On Contentment

So yesterday I threw myself a little pity party. It was a looooong day, especially considering I couldn’t sleep the night before because of the big snoring man in my bed. I slept from 1-3, then just could not get back to sleep. It was like those horrible power naps that toddlers do in the last five minutes of a car ride, and then they think they’re ready to roar instead of going to bed. Parents, I know you know what I’m talking about.

So I was exhausted to begin with. Then the Things woke up slightly cracked as well. I put them in front of the TV, because I had about two hours of phone calls and loads of writing that needed to be done.

I made them turn off the TV after a few hours (yes, I said few hours. Judge away, Judgey McJudgerson), but maybe I should’ve just called it a day and let the thing stay on. Because I was left with two TV monsters.

TV Monsters are worse than Playdate Monsters, but not as bad as Birthday Cake Monsters. Crap. Fine. Whatevs. Let’s get some energy out. Time to walk to the park. Maybe I’ll even make up for being a crummy mommy by buying them ice cream at the A.M.P.M. across the street from the park!

We found our shoes, Furbaby’s leash, I slipped my credit card into the back pocket of my jeans, and we were out the door. It usually takes fifteen minutes or so to walk the halfish mile to the park, but the girls were flying, excited to get to their frozen yumminess. The idea was to get the ice cream, then let them burn off some energy at the park.

We walk in, and the girls picked out ice cream cones. There was a line. There was someone that couldn’t figure out which lucky lottery scratcher should be his. It was 90 degrees outside. I was holding a squirmy dog that didn’t get why she couldn’t be on the floor. Two little girls were dancing impatiently, asking if they could eat their ice cream.

Yes, that’s fine. I didn’t want it to melt before they had a chance to enjoy it.

Do you know what’s coming next? A.M.P.M. doesn’t take credit cards. I had no way to pay for the two cones my kids were munching on. I felt like such a dick. Especially because I totally knew they only took cash or debit. Which is why we usually go to the 7-11. But I didn’t want to walk the kids along a busy road, and it’s the opposite direction of the park anyway.

I stammered something about coming right back to pay him, I live just right over there and I’m so sorry, no really I am, I never do crap like this and I really want to pay you and I swear I’ll be right back!

The guy just sort of waved me off and said I could come back. He didn’t seem to believe me, and determined to prove him wrong, we skipped the park and went straight home, where I grabbed my purse, buckled the girls into the car, and drove back. It couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes later, but there had been a shift change, and I had to explain to a very confused man that I wanted to pay for two ice cream cones that had already been consumed.

That was fun. Not.

Finally back home, park skipped, now behind on a deadline, I ask them to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND HOLY KEEP IT DOWN SO MOMMY CAN RUB HER THREE REMAINING BRAIN CELLS TOGETHER AND WRITE SOMETHING COHERRENT!

And then they turned into these angel demon children and mewed screamed like kittens banshees for the next few hours. Meanwhile, my head is pounding, my hands are literally starting to shake with exhaustion, and every time I talk to Leif, he sounds distracted and distant, and just says he’ll be home ‘late.’

Fine. Whatevs.

Somehow manage to get the girls fed and into bed, sit down to try and put together my podcast. And then Leif calls to tell me he’s headed home; he had a crappy day, and is there dinner?

Gah.

He told me not to worry about it, but he sounded so damn sad I thought to myself, poor guy worked a fourteen-hour day, the least I can do is throw together some tomato sauce and boil water for spaghetti. And as I chopped onions and garlic and filled pots, my brain simmered with the tomatoes. Only the tomatoes were probably smarter at this point.

Must be nice to work all day without howler monkeys climbing all over you and then come home to dinner.

I’m so sick of it being a mess in here. I need to call that lady to come clean, but I have this horrible fear of calling people.

I’ve called John Thune, I should be able to call Rita’s Cleaning Service.

Talking to John Thune was fun.

Way better than today, which has sucked beyond a thousand sucks, and it totally would’ve sucked less if Leif had come home earlier, or at least been a little bit nicer to me on the phone.

