Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Taking Stress Home

I was grouchy last night. I was tired and irritable and wanted a little quiet.

The girls, on the other hand, are rarely quiet. And if I’m home, they rarely want to be anywhere that I am not.

Yesterday was tough at work. I hate Tuesdays…I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before. Anyway, it was Tuesday and it was hard and I was tired when I got home.

But that’s no excuse for taking that stress home with me.

After dinner, I went upstairs to get pajamas for Olivia. While up there, (I’d managed to go up without anyone ((Olivia)) noticing I was leaving the first floor, so I had several minutes to myself) I read a couple of pages in the book I’m currently reading, I brushed my teeth and then I heard Olivia call up the stairs, “Mom?”

I took a deep breath and said, “What?”

She started up the stairs, “Where are you?”

I replied, “I’m here.”

Okay, so there are four bedrooms on the second floor of our house as well as two bathrooms and several very large closets so calling out ‘I’m here’ isn’t all that helpful. But I figured she’d follow my voice.

At that point, I decided to lay on the bedroom floor in hopes that my prone position would let her know that I just wanted a few minutes of quiet and maybe, just maybe, she’d go find her dad to regale with stories about the Monster High characters.

I’m such an optimistic fool.

Alas, while my foolishness held, my optimism did not. She laid down next to me on that dirty floor (I REALLY need to vacuum up there) and started talking.

Not five minutes after Olivia snuggled up against me and regaled me with stories of Draculaura dancing on our ceiling, Alyssa joined us with her tablet, playing a video on youtube of Pentatonix singing happily.

At that point, I crawled (because I’m SO mature) to Olivia’s bed and put my head underneath it. I was just so desperate for quiet, for peace for even just a few minutes.

Alyssa playfully tried to pull me out from under the bed. She pulled hard enough hurt my ankles but I tried not to let her know how much it hurt.

As I lay there, the stress of the day, the pressure of being ON all day long and all evening long got to me. I fought tears even as I heaved myself off the floor and went to Liv’s closet to get her some pajamas.

I tried to hide the fact that I was on the verge of tears but that Lyss is a perceptive one.

When the three of us got back downstairs, Alyssa tried to make Olivia stay with her in the living room while I got pie and ice cream for Liv and cake for Lyss. (I swear, the feeding never, EVER ends…)

It made me REALLY sad to know that my thirteen year old was so worried about my state of mind that she was trying to protect me from her nine year old sister. It broke my heart to know that my stupid mood, a left-over from work, made her feel like she had to be the adult in that moment...I never want my kids to feel like they have to parent me.

I put the dessert on hold and went in to tell Lyssie, “I’m okay, Sweetie. Really. You don’t have to worry about me.”

She gave me a grateful smile and let her wriggling sister go.

And you know what? I was okay. Those few moments of wallowing helped but what helped even more was saying out loud that I was okay. Facing my moment of weakness, letting myself feel all the feels and then deciding that the stress at work wasn’t going to crush me, it helped.

I helped O eat her pie and ice cream. I gave Lyss her cake and we settled in for the night.

When 10pm rolled around, I was able to laugh myself into coughing fits at Henry Winkler, William (aka Bill) Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman as they made fools of themselves in Japan.

And then we went to bed and I got to wake up this morning and do it all again…

1 comment:

Julie said...

I have been officially a lady of leisure for two weeks. There is a bit of stress there although we still have money from my severance so that helps. But that work stress? It's gone. I don't check my emails at night obsessively. I only rarely dream of work. I don't wake up in a cold sweat wondering what I messed up. So that part of this RIF thing...I enjoy it.

But it also wouldn't hurt for you to institute some "mommy time". The girls can be with you if they are quiet (aka watching their tablets with headphones in) or you just get 30 minutes to yourself to decompress. You'll be a better mommy for it. And sometimes you can declare that you don't need mommy time. Its like the whole oxygen thing on an airplane. You gotta take care of yourself first before you can take care of everyone else. Easy for me to say, I have all the time in the world to myself right now.