Pick Up The Phone: Being Responsible For Your Own Happiness

My platform is rooted in honesty.

Lately I’ve felt like a liar because I used to be a humor writer, I think. But then a lot of bad things happened in my life, and I couldn’t find humor as much anymore. But you guys stick with me anyway, even when I write about things like my mom having cancer and about my need for anxiety medication and my uncle getting murdered in my childhood home, and my head injury which, let’s face it, COMPLETELY KNOCKED ME OFF MY GAME.

Here is the truth: I got very depressed in February. Maybe I was depressed in January, and December, and November, and October. I don’t know because I’m in the thick of life right now. I’m swallowed up. I’m in the weeds, you guys. It’s disorienting and I have claustrophobia and I hate how this feels. I hate how it makes me anxious, and my anxiety manifests in anger, so I find myself yelling at my family a lot when they are just doing normal family things like smearing toothpaste on clean hand towels and leaving crumbs all over the floor.

They deserve a better me. I deserve a better me.

So I started therapy — for myself and for my oldest child. It turns out that I am not crazy, it’s just that the anxiety medication I was on was making me depressed and also I have a lot on my plate and my brain was bruised.

Maybe the knock to the head changed my brain chemistry, or maybe I just didn’t need that particular medication anymore, but either way I flushed all those tiny white pills down the toilet and breathed a sigh of relief.

I breathed another sigh of relief when we were told that our child isn’t crazy — in fact, he is quite the opposite. Extremely bright and polite to everyone except for his parents, so we can rule out Oppositional Defiant Disorder (thank God).

Maverick has ADHD. And I’ve long suspected it and I knew it, deep in my soul, but I just didn’t want it to be so. I knew he was hard to parent. So, so hard. He never has been much of a sleeper; he stopped napping at 18 months old. He’s extremely defiant and stubborn and loud and messy, more so than other boys. But he’s also brilliant and charming, just like his Daddy.

OMG … his Daddy.

His Daddy has ADHD, too.

THAT MUST BE WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM, BECAUSE HE WAS SO QUIRKY AND BRILLIANT AND UNPREDICTABLE AND NOW WE HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 13 YEARS AND SOMETIMES HE MAKES ME WANT TO SMOTHER HIM WITH A PILLOW BUT I DON’T BECAUSE I REALLY DO LOVE HIM.

I married the right man for me, but it doesn’t mean that we are without our struggles. When we come out on the other side of this difficult phase, I’d maybe like to just forget it ever happened. It’s hard. Marriage is hard. But would I want to tough it out with anyone else?

No.

Mommy and Mav

Back to Maverick, all of the parenting tactics that work for other people? None of them were working for us. We have very low lows and very high highs and as much as I struggled, I fought for my son because I believe in him.

But then I reached a point where I was out of ideas. I needed help.

The day I sat in that dark gray chair decorated with silver studs and the counselor said, “You have done a fantastic job for the past 7 years, but you must be emotionally exhausted,” I burst into tears.

Yes. I am emotionally exhausted.

“Parenting is supposed to be exhausting,” she said. “In fact, if you aren’t exhausted, you probably aren’t doing it right.” She went on to say a whole bunch of other validating, complimentary things that gave me hope and let me know that I did a good thing by seeking help.

People say all the time that it takes a village to raise our children, and lament the modern loss of the village. I say that we have to make our own damn village. My village consists of a therapist for myself, a therapist for my child, teachers for all three of my children, and a handful of extraordinary friends.

Extraordinary friends get a phone call halfway through getting hair extensions put in and head over right away to drive you to the hospital because you’re feeling weird 6 weeks after a concussion and need to have your head scanned again.

Extraordinary friends learn your actual weight — which is not the weight on your driver’s license — because you have to say it out loud in the E.R. triage.

They also understand that they are never speak of it. Ever.

Part of being a grown up is knowing what you need and then going out and getting it, because grown ups are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. So today, my friends, I ask you to take stock of your own lives and make sure you have what you need.