Come to think of it, it’s totally his stupid fault that I’m this exhausted. Why couldn’t I have a normal-allergy free husband? Then I could put Parmesan in this sauce and it would be so much better and Leif ruins everything including Yosemite because he’s allergic to everything that grows and he snores and its not fair and oh my God I’m sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing and talking to my mom on the phone asking her to say something nice about me because God this is too much to handle right now and I know I love Leif but right now I’m so damn upset with everything and it’s totally all his fault.

Got off the phone. Leif got home a minute or two later. He snapped at me for making dinner, saying he could’ve done it himself. I said, “I know it’s irrational and you won’t understand, but I’m just so angry with you that I can’t even stand it.”

I tried to get the podcast put together before it needed to be uploaded, but it wasn’t happening. I was just … done. My brain was officially shutting down. I tweeted this:

I really couldn't.

And then I cracked open Proverbs 31, because maybe that lady of virtue had some advice. This verse resonated in my soul – “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” It’s about God, not about me.

Not. About. Me. I was wallowing in discontentment rather than showing appreciation for the wonderful things I’ve been blessed with. I mean, Leif worked 14 hours yesterday, and he just g*talked me to say he’s still at work. He went in at 8 this morning. It is now almost 10pm. He does this so that our daughters can go to private school and the doctor and piano lessons and we have a roof over our heads and safe cars to drive and an occasional vacation. So he’s allergic to everything. Oh well. It’s turned me into a great cook because I have to make everything from scratch. So he’ll never camp in Yosemite. I won’t have to worry about a bear eating me.

I’m sure I’m not exactly what Leif thought he ordered either. I’m impulsive and impetuous, I hate cleaning more than just about anything, and I will never understand anything about computers, comic books, or RPGs.

Thing 1 has this saying she picked up in school somewhere: You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Sometimes life is rough, and it’s so easy to fall into a pity pot and think, “Only if…” There is no “only if.” It doesn’t exist. Yeah, working from home is not a piece of cake, but I get to be there to walk them to the park and accidentally steal ice cream cones for them.

Yeah, I have stretch marks, but they are so worth it for those two gorgeous girls.

We don’t have a house with a backyard, but we have a gorgeous (cluttered) home in America’s Finest City. And a community pool.

I will probably never learn to play the guitar. But that’s ok. I have an iPod. I’m good.

I don’t have a convertible, but I have tons of daydreams about having one someday. And daydreams are fun.

I don’t have a sister, but I have amazing parents, brothers, in-laws, children, and of course my Leif, who is still at the office at 10:04.

I got what I got, and gosh it’s a lot.

I’ll try not to throw any more fits.

P.S. Yes, we kissed and made up. It’s what we do. :-)

Comments

  1. :) You’re allowed meltdown moments, as long as you shake yourself out of your stupor and remember that you’re blessings are far more than imaginable, you’re surrounded by love, what more could you ask for. As a stay at homeschooling mom, wife of a Soldier…*sigh…I would be dishonest if I say I never have meltdown days (more than I care to admit), then occasionally someone says something so profound (at least to me) like the answer to, “Will the chaos ever stop?!”, …”The chaos never stops, but how you manage it will change.”

  2. Fred Hundt says:

    Jenny,
    Thanks for writing this. I had the “mother of all meltdowns” last year, leading to treatment for alcoholism and depression. This year has been full of learning and growth and I’m thankful for the experience. I’ve learned that I can’t control anything in life except my response. I can get angry and frustrated and resentful of the smallest things, or I can be accepting and okay with the biggest. It’s my choice to make the day easier or harder. I’ve also learned that if I keep the things I’m grateful for in the front of my mind, it’s very hard to be grateful and resentful at the same time.

    Bless you and your (slightly crazy) family. You bring us much wisdom and joy via Twitter and your blog.

  3. I’ve been there sister. Right down to the kissing and making up. Yes, we have great lives but we also have bad days, and that’s ok.

  4. Michelle says:

    Been there. And I have a fear of making phone calls too!!

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