As a human, I’m used to doing everything at 100%. Often to my own detriment. That isn’t to suggest that everything I do is accomplished to perfection…but rather to completion. I don’t like unfinished business, and therefore I plan. I plan for everything. I make lists, I color code them…and then I make color-coded lists to decipher the already existing lists. I wish I was joking.
The concept of being able to “go with the flow” is completely foreign to me—unless you count 15 minutes of “scheduled spontaneity” each day while on a European vacation. No? Ok, me neither.
Like most girls in their 30’s, I wanted so badly to be a Rachel, but I am hopelessly, and forever, a Monica. Scouring Pinterest for the chicest ways to organize a bathroom cabinet is my version of fan fiction erotica.
Naturally, when my daughter came along almost two years ago, all of my OCD, type A qualities butted heads with the beautiful, innocent, perfect little dictator that now ruled our home.
For 32 years I had been the one calling the shots in my own life (it’s true, just ask my parents), but all of sudden this 8-pound human came barreling into my domain and ripped the scepter from my clutches. My daughter is now the Queen of my kingdom, and I her loyal servant.
And let me tell you, this girl rules with an iron fist. Don’t believe me? I watched most of last night’s presidential debate through one eye, because I had a toddler thumb planted firmly into the other one. (But in my defense, she was in kitty cat Halloween pajamas and as snuggly as a bug…she could have been punching me in the uterus and I’d still have wanted to keep her next to me!)
Ever since that blessed day in October 2014, my life has no longer been my own, but rather an extension of hers with approximately 15 minutes of “scheduled spontaneity” that she grants me every few days (which is what I now humbly refer to as “me time”).
It’s been an adjustment, to say the least. Instead of being thorough and thoughtful about the projects, obligations and work in front of me, I’m now a functioning Tasmanian devil who spends her days putting out the next biggest fire.
I feel completely and totally helpless about the litany of shit that routinely falls through the cracks…important shit! For so long I placed so much of my own value on my ability to balance and juggle all the different aspects of my life, and now I feel completely devalued when it all crumbles to pieces. Each week, I’m bouncing from work meetings and networking events to playdates and music classes, while simultaneously trying to continue my writing career AND keep up with all things Unpacified. I’m trying to research potty training, preschool, dealing with tantrums, while also doing the grocery shopping and the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning. I spend countless hours on Amazon ordering whatever it is that keeps arriving on my doorstep in Prime boxes each day–and I’ve been out of hairspray for a month.
I’m scheduling doctor appointments, vet visits, dinners and holiday plans. I’m trying to be present with my baby girl, I’m trying to connect with my friends and family, and I’m trying to enjoy the time I have with my loving, hilarious and unintentionally blind husband. And I’m really fucking tired.
Sure, I may have as many hours in the days as Beyoncé…but I don’t have an army of support staff to help keep this train moving forward (or even on the tracks). I also don’t have a wind machine following me around to make me feel like a walking, talking Vidal Sassoon commercial while vacuuming my living room.
I realize that I am now using this post as a public forum to file my complaints, and bitch about how difficult it is to be me…and I realize that makes me an asshole. But I also know that realities are subjective, and my experience is my own. Of course I am grateful for this very blessed life I have with my wonderful family and sweet little girl, but I am capable of being genuinely appreciative while also being overwhelmed. I can walk and chew gum at the same time too…although I’ll inevitably trip over my own feet.
This all comes at the end of a five-day marathon of shit on top of shit, and I’m just trying to keep my daughter happy and healthy and everything around me afloat. My husband says that I’m doing the best I can and I just need to cut myself a break. But I know myself, and I know that I’m capable of doing better…. I just don’t know how to go about doing it. (I’m open to suggestions).
Ultimately, I need to continue learning to relinquish control. I’m not gonna be able to do everything at 100%, and sometimes 75% is just going to have to be good enough. Unless it’s a glass of wine, in which case…No excuses! Play like a champion!
Is it a constant battle of conflicting needs and shifting of priorities? Absolutely. Do I collapse into bed most nights unsure how I’ll get through the next week? Absolutely. Do I want to pursue a career, but also try to be as home with my daughter as much as possible? Absolutely.
So…at the end of the day, would I have my life any other way? Absolutely not. I guess the answer is…I’m not looking for shit to change, I’m just looking for a well-deserved bitch sesh among friends.
With all that said, if anyone is interested in an unpaid, non-school credit internship as my assistant / life coach / mental health expert, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to commiserate, offer some advice, or share a really good knock-knock joke? I’m all ears! (Comment below!)