This evening I’ve managed to move “Reply To Senders” up on my to-do list. I hear all the time about the moms who make it look easy. I am NOT one of those moms. I’m a whirlwind to be around – constantly chasing someone, answering a question, reading something, cooking something….I try to pay attention to others, but this poor little brain seems unable to handle the tedium of my day-to-day. It usually takes me three tries to drink a cup of coffee in the morning (meaning three warm-ups). While I am often engaged in a conversation and truly interested in the topic, I find I can’t recall the substance two hours later. It is absolutely pitiful how slow I am at replying to my friends & family. PITIFUL. And I am the WORST at phone calls. Beyond the worst. I was never good at the phone to begin with – and now there’s a 2 hour time difference between myself and most of my friends / family. Let’s look at that in reality:
- 8am – Getting the kids ready for school. Mayhem ensues, complete with throwing waffles on the floor, cleaning syrup out of hair, locating lost shoes (Claire is in a hide-all-the-shoes phase), debating which clothes actually match and whether there was an actual party in Evelyn’s hair the night before. You’ve been at work for hours.
- Noon – Claire is down for a nap. I’m attempting to squeeze in whatever chores I can while my tiny tornado is caged (figuratively). You are still working.
- 4pm – Evelyn is home to entertain Claire. I can try to make a call, but it will be peppered with “stop eating shoes, Claire” and “don’t ride on your sister, Evelyn” and “Dear God, DON’T eat the cat’s tail” and “NO, you may not shoot your sister with the hose”. Sounds enticing, right? And that’s all while you’re trying to make/eat/clean up your dinner.
- 6pm – You are in the throes of bedtime.
- I am in the battle of dinner.
- 8pm – You are doing all the things needed to be done before another day…..or gorging on chocolate and bad TV. I am still in the war of bedtime….for another hour or so.
- 10pm – my kids are finally asleep. And so are you. BOO.
Phone sucks for me. Email is hard, too, because when the battle of bedtime is finally over, Andrew and I get the joy of bonding over stitching up our biggest casualty – the kitchen – and when THAT is finished, I’m usually better off with the chocolate/tv model than the engage-in-stimulating-conversation agenda. I want to know what’s happening in your life, but I am just not physically capable of digesting it at that point.
This has been a huge problem for me this month. I usually don’t feel so disconnected, hanging on by a thread, but there has has been a lot of Big Things happening for my loved ones lately. From the north to the south, our friends & family are living exciting lives and making big decisions. Once I get off my judgy-mc-judgerson high horse and see that happiness has arrived for some, I just want to hear all about it. But it’s hard. It’s so hard to stay connected in a meaningful way. It sometimes feels overwhelming and I don’t often get a chance to say what I really mean to say.
So in the meantime, just a plea to those who may be feeling rejected or disconnected or ignored – know this – I DO care. I devour anything you send me. I think of you. I send little thought bubbles your way. I talk to my children about you – we look at pictures and see your happy moments or funny moments or laugh at your weird socks. (You know who you are) You are in our hearts, even if I don’t say it TO YOU enough. I am working at it. This pity-party blog post is sad enough – – – I know it’s on me to make the changes, and I promise – I’ll get there someday. We are fortunate to have loved ones scattered about. I’m too self-absorbed right now to truly engage in much else, but I don’t think this chaos will last indefinitely.
Just when I was feeling like a failure at making meaningful relationships in my life, I received the most wonderful little note. It made me feel so loved. It reminded me I am not alone. We are in these trenches together – be it finals or work or kids or extended family or all of the above that pull us in a thousand different directions. My best-of-friends know that we can pick up where we left off, no matter how long that lapse may be. And for that confidence in our relationships, I’m so grateful. And – one positive about the time delay – when you can’t sleep and don’t want to wake up your local friends, I’m still awake!!
This video came to my inbox today. It is exactly how I felt today, towards those with and without kids in their homes, except it wasn’t cheese on my floor, it was a combo of cat food and mandarin oranges. If you can identify….enjoy 🙂