There’s no pretty way to say this and this post is going to be whiny and rambly and unpolished and I don’t even care because it totally mimics the day I just survived. Am still surviving. (Thanks to a bath and a glass of Malbec.)
Today was terrible, almost from start to finish. The kind of terrible where you just want to hide under the covers and do NOTHING but pray and wish and hope for the sun to set and a new day to begin because it’s just. that. bad.
Because anxiety is an asshole and we had a snow day today for what was most definitely just rain and NOT snow at all. (I don’t know. Welcome to the South.)
Also because I was jolted out of bed this morning when Dan went into the living room and realized that the back door hadn’t been latched last night and the wind had blown it open and then it rained all inside our living room and it was 61 degrees inside.
Also because I have a threenager in the house and she is insanely demanding of 100% of my attention and I can’t blame her but also she can’t actually have 100% of my attention 100% of the time. She has to learn that and I have no idea how to teach her without crushing her soul.
She wants someone to play with her and since Joshua isn’t interested in playing with his little sister and there weren’t really any little girls for her to play with and school was closed, guess who becomes the default friend?
Mom. Me. Mom is me.
Also because I have a WICKED case of guilt over how much time my kids spend plugged in when they’re home and I’m working.
Joshua started asking for his iPad at 7:00 this morning. I finally gave in at 8:00 because it was just…why was I fighting it? He didn’t have school. His friends probably weren’t up and moving around yet. It gave him something to do.
Ugh. I can’t win ’em all. Whatever. Play video games. Go wild.
But then came the task of trying to work and mom and play and work and send emails and talk to peers and send more emails and and and…and I could feel my skin start to crackle. When my skin starts to crackle, my heart starts to pound. Then I hear blood rushing in my ears and I’m on the way to full-on anxiety meltdown.
I do not like to get to full-on anxiety meltdown.
A part of me feels like Emma’s constant need for my attention is because I don’t give it to her often enough, and that’s a tough (and slightly probably irrational) pill to swallow.
It’s impossible to give her all of me all of the time and my rational mind knows this. But my irrational mind says if only I gave her all of me all the time, I wouldn’t have anxiety. If only I’d given more of my attention to Joshua, he wouldn’t retreat inside the world of Terraria so easily.
So today was just a perfect storm of suck.
After I got off our staff meeting, Emma was pinching the underside of my arm to get my attention and I felt myself boiling on the inside, my heart pounding. I knew a blow-up was coming and I felt like I couldn’t stop it. So I typed a quick message to everyone:
Hey y’all, I’m not in a good place today with the kids so I’m signing out to focus on them. My anxiety is through the roof trying to juggle them both and I’m yelling and being angry. Time for a time out.
I immediately closed my computer and walked away from the table, poured myself a glass of water, and chugged it, trying to fill my guts with something other than lightning and anger and frustration and fear.
It was HARD to do that.
I work with women and moms who practice and preach the benefits of self-care and putting ourselves first and minding our own mental health. I tell my Warrior Moms to do that at least once a week. And I had a really, really hard time bringing myself to do the thing I tell other people to do.
It’s hard to call in for a snow day when you work from home, you know? It’s like…why can’t I just do this and do this parenting thing at the same time? Why is it all so hard to manage?
Why do I think these women–women who tell other women exactly what I tell other women–will judge me harshly for needing to take a break? For needing to breathe and focus on my kids and just be a mom?
The truth is I can’t do it all because I’m human. I’m a human with a mental illness that, while it has been fantastically in its place for the past six weeks just reared up and knocked me on my ass today. Literally.
After sending that message, I decided Emma and I would make pizza sticks and then watch movies. Whatever movies she wanted (Coraline, Home, and The Box Trolls) and I would just park it on the couch and do nothing but sit with her because it was the absolute least I could do for this kid of mine.
With any luck it would help the anxiety storm pass and give me a minute to breathe.
If not, at least there was pizza.
Having some RIDICULOUS #anxiety today over trying to work with both kids home for a “snow day.” After a particularly nasty moment, I had to walk away from my important work to spend time focused on my MOST important work. I still feel like all of my skin is on fire and crackly, but I know it will pass. I hope it will pass. And if not at least there was pizza.