It’s amazing, when I stop to think about it, the amount of negative self-talk I give myself every day. You overslept again. You’re ugly. Why haven’t you lost your pregnancy weight? Your clothes don’t fit. How can you expect anyone to love you when you look like this?
It goes on and on. Reading it here in black and white is difficult though, and I don’t want to write any more.
I count myself lucky that I found a husband who wanted to marry me, and continues to want to be with me even though I’m nothing like that girl he met 11 years ago. I look at my two beautiful children and pray they will not turn out like me: full of self-doubt, and with the lowest self-esteem this side of junior high.
They’re boys, so they have that going for them.
It starts when I oversleep, which is every day these days. You shouldn’t take a daily schedule away from a depressed person. I know that now. Not having to be up, dressed, and at work has been wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade my lazy mornings enjoying foamy coffee at our kitchen table for yet another 8 o’clock meeting for the life of me. But my idle, unstructured mornings roll into long, unproductive days. Days where I nap when the baby naps, leaving my 5yo to fend for himself with the iPad. Days where I wake up at 4:30 in the afternoon and chastise myself for not doing last night’s dishes, and even as I’m doing so I know I won’t get to them tonight either.
It seems like all my friends are spending their thirties refining themselves. Becoming who they are. But I feel like I’m behind. I feel like I’m still trying to define myself, to figure out who I want to be when I grow up. I thought I wanted to be a writer, but then I got a job in marketing. I didn’t like that, so I tried nursing. I thought I wanted to teach, but I didn’t like working so much. I thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, but it’s hard and I breathe a deep sigh of relief every time I get in the car and drive to work, glad for at least a few days a week to be missing the evening dinner prep, the bedtime routines, and all the crying and whining that go along with them.
All this is to say I’ve lost sight of my goal, whatever that is. Without a defined schedule and regular showers, I’m lost. I thought as a stay-at-home-mom, I had to figure out what to do myself. I thought I had to create a routine, follow it, and be responsible for my own actions and choices.
But, J starts school this week.
I couldn’t get it together for myself this summer, but I know I’ll get it together for him. I will get up early. I’ll take a shower. I’ll wake him up and make him breakfast. I’ll drive him to school every day, because that’s what my mother did for me. And then S and I will hang out. Maybe we’ll run errands, maybe we’ll go for a jog. Maybe we’ll take both of our naps and just chill at home. I’m going to let the rhythm of J’s school day define my days. Because even though I couldn’t do this on my own, even though I couldn’t give our little family the structure we sorely needed this summer, I know I can do it for J this fall.