Originally published on Today.com Parent Contributors
The 4-year old wants to have a tea party and a play date, but the oldest needs to have his lessons given to him and lunch needs to be cooked.
The dog just had surgery so she needs extra attention.
The cat is out of food and lets me know.
The oldest is now hungry and is asking for dinner
The husband is home and needs to share about his day and I want to hear about it.
I want to be everything to everyone all at once.
I’m trying to listen to the podcast of a psychologist who is trying to advise me on how to manage a mental crisis and she’s yammering on about a box – some box that you have to place your thoughts in to get through a moment or put people in a box or I don’t even know what the bloody hell she is saying about the box because all I can hear is the emotional blackmail of a 4-year old asking me why I’m not playing with her while I hold a piece of raw chicken and a knife in my hand and am standing by the stove.
“Slow your breathing. Freak out in the love zone.”
The South African accent of the neuroscientist, the psychologist, whatever she is, is supposed to be soothing but all I want to do is fling the knife at her and tell her to freak out in her own love zone, whatever a love zone is.
There are days I simply can’t keep up. It’s all moving so fast but at the same time going nowhere.
I thought I’d be so much further in life by now. But at the same time, I’m shocked with all I have. I am a twisted mess of contradiction.
Some days I am completely contented where I am in life – a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother who rambles on her blog and take photographs of her life.
Other days I mourn what I thought I’d be – a well-known writer or photojournalist traveling the world.
With the hours my husband works, I rarely find guilt-free time to write or take photos. When I’d rather be writing I should be folding laundry, or loading a dishwasher or cooking a meal. When I’d like to go to a park or travel somewhere to use my camera to interpret what I see, I should, instead, be planning my son’s assignments for the week or playing with my preschooler.
It isn’t that my husband makes me feel this way. It isn’t that my children make me feel this way. It isn’t that I resent them for my own feelings. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an extreme feminist hit piece. It’s just where my feelings are some days.
I feel stretched thin, some days.
I feel pulled ten different directions, some days.
I feel splayed apart like a dead frog in a science experiment (if they even do such things anymore), some days. But, I also feel complete, some days.
Complete and whole. Whole in that my family is whole, mostly healthy and held in the hands of an all-seeing, all-knowing, always loving God. We all get stretched too thin, pulled too much, pressed down and poured out.
I’m stubborn and weak and whiny and I don’t always do what I know I should; let Him pour back in, stretch gently for growth, pull softly in the right directions and press down only for our own good and progress.