Gimme a Break

I wrote this post yesterday morning while Carl was getting ready for work and the kids were enjoying their couch-toast/movie time. I ended up choosing both the longest shower ever AND a nap. And don’t worry, I threw some fresh fruit at the kids along with all the other stuff I fed them. I didn’t take the time to edit so I didn’t post it yesterday and now I’m glad I didn’t because I can tell you how it all came out at the very end . . .

I’ve been fighting it since Saturday. I should have known better. So many little things going wrong: kids all fussy and waking up several times a night, getting up for the day around 4:30am every day. I’ve been spilling my coffee even more often than usual, tripping over random stuff, not finding time to shower, always missing at least two ingredients for what I’d planned to cook, and the list goes on.

Today has been no different. Kids all up far earlier than normal, another morning spent without a single minute to myself, I forgot to comb my Sunshine’s hair before school, I forgot I put my coffee on the bookshelf and it got cold, and I can feel myself wobbling on that razor’s edge between sanity and insanity . . .

So, for today, I’ve decided to just let it all go. More specifically, lunch is going to be hot dogs and then I’m going to shamelessly follow hot dogs with a dinner of frozen pizzas. I’m not going to write a to-do list. I’ve just put Moana on for the boys to watch while I write and I’m letting them eat toast on the couch. Instead of cooking and cleaning while they nap, I’m going to take the longest shower ever or maybe just sleep or write some more–whatever I feel like when we get there.

I won’t play Sisyphus today–rolling the boulder that is trying to keep house with three kids under six, only to have to start again at the bottom of the hill the next day and the next. And, here’s the very best, most important part of all;

I’m not going to feel bad about any of it.

Not even a little bit. Not even at all. I’m running on fumes. I need a break. I want my kids to see me take one and internalize that breaks are important and necessary. Everyone in my life wins along with me in the end if I take one. Whoever you are reading this? The same is true for you.

After a long shower AND a nap, waking up with no worries about dinner or anything else, I fed my boys a snack and put the pizzas in so they’d be coming out just before my Sunshine got home on the bus. We all ate pizzas then I was feeling so good and the kids had so much energy, I put on my headlamp and we took a long play-walk through the field in the pitch dark. We got to listen to a pack of coyotes run past in the woods nearby, play on a giant, mossy boulder and in our frozen leaf pile that the kids just aren’t ready to give up, and everyone went to bed worn out and happy.

My last act of self-care yesterday was to ask my man to take care of the horses’ water so I could go to bed at 8pm. And I woke up today feeling like a completely different person in the loveliest of ways. So I repeat, if you’re maxed out, see about giving yourself a break, even something small like not worrying about preparing a healthy meal or letting some cleaning go for a day so you can rest a little. The smallest amount can make all the difference.

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