Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dark Days and Bubble Baths

The Bud loves to go to church. Bedtime on Saturday nights is always easy because he has the anticipation of a morning of chocolate donuts and train tables ahead of him. Shallow, but it gets us out the door on time. If I'm honest, my reasons for going to church this morning were as mercenary as his--it was my one chance to get out of the house and let someone else watch my kid while having nothing physical asked of me for two hours.

I am spent.

I've nodded off a handful of times in the last few hours, marked by brief moments of consciousness at the hand of my three year old, reminding me unceremoniously that it's 'time to wake up now,' or 'it's not sweepy time now, Mommy.' Poor kid. All he wants is my attention, which I feel completely unable to give him, but explaining the whys to a person who follows each answer with yet another why would take more effort than I can currently dredge up, so instead, I stare at him wordlessly, wishing I was anywhere but here...

It's been a rough go, lately. Work is a nuthouse, The Artist and I are tense and crabby as we wrestle with finances and the impending reality of raising two children in a Crackerjack box, parenting a toddler is a constant exercise in frustration and futility, and doing it all while growing a new person inside my body? Yeah, that's doesn't make the rest of it any easier to handle.

If such a thing as A Dark Night of Pregnancy exists, I'm in it. And I've been here before. My circumstances this time around are quite different than the last--I'm not single, lonely, bereft, and scared for the prospects of mine and my unborn child's future. I'm not eaten up with the anxiety of a first-time mother. Well, not the same anxiety, anyway. There's always something to worry about, of course, but my worries this time are different.

This Dark Night, while different in a lot of ways from the one before, has this in common: the feeling of being completely unequal to the daily effort of living my life. I'm sick of opening my eyes in the morning, as tired as when I went to bed the night before, thinking 'I cannot do this. Not even one more time.' It's not self-destructive, so much as the slightly tantrumy urge to sit down amid all the things and just...have a good cry.


I get that what I feel is typical. I'm not reinventing the wheel, here. Jobs in corporate America have been around longer than I. So have relationships, pregnancies, and three year olds (God help us all). And in spite of all the muck and mess, people do get up to rave another day. It's ordinary. It's reality.

But, the world where I want to live is a lot less like reality, and more like a never-ending bubble bath, where the hot water never runs out and the suds never fizzle. Pregnancy brain is an old wives tale, not a well-worn excuse for failings. Misunderstandings, pride, self-centeredness, and unmet needs do not exist. Kisses really do heal all wounds. Parenting springs from an unending well of patience. Laundry, dishes, and cooking do themselves, and no one ever coined the phrase, 'decision overload' to characterize the poor schmuck, on his/her daily grind, fed up with the responsibility of it all.

Today my grind followed me to church. There I was offered a chance to be quiet and to rest in the stillness. It followed me to laughs with old and dear friends, who reminded me that while some things change, they also stay the same, and that feels really great. And it followed me home again, where I didn't get a quality nap, but I did get sweet cuddles  and giggles with my kid, all the way up to his (early) bed time. It followed me to the personal rock concert I'm getting right now from my guy, while my baby girl kicks and squirms in my belly. And the laundry is done.

I'd better get going. Tomorrow's another day on the grind.

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