When my son asked for the brown waffles for breakfast, I began to protest that I rarely burn waffles anymore. I reacted defensively towards a seven year old once I felt like my cooking was being challenged. He gave me a puzzled look and pointed to a kitchen cabinet. I felt like the world’s worst mother when I realized that he meant chocolate waffles. I hugged my son and apologized as my face burned with embarrassment. As I mixed the chocolate batter I wondered why I was so quick to assume the negative.
Everyone has busy schedules. I know that mine became even busier once I had kids. Even with my best attempts, I am frequently feeling like I have fallen short of daily responsibilities. I haven’t read enough with my oldest son. I haven’t planned anything for dinner. I haven’t washed white clothes and no one has socks. I didn’t get my book published. I didn’t make it to the gym again. How difficult I have found days to be when I am trying to accomplishing parenting, working, and keeping up with household tasks, in addition to finding some time for myself to maintain balance. Some nights I push myself to stay up late and accomplish more, only to find the next day that I am dragging from lack of rest which results in falling even further behind. It is the cycle that never ends.
Many nights, I find myself exhausted and frustrated that I have hardly made a dent in my daily to-do list. It is very easy to become overwhelmed. One night after having an especially rough day, I felt like I had gotten nothing done. I cleaned no dishes. I washed no clothes. I didn’t get any work done. I didn’t even make dinner. Frustration built up in my chest at my own failure to make a healthy meal as I watched my three sons chatter happily over their fast food dinners. I looked further into the kitchen where the dishes piled up, the floor needed sweeping and the cat cried for his food. I didn’t know where to start. After dinner, there would be baths, books, bedtime, laundry and more before I could retire for the night.
My head was spinning and I needed a break.