And if you don’t, then WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING READING THIS?! Pick up the phone and make shit happen.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

 

Toddlers: Making Fools of Parents Since The Beginning of Time

Toddlers love to make fools of us.

Have you noticed? They wait until you’re in a busy parking lot unloading a month’s worth of groceries to melt down and act demon-possessed. They scream for waffles and you finally break down and make waffles and then they scream “NO WAFFLE! YUCKY WAFFLE!” and throw it on the floor.

You are so hungry from all of the intense parenting that you dust it off and eat it yourself. But then they cry because they are hungry.

They cry because you ate their waffle.

Cry car

A toddler will proudly recite her full name and phone number over and over, yet when asked to repeat it for an audience (after you have bragged about it incessantly) she remains silent because she’s too busy pooping her pants to be bothered.

Last week, our city was shut down due to severe weather. All of the kids were home, but Robbie was at work because car dealerships never, ever close, even in the face of imminent tornadoes and hail. After all, someone somewhere might still trek out in the middle of destruction to buy a brand-new car, because obviously the best time to make an investment is when you have to drive it home in a hailstorm.

I was already having a hard day because between weather warnings, Asher, the 4-year-old, got super sick and threw up everywhere. I asked Maverick to take his little sister somewhere else in the house to play while I cleaned up the mess. It took me a good 30 minutes to get myself, Asher, and the house back under control, and by the time I was done, the other two were done playing.

Maverick pulled me aside and said, “I think Pepper has one of my marbles.”

I looked at her. She stared back silently.

She had a marble in her mouth.

After I freaked out and removed it, I made a huge production of telling her that only food goes in our mouths. She just laughed.

A few minutes later, I was standing in the play room when she walked up to me with a AA battery in her hand. I took it from her and asked, “Where did you get this?” I discovered that she had removed the bottom of an LED candle that requires two AA batteries to work. I had one of them, and the other one was missing.

I forced myself to remain calm as I searched for the missing battery. It was nowhere to be found.

“Pepper, where is the other battery?”

She looked straight at me and said, “I ate it. It’s in my tummy.”

That is when I panicked.

I made Maverick help me look — his little brother was still sitting exactly where I’d left him, with a mixing bowl in his lap in case he needed to throw up again — and we couldn’t find it anywhere. I asked her again where the battery was and she said, this time more emphatically, “IT’S IN MY TUMMY.”

I called 911.

The nice lady on the other end of the line said yes, my child definitely needed to go to the E.R. I told her to send an ambulance, because I didn’t know which one of my family members I would be able to get in touch with, and I was home alone with the kids … one of whom was projectile vomiting.

The next 20 minutes were a blur of frantic phone calls and adults arriving to help — first, my dad, followed by my in-laws, and finally, the ambulance.

The EMT’s acted like they had ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, meandering slowly up to my house and into my kitchen. I mean, I understand that a child swallowing a battery is not as emergent, as, say, a child who fell in glass. Because that has also happened in our house, a few years ago. But still — to me, this was emergent.

They slowly nodded their heads and said yes, she needed to go to the hospital to get checked out, but they couldn’t take her. Not because taking her would leave us with an astronomical ambulance bill. Not because they needed to leave and assist someone who was about to bleed to death. Nope. They couldn’t take her to the hospital because they didn’t have a car seat.

I’m going to let that sink in for a moment.

“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, I’M TAKING HER,” I said. And we left.

The emergency room was packed. Cell phones were blaring with severe weather warnings and they had us all crammed in the interior of the hospital, away from windows and doors, so there was nowhere to sit and there is no telling what kind of illness we picked up there.

Pepper ER

Once we were in a room, the nurse was incredulous: “You think this kid ate a AA battery?” And I said, “THAT’S RIGHT” and tried not to snicker as he had this ridiculous line of questioning with her wherein she repeated everything he said and made him look like a absolute moron.

***

Nurse: “Hi, there.”

Pepper: (Silent stare.)

Nurse: “What did you do with the battery?”

