Time off, time out.

So last week was a big one not only did I jump, officially, back into the working world planning a conference (made it official in my mind the morning I dropped kids off at a day care, it was a milestone for me) but we made some pretty big leaps and bounds, again in my mind, as how official that whole planning a conference thing really is.

More on that later – over there.

Then I just got overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all. Gleek Retreat. This website. Goals. Kids. Family. Church cafe (I work there too). Etc etc etc.

Thank goodness it was a holiday weekend for Easter because I just decided to take it off. Take a step back. Entertain 12 people at my house on Sunday, decorate and just enjoy the time with my family. I needed that.

Today, as it is spring break for my daughter, I decided to take the kids to the mall play area as well as shop for some shoes for my son. He’s growing rapidly. Much faster than my daughter did and he’s growing leaps and bounds in the shoe department. Please, let’s just not discuss this right now.

We began the morning at our favorite coffee shop watching construction happen across the street while the kids ate bagels, I drank my coffee and we had a generally lovely time. Then a walk. Catching up with a friend and loved babysitter and off we went on our adventure.

Only the adventure had already begun because at this point I realized I was sorely outnumbered by my children. the running away from me. The not listening. The bad attitude (on my part) for being caught up in the listening and the running away. For having one of those “Mom moments” on the sidewalk where I threaten to take away the promised Carousel ride if they don’t come here right this instant.

Monday.

I was frazzled. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

But on we went to the mall. Too often I say, out loud, ideas for the day, the kids get excited and pine for them and then I just flat out decide that we’re being hermits, staying home. Playing in the dirt. Which isn’t bad. The kids love it – but my daughter has started to doubt my words because so often they change on her. I am not going to the parent who promises the fun but never delivers.

So away we went. All the while having “the talk” in the car about how we’re expected to act. What the plan was when we got to the mall. Shoes first, then park. Then … if we’re REALLY good, we’ll have a Carousel ride.

Here’s where I tell you I do not have a stroller. Haven’t had one since my son (who is not yet two) was about 6 months old. Sure, I have a double jogger stroller – but we use that for walks and outdoor activities only. It’s a bear to take inside shops and malls, so we just don’t.

Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad all over.

Why I think I can contain two exploring children in a mall without a stroller, only my hands which are full of diapers and water bottles and ideas of keeping everyone calm, is beyond me at this point.

I am a stupid woman.

My stress just kept going up – their fun just kept going down.

We made it through the mall, barely. They even got their Carousel ride and we had lunch which was the straw that broke my back, if I were a camel.

My son wanted nothing to do with eating his sub – he was tired and sick of being held, he was sick of the mall and the rules. He was sick of me. My daughter was sick of her brother, and I was just sick of the expectations I had on every thing and every body. My reality was far beyond what I had thought my day was going to be like.

Sipping coffee while watching my kids harmoniously get along on the play ground, following on the rules while the sun shone down on me and I smiled.

It’s sick really.

So we pack up, all frustrated from the tiresome act of being in public and we went home.

I wasn’t suggesting things at this point, I was proclaiming them. When we get home, NAPS. No, I won’t make you a snack, we just had lunch.

I am battling the urge to shove every single piece of carb and cracker and easter candy in my mouth because I am beyond calming myself down. I just want to escape this moment. I want to start over. I want to “fix” this and “love” myself. I wanted to runaway from the disillusionment of what my morning had turned into, which wasn’t awful, but it also wasn’t what I wanted.

Then I get a text from the most wonderful person in my life. My husband. In a clear moment this morning I had called him to tell him how much I love him. How much he means to me. How much I can’t wait to see him tonight.

I rarely get calls from him during the day – he’s too busy, unless it’s an emergency. And getting his attention through a text message is on par with sending him a message in a bottle from the Pacific Ocean and expecting it to show up on the shore of Lake Michigan … on a deadline.

But he got ahold of me and told me he loved me, too.

Nothing else mattered. I no longer needed chocolate or bread to calm me down, and thank heavens I hadn’t started in on it. I grabbed the almonds first. All of a sudden I could hear birds singing and my children were asleep and I realized I had a pretty good morning. Tiring, but good.

It’s difficult to keep track of life, and of the expectations I put on it. But if I let it go and just enjoy this moment and organize my time and priorities, there is nothing I cannot do.

Even this.

2 thoughts on “Time off, time out.

  1. a collective ahh. sigh was felt at the end of this post. Just being real and sharing life with you is so good Jodi, thanks for encouraging in with your writing!

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