Tuesday morning I shared this to the GRITSOnline Facebook page:

UNCENSORED: This is the face of a mom who completely lost her sh** this morning…why? Because my toddler woke me up at 4:51 having taken his diaper off at some point and was covered in pee and made he was lying in a wet bed. At 5:37 he was pulling my pants down because I was using the wrong cup to make his juice. At 5:43 my 11 yr old came out-for the 2nd time dressed like she was going to church instead of Day camp and asking me for the fourth time about her lunch and snack. At 6:01 my teen got mad because I didn’t award her a medal for her telling me she was gonna actually shower today. So at 6:03 I called my ex and told him to get his a$$ over here. I have these kids 128 hours a week…and he didn’t stay up late last night folding laundry and watching the final episode of OITNB. By 6:30 he was asking why the toddler-now covered in juice, cereal and poop-needed a bath so I lost it. I walked away from everyone…played two rounds of Bubble Shooter before hopping in the shower. And as I climbed out to hear kids and ex banging on my door…I realized this is the side of life we never talk about…the moments we refuse to post online…the scenes in movies we laugh a little too much at because they hit way too close to home…and I had forgotten to wash my hair. Crap. And all before 7:00 am!!! So I while I will fake the hair being clean, throw concealer on the dark circles and once again PRAISE JESUS for coffee, sugar and music turned up too loud as I go about my day…I will not fake that my life is easy, that is always happy and that I don’t lose my sh** probably way too much.
#momlife #singlemom #crazymom

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The photo above is what was attached. I also posted it on my personal Instagram account, because…well, I’ll just say it…I have found a great community of fellow moms, crocheters (aka “hookers”…yes we actually call ourselves that), and other like-minded people via IG. Within a matter of hours, well…I had receivedĀ a huge outpouring of love and support and comments like “go go momma!”. Well, okay so no one actually left that comment on FB or IG…but a friend who I texted about my morning said it.
And I meant what I said: we rarely talk about the hard stuff, and it’s normally after our hair is done, the makeup on and the house clean…in other words, way, way after it’s over. Not immediately after the craziness…or in this case, in the small break from it.
My day didn’t get any less crazy. I ended up dropping the younger two off at their respective daycare/day camps (aka BEST DECISION I EVER MADE), then drove over an hour to take my oldest to a doctor appointment that lasted seven minutes. One hour there and one hour back for SEVEN MINUTES. But it’s her psychiatrist, and considering child psychs are an endangered species in these parts, my daughter will actually TALK TO this psych, I don’t mind driving an hour only to have to sit in front of a computer monitor…because the doctor is actually two hours away, they Skype her into this office for appointments two days a week. But it works! And Lis talks to her! And in the last year we’ve been seeing her we’ve found new ways to help Lis and the rest of cope with the fun/hell/challenge that is autism+puberty.
And since they are working on the roads and we live in a tourism area, we left early…only to not hit a single construction zone or car packed with beach chairs and suitcases. So we went to the local library for Lis to find some books she needs for her summer work (Lis’ school and summer homework is another post entirely), then off to the appointment, then home for a quick powernap, then off to the high school to figure out her schedule, then to our actual local (as in-closer than an hour away) library for the rest of her books, then the grocery store for dinner stuff, then pick up Tommy, pick up Ani, then home to make fish tacos with a toddler on my hip, then bath, bedtime, dishes, emails, more laundry…is it any wonder I collapsed on my bed later than night?
And these are my days…every day. These are most moms (and dads) days. It’s non-stop crazy…to the point, we simply learn to deal with crazy and prepare for the REAL crazy stuff…emergencies and illnesses and unexpected company, and schoolwork that is due TOMORROW and your boss giving you an unreal deadline and all the million of other things that happen. And we don’t talk about them. We only talk about the times everyone is smiling, clothes all clean, no one arguing, asking for something for the 1000000th time…and you know what? Those moments last just long enough to take the photo we post.
The photo above? It’s how I look 90% of the time. Not gonna lie. The morning I described? It happens five or six days out of seven. The day spent running all over doing all those errands and yet not feeling like anything actually got done? It’s a daily occurrence. And yet we don’t talk about it. We don’t share those days. We shy away from posting those pictures. Why? I don’t know about you, but I think we all could use some more #realtalk.

It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night(s)

Sorry for disappearing on everyone. I had the best of intentions, lots of things worked up in my mind and on paper (well, on screen) I was working on and then had several major things happen in my life all at once. One of them was tragic, one was a sad but welcomed relief, and one was simply a majorly dodged bullet.

First the tragic-I am currently jobless as the three-yes, three, work-from-home jobs I had are no longer there. Two of them I had to quit when I was spending more money on equipment, supplies, gas, and babysitting than I was making. One seems to have simply disappeared. “Ghosting” is the word the cool kids use nowadays. My supposed employer ghosted me-as in, disappeared, won’t return calls or messages…I have no clue what happened but based on what happened with the other two I’m counting myself lucky.

Then the sad but welcome relief-after a long, long battle with many illnesses my sweet father-in-law passed away. I loved this amazing man and am honored to have known him, and now be tasked with raising three of his grandchildren-all who take after him in their own unique ways. But the last few months life had gotten hard for him, and I saw him two weeks before he passed and I simply was shocked at the shell of this once-great giant of a man I’ve known for sixteen years now. That day my mind went back to the first time I saw him, and it was like he was two different people. So while my sadness lingers, my heart is rejoicing that he is no longer in pain or suffering, but instead reunited with his parents and is probably up in heaven composing his ongoing-opus while building the biggest model plane in heaven. RIP, my sweet Music Man.

Then there was the dodged bullet…it’s a long, complicated story-too long for me to go in here…but a man I had been seeing, a man I had gotten close enough to start making him a daily part of our lives, turned out to be someone I didn’t know. Someone with severe emotional and mental problems and the day after I kicked him out of our lives I simply kicked myself at not seeing the signs earlier. I’m still discovering things days later, things he lied about and things he hid from me. All I can say is I’m grateful it didn’t go further than it did. Auntie has been amazing, offering her support and reminding me she didn’t see through the mask he wore either until the very end. That final night we sat in her room going over things and realized that we had just dodged a very large bullet. And I’d like to say I’m heartbroken…but the man I thought I knew and loved was not the man he turned out to be. So instead of being heartbroken I am instead grateful and taking the entire incident as one giant lesson learned.

One thing I accepted years ago that with my own struggles with anxiety and depression, plus my children each having their own set of needs to be met…I cannot take on anyone else’s problems. It sounds callous, but it’s true. I have enough on my plate without having to worry about another grown adult. Someone close to me says this is almost a guarantee I will remain single the rest of my life and I am actually okay with that. While yes, someone to hang out with and share my life with would be nice, it’s not needed. And while I don’t mind being with other adults who can physically and emotionally care for themselves…I cannot be expected to care for someone who will not take the time to take care of themselves first. It’s one way I do the same for me-I take care of myself by accepting my limits and refusing to deal with others’ problems.15623619_351586378537030_8524488047847276544_n

So yeah…it’s been rough. Today and the rest of the week I’m taking to reflect and rejuvenate and simply focus on day to day tasks like the never-ending pile of laundry I have, children that insist on eating dinner every. single. night (it would be nice if one night all three simply said “I’m not hungry, so don’t worry”…but I doubt it will ever happen…nice to dream though!). In the meantime I’m starting over again, facing each new day as it comes. Cause that’s what we do…after a long hard night/nights…we wake up and face each new day with a smile, knowing we are stronger, smarter, and most importantly…alive.