It's a fight. A slow motion against the ropes struggle. And like any other busy mom I am wearing all the hats. I am the fighter who is throwing the most punches, I am the referee letting it go on, and I am the fighter trapped in the corner taking the beating.
I am failing at this. Failing at home. Failing at work. Failing me.
I want to tell myself this isn't true. But the feelings fueling the thoughts are too overwhelming to ignore.
I stack the evidence above my head. Some of it is unfair evidence like the house is a disaster therefore I am obviously failing to run an organized household. Lazy. Unorganized.
Well-yes, but the house is an actual construction site! There is real scaffolding in my front room. Our living space has been cut in half! That fact does nothing for the feeling I get when I look back over the kitchen and think how did I let it get like this- what is wrong with me?
It is the same at work. As the only declared SAHM I have the most flexible schedule of all of us so I go where I am needed. Work when I am asked to, cover when called, and (for the most part) I am capable of handling whatever the hours & loads will be of any given shift. Lately, it seems there is less value in this and therefore less value in me. We have a good team and I hate feeling useless & unequal with them.
The chaos in the house, the time dedicated to gymnastics travel & meets, the time covering extra shifts at work, all of these have brought home school to a dead stop. (And we were doing so well!) So yeah, not doing school is failing at doing school.
Then there is the ME part of me. The writer who isn't writing, the runner who is just barely jogging through, the desert dweller missing the sun, the hot water seeker hoping her neglected body is slipping in unnoticed.... and it circles back. The woman who wants to be a good mom, be a good stay at home mom, a good home school mom, a good partner, a good employee, a good coworker, a good friend, a good person.
All I am asking for is good. I don't seek greatness. Good will do.
Like the good view from the bank of the Bear River as BC and the kids pushed off to explore. I stayed behind to watch the dog who refused to get in the boat.
It was a good day with a nice packed lunch that I threw in the cooler between picking up from a sleep-over across town and sneaking into the shower to run a razor over my legs while slugging a cup of cold coffee.
I wake up every morning and I know I am lonely. I scroll social media looking for something I never find. Someone to talk to about raising kids and what to cook for dinner. A friend to chat with while I fold laundry. A friend who finds value in the same places I do- in my kids, in building a home, in fostering life long learning, a love of nature, and in preserving childhood as long as I can.
I used to have friends like this when my now bigs were littles. Actually, we are still friends but the kids we parented together are grown.
It is my own fault, my own choice, that the two nearest "mom" friends I have might best be described as a twisted divorced version of Mr. & Mrs. Brady. And yes, that makes me their trusty housekeeper Alice.
Gray, boring, constant Alice.
I like to pretend that from time to time one or the other one gets it. That they might understand how lonely it is to be their Alice.
Of course neither of them would like me to group them together like that- my apologies. Is true, they are both very different people. Almost polar extremes.
Mr. Brady, is dutiful, on task, and tightly compartmentalized. Running most of the time via white noise and hunger. Mrs. Brady on the other hand is passionate, spiritual, defiant, quite selfish, spread thin, and never where anyone needs her to be, including herself.
I fill in the gaps between them.
Like I fill in the gaps at work.
Like I fill in the gaps for BC.
Like I fill in the gaps in a crowd.
Like I feel.
I know this is my own fight. I am the only one in this ring throwing punches. I am the only one watching from the stands. Eventually, I will wear myself out and go looking for the sun.
Partially single, partially married, partially stay-at-home-mom of partially grown children, seeks companion. I know, apply within.