There is a time in every relationship, where you’re ready to drop-kick your “other half” out of the whole. In fact, I would bet, there are many times … throughout each week when this happens. Every woman I know has her share of compassion and love, but sometimes, when we turn to our partners after a long day of loving, nurturing, and caring for our children; we come up short. At least sometimes I do.
After nursing a four-year old’s fever and my daugher’s constipation (that thusly kept her from a nap) until 1pm (my half was the morning shift today), I turned to my partner and asked him to take our son off of my lap while I was at the computer trying to write. This genuinely wonderful partner of mine for nearly ten years, a fairly logical and brilliant man, said , “Well, he doesn’t want me; he wants you. What am I supposed to do?” And he turned back and continued to do the dishes (I told you he was wonderful).
Be a parent, I’m thinking, make that kid do you what you want them to do. Of course, when it’s my turn – it’s never that easy. (Don’t think I don’t know this, I’m just tired and cranky ’cause I got awakened by my son crying on the poo-poo potty.)
And I am tired. And he’s tired. We’re stay at home parents that split our time between starting a non-profit, a new consulting business, raising two toddlers, and his budding photography career. It’s not like we’re sitting around all day, wondering what to do. We’re lying in bed at night, too exhausted to sleep, because we have too many bees buzzing in the noggins.
And it’s a wonder that we still love one another, and yet we do: We just need to find time to be together without someone saying, “Mommy I want …”, “Daddy fix this … “, “Mommy, he hit me …”
The question is H O W.
How do you balance all these things that you want to do (stop and drink a bottle of wine on the porch swing), that you must do (filling out preschool applications), and that you should do (pick up those toys that are forever tripping you, take out the trash, clean the bathroom, water the plants … ).
The simple answer? You B R E A T H E and A C C E P T and try to R E M E M B E R the L O V E.
I’m learning to breathe deeply, to accept that there may be toys on the floor for now, and that I won’t be able to get everything done today. Or even tomorrow. But that if I do the things in a way that gives me calm (priority lists help!) and remind myself that children are supposed to be learning, not cultured guests that pick up after themselves and wipe their own bottoms. These are the reminders that I chant to myself daily (or perhaps I should consider lithium?). I also remember that I love my partner and that no matter what it is we argue about – at the end of the day – we love each other and we’re on the same team.
As I troupe on through this recession and daily toddler mayhem, I realize that I’m brave enough to keep trying, to keep going, and that each moment with them and my partner, while not always our brightest or best, will be held together by the love and the crazy that is us: our family.