As I pick up my nightly glass of red wine, (A nice French Beaujolais tonight.) I toast my successes. Birthday season comes to an end in our household and two girls had the parties they wanted. We got to see friends and family who all gathered to wish an eight year old and six year old all their best. After princesses, pink taffeta, cupcakes, singing “Let It Go” on karaoke for two and half hours while other grade two girls were primped and dressed up in the fashions of their choice, we are in birthday (and sugar) withdrawal. It will be a blessed eight months before I need to plan another birthday and can simply enjoy attending other people’s celebrations.
Post-birthday week an exhaustion crept over me. A lethargic sense of laziness I gave into nightly watching old episodes of sitcoms or Sex in the City unable to move from the imprint of my body on the couch. No amount of Mr. L’s encouragement to maybe hit the gym could move me from my glasses of wine and bags of potato chips. Perhaps it was the culmination of events that now over left me feeling drained. Perhaps I was fighting off one of the many viruses circulating through my children’s schools. Perhaps it was the weather, the coldness and lack of sunshine catching up with me. Maybe it was a little of everything. It culminated with being so rushed and tired one morning, I accidentally opened our side view mirrors as I exited our narrow garage with the mini van. The crack in the casing as it scraped against the wall woke me up somewhat and at least diverted my attention off my tiredness for a day.
Being a typical introvert who is able to access extrovert traits when required, doing so has consequences. Namely social exhaustation. Interacting in intense social situations although something I enjoy, means a day or so of crankiness, moodiness and desire to sleep. All things I need to push aside so my family is not affected too much and frankly, life keeps going and who can afford the luxury of wallowing. Lunches still need to made and laundry still needs to be done. Only this time around, it was taking longer to bounce back. Perhaps age was catching up with me, or could it be I was starting to finally pay real attention to this part of my psyche and what I need?
It wasn’t until the end of the week I felt my energy returning to invite a good friend/neighbour over for afternoon coffee and a playdate. It was a breath of fresh air to chat in between changing two little people’s costumes over and over. The sun also started coming out bit by bit. All good things. Another good thing? All three kids were heading overnight to their grandparents so Mr. L and I could go out to dinner and I could have a Sunday free to work on my BIG writing project uninterrupted.
So after Saturday morning activities, it became apparent Jacob was not feeling one hundred percent. We skipped his Saturday skating lesson after he nearly fell asleep on the drive to the rink and he went for a nap at home. There was no other signs but should we risk taking him? Being the third child, we are much more relaxed to signs of impending illness. If there is no fever or vomiting, life goes on as usual. After much debate we decided for one night he would be okay and we sent along some medicine just in case. Of course, what day isn’t complete without a last “Ha! Ha! Got ya!” from life.
Rushing once again after seeing Mr. L off to take kids to the grandparents to a much needed appointment to fix my sick MacBook Air at the Genius Bar, I locked myself out of the house without any keys. Calling Mr. L in a panic, I realized he didn’t have a key either. He had taken the “bad set” of van keys without the house key attached. He rushed back asking me how could I lock myself out? I really had no answer. Before he arrived, I had managed to find an old set of yellow pages and called a locksmith who was on the way. For a moment he considered bailing on the whole overnight escapade when I firmly said, “No, go. I’m fine.” And I was. The locksmith arrived, got me in and I went in and started writing enjoying the quiet of the house. The catharsis of getting back on the computer was refreshing. I realized I had not written for nearly a whole week and the thought did cross my mind, perhaps that did not help my feeling of malaise I felt all week. I vowed then and there never to let a day pass when I do not write, at least something.
Mr. L and I had a lovely dinner out with close friends enjoying wine and excellent food. We did not have to wake up to kids jumping in our bed or barking orders at breakfast. I made a pot of coffee and settled in my pyjamas to a kid-day free of writing. Heaven. I did not move until four pm from the kitchen table only to try and eat when I remembered. I finally ventured out to take Jake the dog for a walk and shovelled the driveway. The exercise felt great!
It was nice to see the kids when they got home running to tackle me with hugs. After a nice family take-out dinner and reading time with my girls, Mr. L and I watched the Oscars, catching up on a few necessary household discussions and I suggested we do this every month or so. I felt very content having made real progress on my BIG writing project, the kids had a good time (even with Jacob coming down with a low-grade fever which my mother-in-law handled) and they were happy to come home to a much calmer Mom starting the month on a positive note.
So how does a SAHM, an introverted SAHM with three or more kids handle things sometimes? A night and day off to just simply act like I did years ago. Doing whatever I wanted to do and hiding in my house. Medicine for the soul.