5:15 Leave work, Pick up child. This takes a while, as child wants badly to do everything “by self,” but can’t. Struggle between taking over to speed things along vs. encouraging independence.
5:30 Stop for groceries. This also takes a while. Short list grows longer. Child helps by pushing bottom of cart. This is actually kind of fun. Ignore bacteria possibilities and annoyed stares from other shoppers.
6:15 The man of the house unloads car and starts dinner. Sit with swollen, pregnant feet up on couch and help child color.
6:45 Eat dinner with husband, child, Miss Piggy doll, and two plastic ponies. Husband goes to home office to do work.
7:15 Clean bathtub. Try not to be filled with resentment about the plumbing problem. Huff and puff. Fill bathtub.
7:30 Give child bath. Get in bath, too. Ignore protest against hair washing. Engage in bubble-blowing battle. Resist urge to go do stuff around house while child remains in bathtub. Fiddle with nest of knotted jewelry.
8:00 Pajamas, lotion/back massage, teeth brushed – this takes more time than ostensibly should. Child would like to go to bed in black velvet shoes and diaper only. Resist laziness and insist on more traditional bedtime dress.
8 :30 Read stories to child. Feel good when manage to steer clear of the books read night before.
9:00 Try to leave child’s bedroom. Child screams. Child keeps screaming. Try to leave room and shut door and ignore child.
9:15 Husband appears to deal with child. Clean up kitchen, do dishes, clean dinner table, pick up the random socks, crayons, and bits of trash on floor of house.
10:00 Sit down on couch to do some volunteer web work for church and work on article writing.
10:05 Child is still awake. Child appears. Let child sit for a second, as cannot move. Feeling very pregnant and exhausted.
11:00 Child is still awake. The battle continues. Dad manages to get kid into bed. Watch a few minutes of The Daily Show. Try not to be resentful that am too tired to stay up and watch whole thing and Colbert afterwards.
11:15 Go to bed. This takes longer than it should. Hormone surges make sleeping at night hard and falling asleep during the day while in cubicle a work a constant possibility. Also try to ignore fact that soon there will be two kids, not just one. Ignore laundry on floor. Ignore need to go to the bathroom for fourth time.
11:45 Wake up to sounds of husband trying to soothe crying child. She has lost her pink pacifier. Search the house. No pink pacifier. Find another one. Put child to bed.
12:15 Return to bed. Try not to be resentful that will not get full amount of needed sleep, or feel too guilty that am a failing mother in that my child is completely off her bedtime routine.
After I posted the above, I started thinking. Why did I list out my somewhat trying Monday night activities? Am I complaining, ranting, showing off how much work I do to exist? Did I hope to incur sympathy? Because, really, not only was it not that bad of a night – I love spending time with my girl, the dinner was awesome, I’m grateful to have this family and these things I do – and good lord, I have it so EASY compared to most people – but did I, in the act of writing this post, forget these things? Did I fall into the Trap of Complaint?
I hate the Trap of Complaint. I notice that a lot of us tend to get caught in it. It becomes a habit, a rut, a way of speaking about our lives that slowly becomes our lives, even if they didn’t initially start out that way. All those moments I list above where Resentment was hovering over my shoulder, its claws extending and ready to latch to my shoulder, dig in and stay – I could have very easily given in.
I was glad to remember, at one point last night, a Buddhist thought of the day I’d skimmed earlier, that said something about how – paraphrasing here – ‘resentment is a hot coal you hold in your hand to throw at someone else that only burns you’ –
I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions, but I do have the following practices I am promising to myself:
– Slow down. I really, really want to slow down and stop skimming over uncomfortable or boring or hard moments to get to the next one. I’m mentally missing out on many moments I know I’d die for when I’m on my deathbed.
– Be genuine and honest in my speech. Don’t fall into the trap of complaining about my kid or my life or whatever because that’s the cheap and easy way to have something to say or spin into a comedic moment. Don’t whitewash or dirty up the truth out of convenience and habit.
– Engender compassion towards myself – and then to others.
– Practice loving my neighbor as myself.
– Live with gratitude.
– Have a lot of fun.
Okay, so maybe that sounds more like an Oprah Moment than I’d like – but I offer it up to counter any traces of bitterness or self-pity that the first part of this post might have radiated. Because the very honest truth is, while I am so tired physically and so ready to have this baby and so scared of how our lives will change and so worried about the state of the world and death and Meaning and all that, at the core of my being I am so blessed and joyful to be alive, period.
Yay to Monday Night!