Nails were clipped, baths had been given, and the dry cleaning was already picked up. I added four diapers, a new pack of wipes, the recently-washed changing pad, and footie pajamas to my son’s diaper bag after placing four favorite princess toys, Peppa Pig pajamas, matching purple underwear, and a pack of sticky notes− in case of the oh-so dreaded automatic flushers− into another bag for my daughter.
In addition to two sippy cups (one with a straw and one without), the cooler contained a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, apple slices, baby carrots, as well as a mashed banana and avocado mixture, complete with wet wipes in case of messes. And all of that was just for the kiddos, let alone my husband and me.
It was my mom’s wedding day, and in order to be physically present for the “getting ready” portion of the event, I needed (or felt that I needed) to have everything prepared before heading out. And I did. It honestly took days of list-making, but I really REALLY had everything ready to go.
As we are all well aware of though, a mom’s brain can only hold so much. So there we were, piling out of my newly-washed and vacuumed mini-van for the ceremony, only to realize that my son’s ring bearer outfit was not in tow. It made it out of the house and into the hotel, but there it hung. And in less than 30 minutes, the groom, my future stepdad, would be making his way down the aisle…
OK, OK. I can laugh at this picture now. But behind that extremely cheesy grin stood a very VERY stressed out mom. Of all the things I did right that day, I was only focusing on the one thing I did “wrong”− and so was everyone else around me. Oh how I wanted to be present and focused on my mom, but I just could not get myself to snap out of it, even after my husband made it back from the hotel with two minutes to spare and the rest of the evening carried on flawlessly.
You guys, my brain is mush, and not the mush you feel after studying for hours on a test or trying to figure out some sort of challenging task. I mean, I love that kind of mush; I MISS that kind of mush. No, this mush is the result of trying to do absolutely everything without ever feeling like you’re doing anything at all. And I hate it.
“Things don’t have to be perfect,” some say when I finally do gather up some courage to admit I’m extremely overwhelmed at this stage in my life. Perfect? I feel like I am just trying to survive here, people.
And, my favorite, “Give the hubby more to do.” Sure, I could let my guard down and designate more tasks for him (on top of his already-crazy schedule), but this scenario reminds me way too much of my teaching days where it was easier to go in sick than prepare for a sub. (PS: I’m in no way saying my husband isn’t capable of what I do, but it is much more difficult to prepare and explain everything than it is to simply do it most of the time!).
Thankfully some of my phone apps have helped to clear some mush and also assist in maintaining what could otherwise become mushy relationships. Notes, for example, gives me a convenient and accessible place to make lists. I make errand lists, grocery lists, and since I often doubt my ability to survive through this time in my life, sometimes even bucket lists…kidding! (I mean, sort of?).
Any time I talk to anyone about upcoming events or news in his or her life, I add a reminder in Google Calendar to text him or her for an update. I may seem like a hot mess while listening but inside the mush is still the same, old, caring me…I promise!
Although I’m feeling exceptionally mushy lately, I do know, deep down, that the mush I feel is pretty normal for a mom of two young ones; I just need more realistic coping techniques.