Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lifting the world's weight

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had been experiencing some emotions, not fun ones at that, and almost had a meltdown toward the end of last week.  Well, meltdown might be too strong, but I was a little teary-eyed and found it difficult to really put what I was feeling into words.  I managed to do it eventually, though, while Cory and I were out and about after my baby check-up appointment this past Friday.  Basically it boiled down to the fact that reality was sinking in that we'd soon have a newborn to add to our lives.  But a little bit of background information might help lay the foundation for why I was, for lack of better terms, freaking out on the inside.

A few weeks ago, things had been particularly hectic and tiring.  Cory had been sickly.  Things at his work were stressful and frustrating.  I'm sure I had one struggle or another with Savannah (as all mothers of toddlers do from time to time, be it major or minor).  I entered my third trimester of this pregnancy, which is a fancy way of saying I'm flat worn out all the time.  And our communication, mine and Cory's, was just...off.  You know what I mean, we were regularly misunderstanding each other, taking things personally that weren't meant to be offensive in any way, getting annoyed by each other's quirks, etc.  Things were just "off". 

At one point, Cory initiated a conversation about it all in an effort to figure out why we were in such a funk and correct any correctable behaviors or patterns.  Admittedly, it wasn't the most productive conversation we've ever had, by no fault of our own individually.  I'm sure I took away from it a number of things that weren't intended, one of which left me asking myself "How am I supposed to be everything to everyone?  I'm only one person."  So from there, when thoughts of a new baby were mixed in, I more or less felt like I had the weight of not just the world, but the entire universe sitting on my shoulders.

That weight had taken its toll on me, and by the time I had 50 grams of glucose coursing through my veins...which is enough to make a crazy person insane...I wasn't capable of hiding my fears anymore.  As coherently and simply as possible, I explained to Cory that I was worried about successfully being able to do all the things I do now AND take care of a new baby.  Looking back on it, it's easy to still hear what was coming out of my mouth.  It was a lot of phrases that started with "I".  But what I was saying and what I was really feeling and thinking didn't exactly match up.  "I already have so many responsibilities..."  "I have to be the perfect wife am a wife."  "I have to be the perfect mom am a mom to Savannah."  "I am about to have to be the perfect mom be a mom to another child."  "I have to keep a perfect house take care of the house." You get the picture.

Almsot instantly though, Cory settled my worries with one simple explanation.  "We're gonna get through it.  We're gonna adjust.  We've got each other.  We'll work together."  We, as opposed to me.  What a novel concept, right?  He reminded me that a little flexibility would be necessary....which was his gentle way of saying that the house doesn't always have to be spick-and-span, that getting some rest might have to take precedence over washing dishes or sweeping the floor, and that spending some quality time together wasn't contingent on having all of the chores marked off the to-do list.  As much as I hate to say it, I know that will be a struggle for me.  There are some things that don't bother me a whole lot...unfolded laundry and some other random stuff.  But there's plenty that irks me to no end...muddy dog paws on the tile, dishes in the sink, carpet in need of vacuuming...this is a much longer list.  You'd think the mother of a toddler would get used to be more accepting of messes, but that day hasn't come for me yet.  Maybe it'll take this second child to push me over the threshold.  We'll see.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am vowing to work on it.

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