At 11 pm last night my girls were very wide awake watching a YouTube cooking show.
As you can see, they're either overly dramatic, completely unpredictable, or calm yet extremely distracted.
There is no in-between.
They came home & threw a few tantrums after a long day.
We picked out their clothes for the next day.
Ate dinner. Cleaned up. Read a book.
They argued with each other and whined a little.
Complained about taking a bath.
Sat in the tub dry for an hour.
Finally decided to bathe & asked for more food - all before 9.
In between 9 pm & 11 pm I went through their backpacks full of request notes from teachers, the art they created & PTA sign up forms.
"Tomorrow is Letter 'M' Day. Make sure to bring an object that starts with an M."
"This is how you can get involved. Sign up for PTA now."
"Please pack your child extra warm clothes, shoes, socks, mask & underwear."
"Mommy, my teacher said to tell you to bring the laptop back tomorrow." ( I can't find the damn thing)
"Can I play on my tablet?"
I agreed & blacked out completely. I just froze for 2 hours straight on the floor.
I barely woke up on time. I don't care for face to face or online learning. I also dislike how mundane & routine each day gets.
I had an appointment to discuss what a black-owned homeschool learning program would look like for my girls. It was rescheduled last minute.
I also had a meeting with a community activist looking to partner & help organize a game plan. This was rescheduled as well.
In those 2 hours, I felt defeated, powerless & burned-out. I wasn't able to do anything I actually wanted to do. Only what I had to do.
Its only September. This time last year, the exact responsibilities got the best of me & my mental health.
Have you ever seen yourself as a robot?
To the car. To the job, to the break room. Back home raising kids vs. spending quality time with them.
0 time off, minimal sick days used for yourself (just in case there's a child emergency.)
I probably gained 33 pounds & lost every little bit of fire left in me.
As I stared at the back of my girl's heads I didn't want to interrupt their peace.
I didn't want to hear their cries as I try to fix their hair.
I didn't feel like repeating myself 10 times or begging them to lie down so they wake up on time.
I wish they comprehended that I don't like the setup either - just as much If not more.
....I ended making Strawberry Ice Box Cake instead. I did it to interrupt the routine. For peace. To enjoy a small treat together. Yes, passed bedtime.
Sometimes that's just how it goes.
This is typically that time of the year that things get set back, put on the back burner & some of us get distant.
Maybe overwhelmed, and lose ourselves. It happens, that's not the hard part. Its when it gets too deep to pull yourself out and starting over takes way too much energy.
I needed to switch it up quickly & remind myself although my plate is full I'm still moving forward - gracefully, I can absolutely do the hard things & unfreeze at any given moment. It's an emotional box I put myself into.
The girls ate the cake & fell right to sleep. No fight, no fuss. Just thank you's & I love you's.
Not every day will flow this way but sometimes it's okay to just break the routine & do something you want to do for once. Life should not take us on a ride. And with a solid foundation and support system, we should be able to refocus, recommit, and grab the wheel again.
The question is "How?" The how is different for everyone. In this case, it was making a No-bake Strawberry Icebox Cake. At some point, we all have to determine how far we'll let it ride out before "the reset." It's best to expect it and decide what that will look like now.
I think the only accomplishment I had for the day was hitting my water oz. goal, matching their socks, cleaning my toilet & slightly boosting my credit score.
#Smallwinsmatter I truly believe my children are doing their very best & understand I am too.
It counts. It has to. Every day.