This morning started bright and early. Bridget crawled into bed with me at 4:30 am. As she snuggled against my back I thought to myself, this is life. To have Bridget wake up and just crawl into my bed. All mornings should begin this way. Well, maybe begin after the sun has risen would be nicer.
The alarm sounds and my feet hit the floor as I begin the morning routine and then something went horribly wrong…
Everyone started talking at me at once. David needed to know something, Abby needed to argue with me over what she was wearing to her band concert, Bridget started whining because she wanted to wear a dress that was too big for her and the dog was up my butt. A headache began to form behind my eyes.
Mom, mom, mom, mom I heard. Kerri, Kerri, Kerri echoed in my ears
I lost it.
Simply and utterly lost it.
WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! WHAT MORE COULD YOU ALL POSSIBLY FREAKING NEED FROM ME AT THIS MOMENT! I screamed as I lathered Bridget in sunscreen.
Abby’s face fell.
Bridget’s lips quivered.
Bailey tucked his tail between his legs.
“Can this go to the dump?” David asks his head in the refrigerator.
Utter silence until the tears started falling from Bridget’s eyes. Abby quietly said, I just wanted to ask you to help me hang a fairy in Bridget’s room. She walked away. Shoulders hunched.
After work I will help you, I reply. I apologize for losing my temper.
I leave for work. The girls have forgiven me, hugging and kissing me goodbye. Bailey is happy with his dog treat. David is loading the truck for the dump run.
I’m driving to work when it hits me. That I destroyed a perfect morning. One that started with my child snuggled against me and ended with two of them heartbroken.
How did I let this happen, I think to myself. Over what? The fact my family wanted my attention. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t they understand how much I have to do in a day? I started to list everything I had to do today: wake up, get the girls ready for the day, make Bridget’s lunch, pack the girl’s bags for the weekend for them to visit their aunt/uncle while David & I go to VA to pack up my parent’s house and drive their moving van to the Cape. Pack my bag for the weekend, get the girl’s, Bailey’s and bunnies’ food ready for the aunt, get Abby ready for her band concert, buy Bridget’s diapers, write out Bridget’s health issues for aunt in case something goes wrong, pack her medications and print our boarding passes. Go to work (a whole list of work related things), leave work early to pick up Bridget from her last day of preschool (sigh) and get to Abby’s band concert. Leave the concert in time for Bridget’s therapy. Check for any pertinent e-mails. Feed the girls dinner, get them and Bailey to the aunt’s house. Make up the guest room and clean the bathroom for when my parents get here. Crap I know I am forgetting something.
Then it hits me. I have the tendency to over-commit yet even I have to admit that this summer I have crossed the threshold from over-commitment to verge of burnout. Everyone has days, weeks, months, years like the one I am currently experiencing. I am having trouble even writing it down, and not sounding like I am in a poor me moment.
Because I am not having a poor me moment. I am having an epiphany (I think) that I need to find a way to say “NO”. Life is only going to get more chaotic (did I mention my parents are moving in with us for 3 weeks?). I have to make my children and husband more independent. I need to teach my children that after saying “Mom” I need more than 2.2 seconds to acknowledge them. They (and I) need to learn that while they are the center of my universe, I do not need to be on call 24/7 for the littlest requests. More importantly, I need to stop over-scheduling our lives. I need to speak up before I blow up.
I need to leave for work with my children in smiles and not tears.