Pepper: “What did you do with the battery?”

Nurse: “Did you throw the battery away?”

Pepper: “Did you throw the battery away?”

Nurse: “Did you put the battery in your tummy?”

Pepper: “Did you put the battery in your tummy?”

***

We got an X-ray.

Our toddler did not eat a battery. She was also growing increasingly annoyed with us and with the entire situation. I was past my breaking point and started feeding her half-wrapped candy from the bottom of my purse just to keep her happy until we could get the hell out of there.

We paid $150 to the hospital for their services, marking the THIRD TIME WE HAVE DONE THIS SINCE 2016 BEGAN, and went home.

The tornadoes headed East.

Robbie went back to work.

And I mustered, from the very bottom of the deepest reserves, the energy to uncork a bottle of wine.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

 

 

In Praise Of The Awkward Phase

My awkward phase was brutal. When I see throwback pictures of myself at age 13, I cringe so hard that it basically tricks my body into vomiting.

Okay, not really. But almost.

It was during my peak of awkwardness that I had a bad perm, glasses and the wardrobe of a 40-year-old. Not much has changed since then.

11050197_1598623227039490_263212996678503482_o

I was 17 in this photo and trying to kick a terrible case of mononucleosis.

I remember what it felt like to have crushes on boys who thought I was unappealing. I recall the sinking feeling of being shut out of the cool crowd and how heavy a lunch tray can feel while navigating an unfamiliar cafeteria.

I remember the dread and the agony, the frizzy hair and the acne. It sucked.

BUT.

The awkward phase, while excruciating, fortified my character. It was uncomfortable as hell, but I had no choice but to dig deep and find the qualities that now sustain me through the difficulties of life. I think we all know people who never had to dig deep in their earlier years. More than likely, they now struggle as adults with life’s difficulties. Let’s be real: It’s difficult to cope effectively with adversity if you’ve never had to face it.

During this low point in my life, I learned empathy because I knew what it felt like to suffer. I discovered my sense of humor, because laughing is preferable to crying. I honed my instincts and refined my bullshit-o-meter. I discovered hidden talents which didn’t involve my looks—obviously.

Despite the tragedy of it all, I do not intend to shelter my children from experiencing their own version of the awkward phase. Honestly, I welcome it. I hope it’s epic. I want them to see what they’re made of. Winston Churchill famously stated, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

I eventually emerged on the other side of hell and went on to discover important things like tweezers and contact lenses.

Now I have a daughter, and she has the kind of cherubic face that makes people stop what they’re doing and stare. We recently walked through our gym hand-in-hand as a water aerobics class was being held, and a literal hush fell over the room. The instructor stopped instructing. Arms drifted down into the water and heads turned as they watched my child toddle by in her Hello Kitty swimsuit and baseball cap.

I can’t blame them. She’s adorable.

The instructor stopped me later and said, “Your little girl is so beautiful. I forgot what I was doing because I was so busy admiring her!”

“Thank you,” I said, as we continued on our way.

My daughter is oblivious to her beauty. She’s a happy, charismatic child, intelligent and charming. She knows her colors and shapes and recognizes numbers and letters, but because she’s beautiful, all people want to talk about is how pretty she is. “But she’s also smart,” I insist. “And funny.”

index

No one hears, or maybe they don’t care, because they’re far too busy staring at her wide eyes and dimpled cheeks—and I understand, because I do it too. But I want all three of my children to have strength of character. I want them to know that they have so much more to offer this world than what is visible on the surface.

I want them to be confident in the knowledge that because they survived pimples and name-calling and brutal body odor as an awkward teen, they can also survive rejection and adversity as an adult.

I want them to be kind because they know what it feels like to be on the other side of cruelty. I want them to understand what it’s like to be on top of the world, and then have it all come crashing down in homeroom.

The awkward phase is where life lessons are thrown at you from all directions. It’s painful, but worth it in the end.

Bring on the headgear.

