Thursday, October 29, 2015

I could use some more coffee right now.

Before I had even turned on the car to take my littles to preschool this morning, I had screamed, and I mean screamed, at my kids twice, taken away Jamie’s toys for the rest of the day, soothed a devastated Charles after Jamie soaked his favorite shirt in an unauthorized (of course) water fight, mopped the bathroom after said water fight, and given Freddie his first taste of chocolate chips in an attempt to distract him from the horrifying contusion on his hand after Jamie shut it in the car console.  It was a shitty morning, made more so by an intense, although abbreviated due to child-minding, self-hatred session in front of my mirror.  All of my sweaters and leggings are still on my bed, the bedding from both bunks and the dog bed are strewn around the house, and the sink is piled high with dishes.


Jamie is just so four years old and I am running low on patience.  When Tony is there, we balance each other – I can see him getting stressed and impatient, so it keeps my own frustration in check.  Likewise, when I am at the end of my rope, Tony calms me and steps in to keep the kids on track.  Those days are few and far between; we are in the midst of the busy season of life, marked by long and stressful hours at work and multiple family demands.  Stress takes its toll, and more often than not, we have to captain this ship of fools alone.  I feel like I’m holding a bag of rabid, screeching, flapping bats closed and losing my grip.


The negative self-talk doesn’t help, but it’s absurdly difficult to stop.  Sometimes, I feel decent-looking.  Yesterday, even though my skin is more awful than usual and trending toward the most awful skin time of the month, I felt pretty.  Today, when I looked in the mirror, I felt haggard and old, droopy and saggy.  I want to be fashionable, but my body type is not fashionable; ten years ago, my silhouette worked well with midi-hem skirts and boot-cut jeans, but in the modern era of skinny jeans and maxi- or mini- skirts, my pear-shaped form simply looks ridiculous.  Shopping for clothing that is both fashionable and not cringe-worthy on my form takes time and money that I don’t have.  I am getting old, and my skin, breasts, and belly show it.  I exercise all the time for minimal results, and I bear the consequences of each missed workout or run in the fit of my jeans the very next day.  If only I could reconcile the instant gratification of chocolate and alcohol with the self-deprivation truism, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”


I wish I didn’t blow up so often, but it happens.  And then I apologize.  And then the kids apologize.  Then we talk about why I got frustrated and what we can all do better tomorrow.  Then I feel terrible, the pit in my stomach growing with each daily confirmation that I am a despicable parent.  I kiss and hug and reassure them of my love, berating myself in my internal monologue.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  I’m hopeful for a better day tomorrow, and the crazy thing is that somewhere in the deep recesses of my soul, I actually believe it could happen.  Like, one magical day, my clothes will all look good and my kids will do what they’re told and we’ll have a totally harmonious morning and I’ll think, “Ahhhh… this is the life!”  Dreams: they keep me going almost as much as caffeine.

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