I am aware, as I write this, that I have a bit of remodel hangover. But lately I've been really struggling. Being a mom is the best thing ever. I love Gigi with a crazy, all absorbing, over the top, you mean everything to me kind of love. But some days motherhood is hard. The past few months have been a bit challenging. Gigi is nearly crawling and, as my mom said, "gone is the calm, sleepy little baby". Gigi has picked up some serious fiestiness which I love but it is also challenging.
I have been totally overwhelmed. It may sometimes appear that I have it all together, that I get so much accomplished, that I never freak out. But, the last month or so has been full of freak outs. It's not the remodel (although that doesn't help), it's trying to balance everything. With three different jobs, house projects, being a full time mama and trying to be the best wife possible it is easy to forget important things like brushing your teeth, feeding your cat and eating.
The week prior to the rebuild I had a melt down. A full on sobbing on the couch, haven't cried like that since I was a teenager, melt down. I have been seriously struggling to get everything done. I haven't felt like myself and I'm very, very tired. I feel spread so thin these days and I feel as guilty as I do tired. Before I had Gigi, my best friend said to me, "now that I have a baby I feel guilty all the time". I told her how silly that was and that she needed to let go of that feeling. Ha! So much easier said than done. Sorry for that inexperienced advice Marion! As I'm writing this, Gigi is pulling the baby wipes out of the container.... with her teeth.
I feel guilty when I am working and Gigi is awake. I feel like I'm missing all of it. She's growing up so fast and I adore her so much that I can't stand the idea that I've been so busy. When Kyle comes home and the house is messy, I feel terrible. I know it's not my job to keep it clean but at the end of every day it looks like it was hit by a mini tornado. When the house is messy, it just feels like one more thing I'm not doing a good job at. All day long I'm weighing the guilt. If I send this email instead of reading Gigi a book am I saying that that email is more important than her? If I get frustrated that she wakes up early from a nap am I saying that whatever I was doing before she woke up is more important than her. I didn't realize until the damn broke, but I have been feeling like I'm failing at everthing. I know that that isn't true but some days it certainly has felt true.
I had to look very seriously at my schedule. I tend to take on too much. I can take twenty credits (and gets all A's), work on a indie film, work thirty hours a week, cook dinner every night and find time exercise. I can work three jobs, keep the house clean, run all the errands and go to school. I can pump breast milk on one side while I feel Gigi on the other while I finish my Spanish homework (yes, seriously). See what I mean about taking on too much? I like that I can do whatever I set my mind to do. I can do it all! But I'm learning that just because I can do it all does not mean that I should. Something had to give.
Kyle always tells me to cut something out and I always, always argue with him. "I can't cut anything out!", I have cried hundreds of times. In the past that's felt very true. Of course I see now how silly that is, that my letting go of something I am not admitting that I can't do it. Now that I'm a Mom the stakes are higher. I want time to sit and enjoy all the little things. So I've had to suck it up and admit that Kyle has been more than right in the past and is right again now. Dang it.
So, with that realization I've made some very difficult decisions. I decided to take this quarter off of school so that Kyle and I can focus on finishing up the house projects. I have decided to quit pumping breast milk. It's just too hard to try to do it every day so I will start supplementing formula with her rice cereal instead of breastmilk. Finally, I realized that I needed to let go of my nannying job. Poppy is in kindergarten now, she has a baby brother due in two weeks and it is just time to let it go and focus on my work and family. I feel a little relieved but also very sad. Poppy has been my job, my sous chef, my companion, my snuggler, my tiny friend for nearly five years. Poppy will, of course, continue to be a very important part of our lives. She is a part of this family in every way but I will miss not having her every other day, every week. Letting go of this job has been one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. Even though I know that it is the right time, it is still terribly hard.
I am so excited to move into this fall and winter with lots of fun projects ready to go. We will finish our house remodel and I will have lots of time to focus on my work. Kyle is trying to arrange his schedule to work four longer days each week so I can have a guilt free day to work while he has a Daddy day. I've started taking ballet again and am simply enjoying that time in class as something just for me and I don't feel guilty about it at all. I am truly excited about what these changes will bring and, after all, that's what fall in the Pacific Northwest is all about.