© 2016 Harmony Hobbs, as first published on Scary Mommy.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Bedtime Prayers: A Tale Of An Ugly Cry

We don’t attend church.

We should. I’d like to. But first, we’d have to find a religion that Robbie and I both feel comfortable with, and then we’d have to physically go to a building. Dressed presentably. All 5 of us.

Big hurdles.

However, I do pray with my kids. We pray before meals and before school, when I remember. My favorite thing, though, is praying with them at night before bed. It makes me feel better, like no matter what kind of shit day we’ve had, if I can end it all on a decent note then we’re all going to be alright.

Tonight I was so tired. I just wanted them to put themselves to bed and let me lie down, but that isn’t how life works. Robbie works all the time now, and I have a lot on my plate and … blah, blah, blah.

By 7 p.m. I am just done.

Homework

Homework time.

I tuck Pepper in first, followed by Asher half an hour later, and then finally Maverick. By the time I get around to Maverick I’m spent, which is unfortunate because he asks the most difficult questions of the three and he likes to wait until bedtime to ask them.

A few examples:

“Mommy? Is ‘bitch’ a bad word?”

“What does it mean when I raise my middle finger?”

“What countries have you visited outside of the U.S., and why did you choose them?”

“How do you say ‘it’s hot in here’ in Spanish?”

“Can two boys marry each other?”

Tonight, I was spared the difficult questions. I think he could sense that I was exhausted. I tucked him in, feeling sad that I was too tired to talk more, thinking of his little brother and how I wished I’d given in and read him a second book — but he wanted to read that book about cats that takes half a lifetime to read, and I just could not do it.

I thought about my two-year-old and how she kept asking “What’s this?” and pointing to her wrist and then my wrist, and I maybe should have spent more time talking to her about our wrists and how they magically connect our hands to our arms.

Maverick chattered to himself as he settled into bed and I thought the aforementioned thoughts. I smoothed back his hair as I started praying, but I was too tired to make it a good one. I basically said, Thank you God for giving me Maverick. Please help me be the best mother I can be for him. And please, please help him to be a good boy.

My son looked straight at me and laughed.

“That was silly,” he said.

“I know. I’m just so tired.”

“No, you don’t understand what I mean.” His eyes bored into me.

I sat up straighter. “What?”

“Of course I’m going to be a good boy,” he said. “You’re a good mother. Why WOULDN’T I be good?” He patted me. “Silly Mommy.”

I was thankful for the darkness that hid my ugly cry.

Is there ever a time when your child reaches a point where you can finally sit back and think to yourself DAMN, I DID A GOOD JOB? Because I look forward to that.

Maybe my kid is right, you know. Maybe I am already the best mother I can humanly, possibly be, and that is enough.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

 

Fun With Spandex

The time my daughter discovered that she could swing back and forth using my (extraordinarily durable) workout wear.

Shirt 1Shirt 2Shirt 3Shirt 4

Who needs toys when you have access to nylon/spandex blends?!

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Negative Moms Prevent Pin Worms.

My 7-year-old informed me the other night at dinner that I’m “kind of a negative person.” I think Robbie saw the crazy flash in my eyes, so he immediately said “YOUR MOTHER IS SUPER FUN.” (No one believed him.)

I want my kids to see my fun side, but it’s hard to show it — especially for people like me who are very goal-oriented and focused on results.

Okay, FINE. I’m uptight.

In my defense, someone has to be. I mean, if I were as laid-back as my husband … I really don’t know what would happen. Probably nothing. But also, maybe something terrible. Like pin worms.

I think this picture proves that I'm not COMPLETELY uptight.

I think this picture proves that I’m not COMPLETELY uptight.

Every day in parenthood, there are approximately 67 tiny goals to accomplish between the time I get up and the time I go to bed. Put on clothes that make me look like a mother and not a hooker. Ingest coffee while it’s still hot. Pack three semi-nutritious lunches.

School drop-off presents its own unique set of goals: Keep my composure in the face of tantrums. Refrain from screaming at the woman who damn near ran over my child. Try not to look too excited as I hurry back home.

