Let me tell you a secret: #1 in an infinite series

Sometimes I don’t try. . . at life that is. Some days I don’t want to put forth the effort. Drowning in a sea of “I can’t even’s”. Overwhelmed by it all. There are days when even the bare minimum exhausts me. On those days I fail miserably as a parent, as a wife, as a friend, as Mrs. Jones.  The funny thing is that one of the aforementioned is typically the catalyst for that downward spiral. Cranky, over stimulated kids who, being children, test and push me to my limits, egging me on towards an epic parent versus child battle of the wills and rules. Like a fool I always take the bait. Most times I’m the victor but losing sucks! In those moments when I can’t raise my voice any higher, when I can’t tolerate one more eye-roll, or under-the-breath smart ass retort, or deflect another “but why??”, or remove another screen, or send them to their rooms, when it’s clear that I’m all out of steam, I close my eyes and let the shutdown begin. Battle Mom is replaced by Nonchalant Mom.

Case in point, my daughter recently fractured her left forearm. This set back has limited her wardrobe choices as the act of getting in and out of shirts is challenging. In full on Mommy mode I picked out a loose top for her that required a little cami underneath and attempted to help her put it on. Wrong move on my part. She wasn’t crazy about the choice and coupled with frustration she lashed out at me. Done with it all Nonchalant Mom took over and let her know that whatever shirt she decided to wear was ok by me. And with that I walked out of the room. Stunned she just looked at me and said “I don’t get it.” Exactly baby girl. Exactly.

There are days when I just don’t have the fighting power. I’m weary. A simple “what’s for dinner?” or that knowing look from my husband is enough to render me to tears. On those days butter pasta with a side of fruit is all I can manage. No effort, no thinking. Bed time routines are rushed so that I can retire to my room and force myself to sleep without having to directly say no to sex. I drift off while beating myself up for everything I just did wrong but wake the next day slighter more refreshed and better after claiming a few moments just for me. So yeah, sometimes I don’t try. .  . at life that is. But it’s in the not trying that the real magic happens. I save me so that I can live for them.