I need to learn how to stand up for myself and especially for my daughter. I was having breakfast with a friend of mine celebrating her new job offer at a local bakery and brought P along. I had her in her stroller because she was sleepy and she does much better if she is sitting eye level with the people at the table. She hasn’t been feeling well so she just sat there with a sour face looking around trying to soak in the brightly colored interior. We were sitting next to the register so everyone that wasn’t already eating smiled and talked to P.
We’ve all been there… you are driving and smell what can only be the peaches from earlier this afternoon. You look in the rear-view mirror and in the baby mirror is a smile a mile wide. They know exactly what is going on and are happy as can be but you on the other hand are regretting that button-up with capri combo you picked out.
After a week of snot and exhaustion, I headed out for a work trip hoping that I would feel better before the plane hit ground in Houston. Luckily, I was feeling a ton better and only had a little bit of an issue with my voice at the beginning of the day. The trip went well and although I didn’t get to say goodnight to P every night I was gone it felt nice to take a breath at least in one area of life. I missed her like crazy but I was so busy in and out of meetings, catching up on emails and plane hopping that I didn’t get a chance to be sad. Then when I was lying in bed at the hotel in the big empty bed, I felt it. I started looking at videos of her on my phone and sending pictures to my husband that he maybe didn’t have. I missed them but I love what I do and what I do involves being away from them sometimes.
This past week has been tissues, boogers, gunky eyes, and doctors’ appointments. Baby P and I have pink eye and respiratory issues. It sucks to be out of work and working from home because you are sick, but it’s even worse when you need to take care of someone else who is also sick. Exhaustion kicks in after a couple of days and you want to snuggle them to make them feel better but you don’t have the energy. As a parent, you pull all of the remaining energy you have to ensure that they are comfortable and are starting to feel better.
Being a mom can feel very lonely. You always have someone around you but unless you know and hangout with other moms you are living in this isolated world of drool, bottles and endless videos of attempts at crawling. Family members are excited to see pictures and video but it is hard to get any time to yourself. Even when you do get time away you miss them and look at pictures and videos, which start the cycle of “I’m a bad mom because I’m here instead of home.”
“I’ll wash your mouth out with soap” was a phrase that I heard quite often growing up. You could also get a pop on the mouth or the ass depending on what you said. This wasn’t talking back because no one wanted the belt but saying something as simple as “shit.” I was driving listening to hip-hop in the car and I thought to myself ‘maybe I should change this so baby P doesn’t hear cussing.” The funny thing is I cuss in front of her all the time. My parents used to cuss when talking with adults and we heard cussing at family functions. It was known you weren’t allowed to cuss and no one was telling the other adults not to cuss in front of us. So when did the change happen, where adults are supposed to monitor themselves around kids?
I’m thankful to live in one of those towns that only really exists in the movies or on a television show. The weather is beautiful a majority of the time, there is plenty to do, everyone (mostly) is friendly and it is close enough to commute to a larger city. I didn’t always live here so I think that is partially why I have such a respect and admiration for it. There is rarely a time when there isn’t something going on. There are movies and music in the park, festivals that celebrate the holidays, festivals that celebrate beer and wine and so much more. So many folks that grew up here say crap like “ugh I hate living in a small town.” Too bad this isn’t really a small town and you don’t know what you’re talking about.