Back at home, I begin my next set: Write. Laundry. Call my mother.

You get the picture.

I am regimented and focused and uptight, but it’s not because I’m unhappy. It’s because I have a lot of worries. I worry about my children. I worry about my parents. I try not to talk about it too much, but my mother has cancer. That’s concerning. Maybe men do a better job of compartmentalizing everything, but my entire life is a jumbled up heap that tumbles around in my brain like shoes in a dryer.

I have a lot of joy in my life, but I have lot of stress as well.

Until I figure out how to keep my worries from manifesting in negativity towards my immediate family, I will be referring to myself in the third person. Hi, I’m Negative Mommy. For example, “You don’t want to miss the bus today, Maverick, and end up stuck with NEGATIVE MOMMY all day.”

I tested this out a few mornings ago when he was dragging his feet.

He got on the bus.

Maybe I can make this work out in my favor after all.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Resist Urge To Scream.

This blog post is based on a series of real-life events.

6:30 a.m. Stumble to coffee maker. Mumble good morning to spouse. Wonder how this is happening again already.

7:00 a.m. Breakfast.

7:30 a.m. Tell Robbie goodbye. Hold screaming child back as he tries to run after the car. Brew another cup of coffee.

9:15 a.m. Look out of the kitchen window to see Asher standing naked in the driveway and Maverick on the roof of our vehicle with the water hose. Both are screaming.

9:16 a.m. Choose to ignore staring neighbors.

9:30 a.m. Boys come inside because they both have to poop and we don’t allow them to poop in the yard.

9:45 a.m. Pepper touches my unshaven legs while trying to climb into my lap and gets very upset because they “ouched” her.

9:46 a.m. Took a picture of her subsequent screaming because she wouldn’t stop and I didn’t know what else to do.

This is an actual photo of my child crying because she touched my hairy legs.

This is an actual photo of my child crying because she touched my hairy legs.

10:00 a.m. Take stock of my day.

10:10 a.m. Brew another cup of coffee.

10:15 a.m. Realize that the only method of survival is pool time.

10:45 a.m. Head to the pool.

Asher would wear his goggles 24/7 if we let him.

Asher would wear his goggles 24/7 if we let him.

11:00 a.m. Check Pepper into the nursery.

11:05 a.m. Arrive at pool with the boys and look for a lounge chair. The first two I sit in are broken. Resist urge to scream.

11:07 a.m. Move to chair number three. Notice that the lifeguard is looking at me from behind his smug hipster sunglasses.

Resist urge to scream.

11:09 a.m. OH MY GOD THIS CHAIR IS FUCKING BROKEN TOO.

12:00 p.m. Head home.

12:30 p.m. Prepare lunch that no one is excited about, including me.

1:30 p.m. Decide that the world will not end if Asher wears his Darth Vader costume to the grocery store.

This photo pretty much sums up my entire Summer. A whole lotta Darth.

This photo pretty much sums up my entire Summer. A whole lotta Darth.

1:45 p.m. Load kids into the van. Go inside to pee in peace.

1:48 p.m. Return to van and discover emergency brake was pulled while I was inside. No one will own up to it. Both boys are now buckled into their car seats. Realize I have never used the emergency brake in this vehicle. Unable to locate it because three children are yelling.

Resist urge to scream.

1:50 p.m. Call Robbie at work and ask him to tell me where the emergency brake is. FORBID HIM TO JUDGE ME.

2:00 p.m. Arrive at grocery store. Plunk Pepper into a shopping cart and find that the seat belt is broken. Select another cart. The seat belt is broken on that one, too.

Resist urge to scream.

2:25 p.m. Buy potatoes. Open “share size” bag of M&M’s in the checkout line and cram them furiously into my mouth.

Refuse to share.

3:00 p.m. Make potato salad from scratch. Wonder who fucking makes potato salad from scratch anymore because it’s a lot of fucking work.

3:10 p.m. Spend the next 30 minutes making sure my toddler doesn’t get burned by the pot of boiling water.

