Let's talk about mommy breaking points
Nothing is as dramatic as a mommy who has had her fill of the entire day. Like throw the whole day away. Like dumpster fire catastrophe.
This week has been the first time Miah has been really sick. Lots of mucus, coughing, vomit. It all went down a little something like this:
Off to the office that morning, came home to her having a low appetite but then she vomits her yogurt all over my father and the den. Puking continues later in my bed followed by a trip to the ER which was four wasted hours (including Miah being absolutely terrified of all those folks with their thermometers, tests and unnecessary x-rays) just to hear she probably has a cold.
Next day was an entire bittersweet spectacle of sleeping in my bed next to me which means I also slept all day. We finally got up and I made homemade mac and cheese (#momwin because she finally ate and danced around in fact).
Next morning I worked remotely, had a Skype meeting, edits and she had the same routine of sick but now absolutely NO appetite, diarrhea, peed on the bath rug while waiting to get in the tub for the bath she needed after that diarrhea. Washed her up then cleaned the bathroom (overdue). She ate a little but proceeded to puke all over the den and me. Onward to another bath...
Meanwhile I’m exhausted. She is a little fighter so wiping her nose, trying to suck out snot with the Nose Frida, getting examined by a doctor, etc. was a battle with lots of screaming. Even with help, I’m overwhelmed as well as frustrated because she is in a new leap and extra fussy plus not eating much, still just as defiant as usual but with the added benefit of being even more ornery from illness. And I feel like I never get anything done and yea, there goes an entire glass of Pedialyte on the floor just now as I was writing most of this. I don’t blame her actually. Tastes like sweaty socks and armpit. But I may have screeched. I may have said something like, “Yup, I’m a bad momma because I have NO patience for this anymore…”
And then more vomit.
Then there’s sleeping diagonally because she flops and flips in her sleep. Oye! My aching back. Today we went to her doctor’s office and she suspected Miah has a virus. Thank goodness no strep and the fever seems to be gone. I have such a hard time seeing my girl suffering and I know I have more years ahead for sicknesses as every parent I know has said. We’ve been pretty lucky that she hasn’t been really sick until now.
Overall I don’t know how ambitious, dream-chasing mommas do it. It’s Friday and the week has almost left me rocking silently in the corner. I’m a writer and even my account of all this sounds like a run-on sentence with definite problematic verb tense agreement but that’s exactly how it has felt. Sleeping and waking in a stream of consciousness and forgetting what day it really is right now. Wait I said Friday, right?
The upshot is that she mostly wants her momma and I know that won’t always be the case as she ages. I mean it could but the teen years are always iffy as hell. I have to treasure what I can, but the rest? I’m completely mentally fried. All the while texting my husband my woes while he’s at work — he’s a salesman though and he never has time for my rants while at the office (understandable but he’s also fried once he’s home), which makes you feel like you are shouting into the wind. I’ve drunk my weight in caffeine over the course of several days to stay afloat and still could manage a nap if the fates would have it, which I’m probably going to do after I finish this!
Then there’s the moment I’m all, “Suck it up. This is part of the miracle you prayed for and it’s not easy. She’s not going to be easy.” I would be remiss to say that I didn’t expect any thriving little being from me and my husband would be easy, agreeable or tame! This is what I asked for but I’m allowed my acknowledgments of any breaking points. I’m so blessed to have caregiving help from my father. Without him I think this picture would have looked so much worse. And without my friends who are there for the tears, advice, creative outlets, and the playdates I would disappear.
WE NEED A VILLAGE
That statement isn’t just for sweet sharable fodder on social media. It’s absolute fact. As a black woman, I’m well aware of the “superwoman” complex society (and our community) throws on us. But naw, sis. I know my worth (admittedly working more on owning it). I’m fantastic but I can’t do every damn thing and with a smile at that.
We can’t be better without help. Burnout is real, not just a Facebook status. It hits even before you get to the office or the kitchen or the carpool line. Before you even get the next thing added onto your load you have probably already reached a breaking point and stuffed it down with coffee, wine, Instagram, Candy Crush, a mani-pedi, a good soak in the tub or all of those. Self-care is also not a buzzword — IT’S NECESSARY! However, I implore you to ALSO try writing. That’s what I’ve done and it’s freaking cathartic.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
I’ve honestly been writing this for two days but phew, so glad I got it off my chest. Now I am reaching out to you because I’d love to hear how you cope with breaking points. Feel free to post in the comments below or message me because you never know how you can personally help another momma with your story. And if you need help with that, let me know.