believed in.
I feel like I’ve tried to live that life free from “the man” and yet, I’ve failed. And maybe not in the actual business, but in trusting people and being a relatively decent judge of character. I missed the red flags; I wasn’t a judge at all. It was somewhat of blind faith, because I believed in my ideas and projects. And people trusted me. I feel like I failed them. I’d deflate, but somehow, I’d come back again with a new idea and revitalized spirit.
This time, though, I’m tired. I feel like the energy for anything outside my career and my family doesn’t exist and isn’t a priority. I don’t want to trade my life for anything because I love it. I’m truly blessed. But I miss the younger me, too. It’s odd to feel such a juxtaposition. I don’t wish for a “never happened” or a “if I could change history,” or even for a “redo.” I wish I had more time. I wish I could have a single lifestyle and a domesticated family lifestyle. I’m not just a member of my family, I am more than that. I dress for me, do makeup for me, lose weight for me, be a powerhouse for me – not for anyone else.
I think I cried over the truth that I can no longer be a younger me with that same vision of changing the world. I cried because I have to let that go, even though I miss that life and that fire I had. But I have to come to accept what I have done and how much I’ve accomplished, even though a part of me does feel like I wasted my time because things didn’t come to full fruition as I had envisioned them. I couldn’t make it work for reasons I could not control.
A waste. Sometimes, that’s how I see all that time thrown down the drain. I’ve learned a lot, no doubt. I learned who I could trust. I learned that time and taking a couple of shots was fulfilling my passions, but without the right guidance, it’s really hard to accomplish.