4:10 p.m. Verify Asher’s arm is not broken.

4:11 p.m.  Remind Maverick that no one wants to see his private parts.

4:15 p.m. Get band-aid and ice pack for injured child. Scream at boys to stop trying to put toys up their behinds. Finish potato salad.

4:20 p.m. Locate a large glass bowl and dump it in. Notice that the bowl is broken and there are shards of glass now mixed into the potato salad.

4:21 p.m. Walk outside to throw broken dish and the potato salad away.

Scream.

Screaming

No caption needed.

4:25 p.m. Count the days until school starts.

5:00 p.m. Start cooking dinner.

6:00 p.m. Wine.

7:00 p.m. Count the days until school starts again.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook and Twitter!)

Motherhood Can Be Jarring.

Tonight I got really sad all of a sudden because my children are getting SO big, SO fast, that it’s jarring. It takes a substantial amount of something to truly jar me. I stood in our darkened living room, watching my boys, and tears spilled onto my cheeks as I whispered to my husband, “Asher doesn’t need his blanket anymore.”

He used to need it.

I am jarred.

I know that a lot of mothers who are also writers seem to go on and on about the beauty and sadness that comes with seeing your children grow up. This post is just one among thousands like it. In fact, I wrote one almost exactly like this one, almost exactly one year ago, and it still makes me cry when I read it. (If you want to read it, click here.)

Except that, as I pulled my toddler into my lap tonight to rock and sing to her before I tucked her into bed, her legs dragged farther down than last week. And as I stroked her hair and talked to her softly, she talked to me back. She answered my questions, my mindless questions, the ones I apparently ask every night without thinking.

“Pepper, are you sleepy?”

“No. Pepper not sweepy.”

“Do you want to sing a song?”

“Yes! Sing a song! Siiiiiiiilent night, hoooooooly night … “

She used to be so tiny. Now she could climb out of her crib, if she wanted to. She climbed out of the bath tub today. I walked away for a minute, heard a THUMP, and there she was, dripping wet in the hallway.

“I get out?” she said.

Yep … you got out.” Bath time was over.

8-month-old Penelope. Back when she was tiny.

8-month-old Penelope. Back when she was tiny.

My oldest child is going to be taller than me one day. Much taller. I know this because he is 6 years old and the top of his head is boob-high already. He is all arms and legs.

He can read. I catch him peeking over my shoulder trying to catch a glimpse of what I’m working on.

He gets my jokes.

He used to scream unintelligibly when I asked him to put his pajamas on, and now he’s talking about the anatomy of bugs and asking me questions about space travel.

I used to know the answers to all of his questions.

I don’t anymore.

This photo was taken in 2012 when we announced that I was pregnant with baby #3!

This photo was taken in 2012 when we announced that I was pregnant with baby #3!

My middle child was so attached to his green blanket that he wore it to pieces and we had to replace it with a brown one. We fretted over how long he would drag it around.

Then, suddenly, he stopped. And I cried. I CRIED ABOUT MY CHILD GROWING OUT OF A HABIT THAT DROVE THE WHOLE FAMILY CRAZY.

When my babies were babies.

21-month-old Asher with his blanket and brand-new baby sister.

It’s so weird, this motherhood thing. The things that cause me pain can also bring me great joy, and the things that irritate the ever-loving shit out of me are also sorely missed when they stop.

I stepped over my children to make my way out of the living room tonight, wiping the tears from my cheeks. I stopped for a moment and leaned down to tell Asher goodnight. He smiled up at me, dimples cracking.

We whispered back and forth for a moment, saying our good-nights, and then he paused.

Mommy? Can you get me my blanket?

Yes.

Yes, I most certainly can.

(If you liked this post, then you NEED to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!)

Things I’m Not Afraid To Admit.

Life is fucking hard, man.

People don’t say that often enough. Maybe because they think they will sound weak or whiny. Maybe because they’re afraid of judgement. Maybe because they are worried that it’s not hard for other people. Maybe it’s just hard for them.

