Mother's Day is probably one day where social media can drive me a little nuts. I guess I find myself a little jealous of other people--be it their fancy brunches (which we will never do because they are gluten-filled), their perfect presents, or their blissful joy over the motherhood experience. Quite frankly, this year it was hard. Jacob has had a particularly difficult week. I swear, it's like a hormonal imbalance or something--some weeks he's manageable and pleasant, others he's impossible and disrespectful about everything. This week was full of arguments and crude comments, personal space invasions and bad school reports. Carter is so very sweet and happy a lot of the time, but he is such a challenge sometimes now that he wants to be more mobile (but still refuses to walk unless you hold his hand) and he gets into everything. He will grab everything he can and put most of it in his mouth. Stones, crayons, remote controls, paper, fuzz, crumbs, you name it. If it's not his toy, he is far more interested in it than in anything else. He flips on the changing table constantly, screams for food or attention at the drop of a hat, and is forever trying to invade Jacob's territory, which makes both of them that much more miserable--Jacob gets annoyed and angry, and Carter gets rejected. Ugh. Needless to say, it's been a rough week and Mother's Day didn't feel all that warm and fuzzy this year. At least, I had a hard time mustering up any sort of "My kids are the best" or "Motherhood has made me a better person" or "I wouldn't change a thing" types of social media platitudes this year. I love my kids, but I am tired and I just wish things could feel easy once in a while.
Maybe part of my slump this year is that last year my Mother's Day was spent finishing off a crazy, exhausting adventure. I'd spent most of three days away, and while I felt guilty for most of it, the chance to get off and do something crazy was amazing. On top of seeing new things and being there for another Knighthawks championship, I got to sleep in and go for a run and make a random detour and eat whenever and wherever I wanted. Those little things don't happen often with kids, and the chance to do them without running through the ongoing list in my head or considering the possible kid-related consequences was so freeing. A year later I feel like my non-kid, non-work time is extra limited. I know that will get better when Craig's season is over and he's around on weekends, but it's been six months of really limited time and I'm having a bit of a pity party about it these days. I hate that the handful of really fun, really important things I want to do (or wanted to do) are all challenged by my ability to find child care because Craig is busy--concerts I'd like to attend, a girls weekend like I haven't had in seven years, the Chase Corporate Challenge, the Stroll for Strong (which is kid-friendly but in the middle of Jacob's baseball schedule)...you get the idea. Right now I'm trying to pick a day to take off of work simply to organize all of Jacob's artwork from the last five years. Seriously. It is overflowing from a corner of our office and it needs to get kept, photographed, or tossed ASAP. Because now Carter's is starting to come in, too. Anyway, I guess the contrast between last year's adventure and my frustration this year probably didn't help my mood.
I don't mean to complain. I know how blessed we are. Our kids are relatively healthy, we both have jobs, we have a nice house, and many comforts of life that the vast majority of the world will never know. I get that and I am thankful. There are a lot of other people's problems that I would not want. This is not some sort of pissing match (sorry, I know that's a rough term, but I can't think of a better one) about who's got it worse. Life is hard, no matter who you are or what you do. It's all about trying to find a way to muddle through the hard and find the beauty and the good wherever you can.
Fortunately, spring is a great time to go looking for beauty. And I must say, the past few days have provided some great fodder. The weather has finally turned a corner. While there is rain in the forecast every day this week, the temps are mostly sticking in the 60s and 70s, which is heavenly after the winter we had. All of the trees and flowers are finally popping, and it is lovely to watch.
Every week I go out to lunch with a couple friends from my sports days. One works in the same building as I do, and the other is down the road. We all meet up once a week and eat at one place or another. This past Friday only the guy in my building could make it, so we headed out and over a block to a very popular street meat cart. We waited in line in the blazing sun, enjoying the weather but a bit surprised at how hot it was! No complaints, though! We took our food into a nearby park and grabbed a bench. It was a lovely view.
|I love tulips. They're so happy and cheery. I just wish they lasted longer. You can see that fountain in the background of this shot, too.|
|I find it hard to get a good picture of forsythia, but I sort of like this one.|
|Aside from my squinty-ness and the slightly pained look on Jacob's face, anyway...|
As I said, Carter was getting into everything. Have I mentioned that we call him "Hurricane Carter"?
|Peeking in Grandma's cabinets!|
I would have loved to spend more time outside, but Carter is not much of a fan yet. He's not sure he likes grass, and concrete probably isn't the best choice for him right now. I've been working on getting him to wear a hat since he doesn't have much hair to protect his hair, but he generally hates them. I did show him his reflection in the mirror wearing a baseball cap and he seemed to like it, so maybe that will help. He was much more accommodating after that, so fingers crossed. And I even took a picture of us while he was wearing it...
So, it was a day. Not a bad one, not an outstandingly great one...a mixed bag of good and frustrating, just like most days. Family time is always good, so that's a plus. But a little less crazy mommy would be even better. Someday, I hope. But the pictures above are lovely, regardless. I realized a few weeks back while looking at our Disney pictures that the good stuff tends to float to the top. When looking at our Disney pictures, I saw the good moments, not the bad stuff that happened in between (and trust me, there was lots of it). In past years it's been the opposite--that even the "good moment" pictures brought back memories of the extreme effort it took to get the picture--but I'm hoping that as time goes along, more and more the good moments will be the ones that stick. This time is going so fast and I need to enjoy it all while I can. It won't always be picture perfect, but there is good to be seen somewhere in there.