People tell me that I’m strong. They tell me that I do things they could never do. They say things like, “I look up to you.” Or “I don’t know how you do it.” Can I tell you a secret? I don’t know either.
Every day I wake up tired. I wake up wondering how the heck I’m going to make it through one more day. I cry from exhaustion and weep because I just don’t know how to make it through breakfast.
In those moments, I whisper words my mom told me long ago — just put one foot in front of the other. One small choice at a time. Ok, I can do that. I can pick which flavor creamer for my coffee. But that’s it….
Then, I focus on the kids — what do I need to do to get them to school? Dear Lord, help me find the patience today. If they scream or fight their way through one more morning, I just can’t do it. I don’t want to do it. But they need me. I know they do. And let’s be honest without my help they are never going to get to school, which means I can’t lay in bed with the covers pulled over my head if they are running through the house. So, I need to get them to school. Just put one foot in front of the other. One small choice at a time. Ok, I can do that. I can get my kids to school. But that’s it….
When the doors shut to the minivan and I watch my children race to the playground, I exhale. I survived what my kids needed from me. Barely, and it wasn’t really all that pretty, but I did it.
On my drive to work, I often think of all the other places I could escape to. What if I stopped for Starbucks and just didn’t leave? I often console myself with thoughts like, “I’m so sick of people telling me I’m strong. I don’t want to be strong! I want to be boring. I want a quiet, uneventful life. I just want to rest.”
My work day continues with one small step after another. I yawn a lot. I fill my coffee cup over and over again. My mind wanders to what my kids are up to. Are they behaving? Will my phone ring with a complaint from school? What’s for dinner? How am I going to make dinner and get my kids to bed on time? I should have planned this out better. Note to self :: Put menu planning on the goal list. Again. But I can feed them something.
By the end of the day, I collapse on my couch, pour myself a glass of “the kids are finally asleep” wine and exhale. I’m tired, exhausted and I’m already thinking about quitting tomorrow. But then those golden words my mom taught me right crystal clear; just put one foot in front of the other. One small choice at a time. Ok, I can do that. I’ll do ONE chore before bed. But that’s it …