[Editor’s note: The post below was written last Tuesday, but due to an admin error it’s only getting published today. Apologies, Kelly!]
Funny thing just happened. It’s been one of those days. My secretary doesn’t really know it’s been one of those days, yet she just created and sent me this picture. Why has it been one of those days? It’s been one of those days because I yelled at my girls this morning. I rarely even raise my voice at my girls, yet I actually yelled at them this morning, out of sheer frustration I guess. Put me in the Worst Mama Ever category today. So far I’m not doing very well on the “savor the week with my girls” goal I put on the Monday page.
What caused me to lose it? I guess a combination of things really. Since my DH is working 12-16 hour days all week on a major plant project shutdown, I’m essentially a single Mom this week, a single Mom with a very demanding full-time job outside the home, a flourishing part-time business inside the home, and twin girls who will be five in three weeks. How do single Moms do it? And today is Tuesday, Water Play Day. Water Play Day requires that I goop up my girls with sunblock and swimsuit before we even leave the house, plus pack them a towel and extra change of clothes for the day. Oh, and don’t forget the money for shaved ice, Mom! Add to that the rest of the “must gather for the day” things that take place every morning and the long list of tasks awaiting me once I got to the office, and I was truly frazzled. Yet here I am talking to you.
That’s where the frustration must come out. As creative mothers, don’t we all have very lengthy to-do lists? Yet I keep adding things to my list, don’t you? The things that I want to do and the things that I must do sometimes completely crowd out the things that I absolutely must remember. What are those? Those are the reminders to stay sane. Those are the reminders to breathe and count to ten before I snap at my girls. Those are the reminders that my girls did not create my to-do lists. They did not commit me to participating in a Fat Book swap, they did not force me to procrastinate terribly on completing my calendar at work, they did not ask me to take the online Blackboard course, they did not ask for a dog for their birthday so they’d have to help take care of her, they did not even ask to play at Water Play Day. They simply asked me to love them. And I hope that those are also the reminders that it’s okay to screw up every once in a while…no, scratch that…it’s impossible not to screw up every once in a while because I am who I am. First and foremost, a living, breathing, emotional, creative creature who feels smothered when I can’t find that time for myself to create yet feel guilty when I spend time away from my children and family. So maybe Life and Art meet Frustration when we realize we simply can’t do all the things we want to do and be all the things others need us to be. So we must accept. I must accept. Accept things as they are and, just maybe, as they were meant to be.
So I go back to that list and try to remember why there is so much on it. I committed to the Fat Book swap because I want my girls to learn to take chances on new things like I do. I’ve procrastinated on my calendar because I’d rather go through the pictures we took on our family vacation. I’m taking the Blackboard class because I’d love to shift over to faculty full time to have more time with my family. We bought the girls a dog for their birthday last year so they could grow to love animals as much as we do while learning to take care of another creature. And about that Water Play Day? I selected that school for my girls for the growth it would provide them…emotionally, socially, spiritually and mentally. While I suppose there is a little selfishness in all that we do, maybe we all need to learn how to recognize the gifts we give our children by doing everything that we do. I’ll work on that. How about you? I think I’ll go look through those pictures again now….