It's Mother's Day. Which not unlike any other day, except that my kids (aka my husband) got me cards, and I drank champagne for breakfast. Otherwise, it's the same as usual:
Everyday last week, I thought, "Jesus, I'm barely holding it together." Neither kid is sleeping through the night. I'm working 10 hour days and making no money while still trying to keep a clean house, buy groceries, cook food, walk the dog, do the laundry, pay the bills, practice the piano, and somehow keep a smile on face and maintain order in my kids' lives.
Which is to say, I've been teetering on the brink of a breakdown for months.
It happened on Friday night.
We went out to eat, and the bill ended up being much higher than I anticipated. Money is so tight, and for whatever reason, I started to cry a little. Then I started to cry a little harder. I told my husband to drive us home quickly because I felt like I was going to blow. After he and the kids went in the house, I got into the driver's seat, put my head on the steering wheel, and let the dam break.
I cried a tsunami of tears.
And even in the midst of bawling, I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I wasn't able to rein in my emotions. I felt guilty that I couldn't channel my sense of humor. I felt guilty that I wasn't more grateful for what I had. I felt guilty that I wasn't home helping my husband with the kids.
I felt the exact same thing every mother feels, all the time.
So I drove around for about 20 minutes, ugly sobbing. When I was finally able to collect myself, I drove home. I walked into the living room, and saw my 1 and 2 year-old running around with diapers on their heads. It made me start crying again. Only instead of run away to shield them from my tears, I let myself cry in front of them. I've never done that before. The result?
They both curled up next to me and tried everything they could to cheer me up.
Reader, behind the scenes of every mother who seems collected is hot mess of a person who is amazingly good at tamping down their emotions. And while some mothers are better at hiding it than others, suppressing emotions is a habit that no one needs to practice. For Mother's Day this year, all I want for myself and my fellow mothers (and fathers doing the mom thing) is to know that you aren't alone. It's ok to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, but when it starts to get to you, it's alright to share it. The truth is, we're all barely holding it together. Damn the dam that's holding back the floodwaters; sometimes it's good to let it burst.
And with that, I'm off to enjoy the bedlam. See you next Sunday. -Em