An Unbalanced Life

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I looked at the clock, it read 9:45am and I thought, I am tapped out, how in the world am I going to make it through the rest of today?  I had nothing left to give and yet it just kept coming at me like a runaway train.

It peaked with a fight over a green golf ball, progressed into hysteria that I wouldn’t let both of them sit on my lap while I was trying to address an issue with work, morphed into another fight over a red ball, moving on to someone peeing on the floor within a seconds of the other one falling and smashing his face on the ground and the dog hysterical that his ball was stuck under the bed.  I was trying to console the injured twin, while cleaning an exorbitant amount of urine that was all over the bedroom floor all the while hearing my phone buzz with texts and emails from work.  The anxiety was rising at a rapid pace and there was not a thing I could do to stop it. It often seems like if I am succeeding in one area that means I am failing in another.  Not a great feeling.  What is worse, is that I worry that feeling, of letting everyone down, is probably not going to go away any time soon, if ever.

It’s Overwhelming

This is hard.  I mean really hard.  Right now I am a parent first, but I am also so much more. I want to be everything my boys need, especially now, because they really need me.  And I want to be successful in my work.  I have had to completely rebuild my profession to be a stay at home mom, knowing there will be a time when they don’t need (want) me around as much, therefore, hopefully laying the groundwork for a career after my time at home.  

My husband probably wonders if he still has a wife and my house is in constant chaos, everyone needs some sort of appointment that I keep forgetting to make, my blog is floating in the abyss of the internet, I haven’t worked out in months and I still have to figure out Halloween, and those are just a few things.  These are my choices, I know, but man, there are still days when the feeling of failure completely overwhelms any inkling of making it.

Unbalanced Scales

One night, over many glasses of wine, my friends and I were talking about trying to balance motherhood, with work, with relationships, with life,  I said there is no such thing as balance. It was like someone suddenly knew the meaning of life.  We could breathe a collective sigh of relief in the knowing that when you are a mom, balance is unattainable.   

Understanding this doesn’t make it any easier, the guilt isn’t erased but there is comfort in knowing that, at the very least, a small circle of my close friends, are feeling just as crazed as I am.  In a world of Instagram, Facebook, we are fooled into thinking other people seem to have it together and I don’t.  The truth is, we may all be doing it differently, yet we all feel the same – someone, something, gets less and it is dependent on the day, what or who that is.

I feel like we need to stop asking women “how do you balance it all?”  We don’t.  So stop asking, because by just asking that question you are reminding us that we are not able to create a harmonious day to day existence.  Maybe instead of asking Zoe Saldana how she balances her career with twins, ask her if she feels like some days she is running in circles like the rest of us.  And hopefully, instead of feeling pressure to have a perfect image, she and every other mom who also feels that pressure, will give an honest answer of, yes.  And knowing that we are not alone is more helpful than anything else.

So, as today is ending, the boys and I lay on their floor before bed, looking at the stars on their ceiling, both hugging me fiercely, I had to let it go. The house still looks like a natural disaster swept through it, I forgot to make the Dr’s appointment, still haven’t sorted out Halloween, (but I did think about it so that is progression),miraculously, most of what I really needed to do for work, got done and I have lived to tell another day.

 

 

 

Dog Days of Summer

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This summer was a whirlwind of life.  We turned 2, went on vacation, introduced the sprinkler, spent hours by the sea, played outside after dark, stayed up late, and did summer’s number 1 requirement; swim lessons.  It is no small feat finding swim lessons for twins, under or right at 2 years old, that don’t require two adults and cost an arm and a leg.  However, learning to swim was at the top of my “keeping you alive” list.  My brothers and I learned to swim at a really young age.  We would spend 2 weeks every summer in swim lessons at a lake in our town improving our skills each year.  I was determined it needed to be the same for the boys, minus the lake.  

Growing up in Southern California, you spend more than 3 months by the water, at times being an almost year round activity.  Plus, given that a majority of our days it is just myself and the boys, I spent most of this summer avoiding any pool, as the stress of trying to cool off with 2 toddlers, who have no understanding of pool safety just about killed me.   They needed to learn to swim.  

This was the first situation, of many to come I know, but the first where I had to let go and they had to learn a little independence.  I wasn’t allowed in the water with them, which was devastating both to them and myself, especially when they were taken screaming from my arms, by a stranger, in a body of water and told they were going under.  To their credit they did each task, and would re-emerge screaming my name and reaching for me.  It was heart-wrenching.  Thankfully, a great friend who had just gone through lessons with her daughter had warned me of this.  She said her mantra was “this will save her life.” So like her, that ran on a loop in my head each time they were taken from my arms.

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But three days later it was no longer horror in the pool, they loved it.  Each day they progressed more and more until they were swimming short distances on their own.  I was still having mini heart attacks, because they loved swimming so much, they didn’t always feel they needed supervision and would just jump in.  They loved it, I aged.  

I learned two things during their swim lessons.  Swimming is instinctual.  Even in their most fearful days once in the water their arms and legs knew what to do, they just needed some assistance in learning how to control them.  Another lesson on how incredible the human body and mind are.

Second, my kids are brave.  Ask an adult to jump into the arms of a complete stranger and let them submerge you underwater and most would say, no thanks.  But these boys did it and thrived.  I watched their confidence grow each day and I saw how proud they were each time they swam.  So we have the basics down and will be heading back to swim lessons in the spring to strengthen their skills.  Also to remind myself, I am their guide until they are the world’s.   Each new skill they learn and every bit of confidence they gain will take them a bit further from me, but ready them to take this world by storm.  

 

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