Maybe they’re afraid that if they open their mouths and admit to someone else that life is hard, it will mean that they just aren’t religious enough. Maybe they aren’t good enough for God to make it easier.

Maybe He can’t hear them. Maybe He isn’t even there.

I don’t believe any of that.

I long for Robbie and I to go back in time approximately 10-12 years, back to our previous life when our biggest concerns were as follows:

1. Where everyone was going to go that night,

2. What I was going to wear,

3. And how much sex was too much sex. Wait … never mind. That wasn’t a concern. So really we only had two things to worry about.

Throw in a fear of pregnancy and not having enough money to pay my $350/month rent, and that pretty much covers my early twenties. I want to go back to that time, not because I don’t want my kids or the life that I have now, but because I want to remember what it felt like to be less exhausted than I currently am. Right now, I’m close to being exhausted enough to stop showering, and if you know me, you know that this is MAJOR.

This thought hit me the other night when I was engrossed in watching a YouTube video of someone extracting impacted earwax from a man’s ear. I looked up to show Robbie, but he had fallen asleep listening to an audio book of Game of Thrones.

When I yelled, “What is happening to us?! WHO ARE WE?!?” it made him jump.

The next night, I sidled up to him and purred seductively, “Are you going to watch the rest of this baseball game?” He said, “I don’t know … I might fall asleep.”

I gathered my pillows and went to the couch, wishing for things to be less mid-thirties and more mid-twenties.

This morning I was passive-aggressively flipping through a magazine, feeling angry that I am so tired, that three-year-old children are so irrational, that my husband is just as tired as I am, that I don’t ever have time to write, and that people constantly need something from me.

Most of all, I was angry that I am becoming everything that I said I would never be.

I’m resentful, unkempt, and irritable. I yell. A lot.

I recoil when my husband touches me. I am touched out, talked out, cleaned out and incredibly tired of going to the grocery store. I’m exhausted of feeding people and cleaning up messes and hearing complaints from at least one person at all times, because there are five people in this house and no one is ever happy all at the same time and that includes me.

I’m a jerk.

I was gone for 4 days and it didn’t help. It just made me want more time away. It was a tiny drop in my dried-out bucket. I do my best to care for myself, but I still come up short. I’m being pulled in so many different directions, every day. I am asked to give more, even when I don’t have anything left, every day.

I am a frazzled mom.

That makes me wish that I could travel back in time to when life was simpler. Look how smooth our faces were. Look how close we are standing to each other. His hand is practically on my ass, and who could blame him? No one was squeezing in between us, yelling “MY Daddy!!!”

I want to warp-speed myself back to THIS.

I want to warp-speed myself back to THIS.

This is why people tell you not to rush your life — because you never know what the next season might bring. It might be really fucking hard.

You might have children stuck to you like agitated starfish for 12 hours a day.

You might have to unclog toilets and wipe up pee and chase small people who are surprisingly fast.

You might tear your hamstring in Kickboxing class because you’re getting old and you didn’t warm up properly.

As I mulled this over today in a brief moment of peace, during which I spaced out and sat completely motionless because no one needed me, I heard a sound coming from the bathroom.

“I bwush my teef.”

That’s what she was saying to me as she held up her toothbrush, smiling that double-dimpled smile that exposes her perfect toddler teeth.

I want to travel back in time.My baby just turned two and can hold full conversations.

“I bwush my teef.”

I stood there and stared at her. It was like I couldn’t breathe.

She’s so beautiful. So smart, so sweet. So cuddly and funny. She isn’t just beautiful because she’s pretty. She’s beautiful because she glows.

I am so grateful.

She held up her toothbrush. “MOUF!!!!” (That’s “mouth” in toddler-speak.)

The thing about seasons is that even on the darkest night, when the wind is howling at your door, there is still a moon in the sky. It’s not all bad, even when it’s fucking hard.

And I’m not afraid to admit that out loud, either.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)