It was a life-line. It was what I needed. The phone call, “I have a question for you.”
A question? What kind of question? Who starts a conversation that way? What does she need ME to DO?
“Do you want to come over tonight for dinner?”
What? Dinner? Hallelujah, YES!!!
It had been one of “those” weeks. Day-light savings just ended (mommy nightmare), three cars in and out of the shop, an electrical issue in the kitchen, every BIG bill that could be due was due, rain, rain, rain, stuck inside…
This mama was in a physical and emotional slump and she needed something, anything. Dinner with a friend, that I didn’t have to cook. Someone else’s house. Someone else’s messes…SCORE!!!
The kids were also excited to have something NEW…new people, new scenery, new toys. I was able to breathe a little and relax. It gets rough…same old, same old, day after day.
Cooking, cleaning, clothes, dishes…
I know…some stuff can wait. That is why most of the time I have a clean clothes pile that taunts me, laughing every time I walk by. I cringe every time one of my kids picks up something off the kitchen floor and attempts to EAT IT. It has been ages since I have mopped. I’d rather eat off the floor in a restaurant kitchen. Then, there is the bathroom. I have four small kids…enough said.
There are other things that really CAN’T wait, that just HAVE to be done like dealing with the scattered garbage because of cute little woodland creatures, and the dead fish in the aquarium because your toddler dumped a whole container of fish food. My dear husband tends to appreciate clean clothes for work, and paper towels to dry after a shower…not cool. Pets need feeding and litter boxes need cleaning. I don’t have self-washing dishes. Pungent smells coming from the back of the van…it was orange juice. It was fermenting, I think.
This may sound bitter and angry, maybe that’s what I am…bitter and angry. Perhaps, maybe, I’m just an overwhelmed mommy, with so much on her plate, wanting some quiet, snuggles or fun adventures with her babies. Whatever it is, it’s really a big part of what I’ve been feeling, and I need to get it out.
I need to let it out in order to let it go…
So many people are ready and willing to offer to help with this…
And no one offers to help with this…
I don’t blame them. I don’t want to do it either, but when someone else is watching my kids so I can “do what I need to do” it makes me jealous and sometimes…angry.
There, I said it. I don’t want to sound ungrateful or like I don’t appreciate the kind gesture. I know they mean well. Sure, a little time away so I can relax, sip a glass of wine, have dinner with the hubby would be nice, but not to spend it doing “what NEEDS to be done.”
I enjoy being WITH my kids. It just gets stressful when all the other junk gets in there and crowds our time. I KNOW life is short. I KNOW I’ll never get these days back. I don’t want them wasted, cleaning fries out of the floor of my car.
I’m writing this to say…I see you stressed mommy. I understand you. I am you. You are trying to be the best wife, mommy, caregiver, house-keeper, finance manager that you can and it’s completely overwhelming.
Friends, if you see an overwhelmed mommy, don’t just ask, “do you need anything?” Chances are great that she is going to tell you that she is “fine” and that everything is “good.” She is going to say “No” because she doesn’t want to burden or overwhelm you. Rephrase your offer…
“Hey friend, I’d like to come over and help with anything that you need. Please tell me one thing that you need help with.”
Let her know that you understand. It’s ok to let someone in to help. The kids can play while the two of you chat and catch up on some much-needed mommy chores. Instead of meeting at the park, schedule mommy play-dates and catch up at home, chatting over a pile of clothes. It is amazing how much EASIER it is to be in someone else’s house, cleaning different dishes, different toys, just having DIFFERENT.
Your house or mine? What day? Get creative:
Motivation Monday: just sit and chat…laugh, cry, whatever you need.
Tripin’ Tuesday: field trips…local park, library, or anywhere else cool. Do it together.
Working Wednesday: friend, do you have anything that you need help with around the house. Seriously!!! Bathrooms, baseboards, cleaning the fridge. I love you and your messes.
Throw-down Thursday: any activities that you were too afraid to tackle yourself like crafts, baking, games?
Fix-it Friday: got any fun DIY projects?
Other friends, (the ones being asked) don’t get offended. You KNOW you have sticky stuff dripping out of the fridge and seven baskets of clothes to sort. You were just saying that your dust bunnies could eat your toddler. There are no fairies to help you, just a friend. If she’s willing to fold your undies or feed your kids, let her…she’s a keeper. Accept the life-line and return the favor. We’re all in this together.