So just a few minutes ago, I was googling "how to clean your cat's ears" and I caught sight of myself. At 31 years old, I know that number is not old, yet as a seasoned mini-van driver, sometimes I feel...older than I'd like. Researching ways to effectively clean out Cocoa's ear nooks made me feel old.
Do you ever catch sight of yourself? Most of the time I feel like I am on autopilot and I'll give you a taste of what my autopilot looks like -
wake up around 7-ish. have coffee, snuggle children, yell at children, make breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. Dress children, do Bailey's breathing, pack bookbags. Change out of nightie (don't get confused, think big t-shirt or if I'm feeling sexy, a chin-to-toe flannel number) into sweats - choices range in light gray, dark gray and black. Send Bailey off to school at 8:45, do chores and spend time with Sissy until her bus comes at 12:30. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I may opt out of my sweats and wear normal attire for my MOPS and Bible study events at church, but I have been known to come as is. After Tate gets on her bus I run errands or do more chores. Chores include but are not limited to things like bill paying, vacuuming after my gremlins and cats, dusting (well, rarely, but I do dust once in awhile so that counts), putting things away, choosing which art items the girls made get saved or secretly thrown out, laundry, cutting and organizing coupons, shopping, MOPS planning and coordinating, and spending approximately a thousand hours a week trying to figure out exactly how much we owe to CHOP for Bailey's ongoing medical care. The current estimate is...our life savings. If we had any. The girls get home at 3:30 and for 2 minutes it is sweet family bliss, and then they are arguing over who had the better snack and the next few hours until Kevin gets home either fly or drudge by, depending. We usually have dinner together, some nights the kids have activities, and we have family time, homework time, getting-ready-for-bed time. Someone usually cries between the hours of 3:30 and 7:30 and today it was me.
Now, before you think that I must hate my life from how I speak of the monotony of it all - au contraire. This life is exactly what I always wanted, give or take. REALLY. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and I know how blessed I am to be in the position to be at home. I thank Kevin often for working hard to provide for us. There is no where else I'd rather be, and just the thought of this season of my life being over renders me sad and lonely. I sit in my living room sometimes and just beam with gratitude that I have a home filled with laughter, love, family. I adore my babies, and my husband, and I really do enjoy serving them. Well, when they're not demanding I serve them, because then I don't wanna.
BUT...somehow I lost myself in this shuffle. It didn't happen overnight, but sure enough I am a different person today than I was 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with Bailey. I've always loved a good pair of snuggle pants (sweats) -- but I didn't wear them to hide myself, trying to disappear. I didn't wear them for fear that I wouldn't look good in anything so why bother. I've always done "chores" but it wasn't my livelihood. I've always loved reading to children but it didn't define in my mind whether or not I am a good mother. Does this make any sense? I will literally sometimes lie awake at night and berate myself that I didn't read to my children that day. Kevin, who also did not read to them, sleeps soundly. Is this because his worth hangs on more than that?
So...I think this is what I will do. I am going to commit to doing something for myself every week, knowing that will actually be good for my husband and children also. This week I commit to exercising 3 times, which always makes me feel great when I'm done. And the bonus is - I can wear my sweats while I do it, because we know now how attached to them I am.