Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fighting a Losing Battle?

As with any season in life there are good days and there are bad days. Only during pregnancy it's been very different kinds of good and bad days.

I didn't really think of a good day as simply being able to get the dishes done. Because I didn't have this evil thing called 'sciatica.' Before my good days were getting more things crossed off my list than were added to it. Now my good days are getting any amount of anything done.
It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Maybe the Almighty has given me this no so fun pregnancy to get me used to being "even worse" than I was before. I cannot keep my house Martha Steward tidy, I don't decorate, and most of the time I'm doing my best just to find permanent homes for our junk. But the house stays clean. The countertops get wiped down, the fridge gets cleaned out and sprayed down once a month, vacuuming kept the dog hair down a lot more than I thought it did, and the bathrooms were always clean.

Now I feel like I'm "losing a game of Jumanji" as it was so aptly said on a meme a friend shared on the book of face a while back. I don't know how long that basket of clothes has been on the love seat. There are little tribbles of dog fur in the corners of the house, and we'll not talk about how long it took me to get the sink clear. Things are buried under other things and I'm trying my best to help my husband with his homework, too.

I'm not being lazy. I don't think. I changed the sheets on the bed yesterday and came up huffing and puffing as if I'd jogged 2 miles. I did dishes today till my back hurt so badly I couldn't stand any longer and had to lay down, then I got back up and did more dishes. Towels got put in the wash machine and I don't know if I'll be able to get them back out and into the dryer. I bent over to pick up stuff off the coffee table and almost threw up so I sat down and made little piles of what should go where just so the entire surface isn't covered anymore.
It's really hard for me because I have this 'works based' thought process that was ground into my little skull by who knows who. Probably church people with good intentions, most likely my mother who struggled with that kind of stuff, which was passed to her by her mother. Regardless of why I'm this way, I am in fact this way. If I don't do enough, if I don't earn my way, my right to be alive is suspect. I cannot be a failure, it simply is not an option.

And I look around my house and that's what I see. I see failure on all the surfaces collecting 'stuff.' Failure in the carpet that desperately needs vacuumed. It's in the bathroom sinks that haven't been cleaned out in only god knows how long. The mess in the fridge mocks my right to stay at home instead of going and finding a job to help with finances. None of it is right. I know that, I know I'm doing what I can in my situation.

It just feels like I'm fighting a losing battle. People have told me "Oh it gets worse when the baby is born." So, I sit down and cry when that thought crosses my mind. It simply cannot get worse. There are really only two options. Hire a maid service or shift my perspective. We don't have the money for the first so I'll have to struggle with the second even more than I have to this point.

Now, I make lists of things that I have done that day, rather than looking around and getting overwhelmed by what needs to be done. I do what I can when I can. I let myself take naps. When I realize I can't do something that day, like say bending over without throwing up, I find things that don't involve that thing I can't do. Most of all I'm learning to give myself grace, to forgive myself for not being perfect or doing near enough to be a 'successful' Homemaker.

No, I'm not watching youtube all day or giving myself a free pass to do nothing. Psh! I'm just not beating myself up if I can't do much more than get up at 0500 to pack Jex's lunch, or crying in frustration because pregnancy brain won't let me remember hardly anything anymore. I do what I can that day, I do it and let that much be enough.
It's hard, it's so difficult. But it's the first step.

My need for 'earning' my value through what I get done isn't going to help my be a good mom to this baby. It's not going to help me deal with marriage issues that come with such a huge life change. Having an empty sink isn't going to make my life better. Cleaner, sure, but not necessarily better.

Letting go of that driving insanity (dude, anything that sends you into a downward spiral to the point that you cry yourself to sleep is bad for you, trust me) can only be good for my family. If I'm more content my husband will feel like he's doing a good job (which he totally is). If the chores mean less to me then babybell won't ever feel like s/he is just in the way (which I've felt as a kid and it was aweful). If I can be ok with simply getting done what I can that day, doing my best that day, then whatever gets done will be enough and by my twisted logic I will be enough.

Letting go of this will lighten my heart, and as we all know The Light Heart Lives Long.

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