My husband is at soccer and I have just finished the most enthralling trilogy, so what's there to do? I scan through hulu, facebook, blogs, and still find myself restless. Bored. Then my mind starts to dwell on my day. The things I did. The things I didn't do. I'm hungry but the only thing to snack on is some home made zucchini bread that turned out much too dry. Just like the last two times. Why do I insist on trying to keep things healthy? Why don't I have a bag of potato chips in my cupboard? Why can't I make a damn loaf of bread that isn't dryer than saw dust?
I start to think about why I am so tired. I wake before dawn--which isn't hard to do with winter quickly approaching, how depressing--before I can even make my way to the bathroom I've been asked 13 times by my son if I can make breakfast, get him juice, let him watch a cartoon, help him feed his fish, etc, etc... the list goes on and on. By 8:00 a.m. I have made breakfast, cleaned up, showered, dressed both the boys, fed the dog, remembered it's my day to bring snacks for Aiden's class, gotten the snack together, packed Aiden's lunch, and started on my now luke warm cup of coffee. I do all this in a fog. I don't really wake up until 9 or 10 I swear. Sometimes I spend the down time before school reading books with the boys or playing cops and get-away-cars, but sometimes I let them go crazy on their own, or cave and turn on a cartoon so I can finish getting ready in peace. By 8:55 a.m. we are walking Aiden to school, by 9ish he is settled in class and Gabriel and I stroll back home.
I always imagine Gabriel and I spending good, solid, quality time together while Aiden is at school, but let's be honest, I probably spend 30 minutes really playing with him, and the rest of the time cleaning, running errands, feeding, changing diapers, occasionally meeting with a friend. Somedays this feels perfectly fine; I put away the dishes, he takes out all the tupperware, I sweep the floor, he "vacuums," I fold the laundry, he empties my underwear drawer, I put away the tupperware, he dumps my box of receipts. Other days I get the feeling he needs extra attention. Sometimes I take that as an opportunity to sit and read just for him, play knock-over-whatever-I-build without his big brother getting upset, or simply destroy my freshly made bed with a tickle fight. And sometimes I ignore that feeling and keep us busy. I hate it when I do that.
By the time Aiden gets home I am ready for bed, but apparently the day is only half over. Gabriel takes a nap and Aiden and I eat a snack and then he searches for bugs and brings them to me to inspect, or I attempt to answer the half a million question he has about everything (How do you make chicken nuggets out of pizza? Why does the sun set? Why do feet stink?). If he's being particularly observant, I use this time to read in between bug inspections. Sometimes I make him "nap," though he rarely actually does. Sometimes I let him watch a cartoon so I can soak up 30 minutes of quiet to write a blog post, finish a chapter, or just sit and stare blankly at the wall.
Sometimes we have an afternoon outing. Sometimes we spend it all in the back yard. Dinner feels like a grand production. With all the interruptions it often feels like it takes hours, even when I've prepped the meal. I find myself thinking, What you want can wait. Your whining can wait. Your tears can wait. Your everything can wait. I WILL finish cooking this meal! And sometimes I end up cooking with one child on my hip and another eating crackers by my feet.
If I am lucky, Aaron is home by dinner and we can share bed time duties. It always seems to feel like the last stretch of a race that part of the day. Bath, get dressed, brush teeth, book, song, BED. It takes so much energy, all I have left. Unless Aaron does dishes, I rarely do them till morning. And then I find myself glued to the couch, finally able to do anything I want. And all I want to do is sleep.
Sometimes what best makes me ok with my "failings" is just being honest and writing about them (hence the blog, I guess). I often find that what I felt so awful about earlier, isn't so bad. And when I thought I did "nothing," I really did lots of things. Sometimes it helps me see what I focused on that day and helps me to prioritize. Sometimes my failings are just that, failings, and I have to accept I'll always have them. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your daily failings, try writing it out, and see where it takes you.