One Tired Mama

So many things fell to the wayside and now I feel like we are playing catch-up.

abstract watercolor illustration of a sunrise over a field of sunflowers
Image created via Midjourney

I was treated to pineapple-upside-down-pancakes this morning. Quentin's idea. We have had meal delivery kits for years and one year for Mother's Day, the service sent the ingredients for pineapple-upside-down-pancakes. Quentin remembered and thought we should have the same this year. We looked up a recipe online and I made sure we had all ingredients on hand. I assumed Ger would use buttermilk pancake mix, but he went a step further and made the pancakes from scratch. They were very good - and very filling.

After breakfast, I took my pancake-laden self back to bed. I am fond of naps, but usually am not tired until early afternoon. Today, however, I found myself exhausted at 8:00 am. I fell asleep for almost an hour.

After waking up and scrolling aimlessly on my phone for a while, I got up and went into the kids' rooms in the basement. I had promised myself a few days ago that I would go through their dressers and remove too-small clothing after catching Theo wearing shorts that he had no business wearing a few days ago.

It had turned out to be a purging weekend. Yesterday, I sorted through Autumn's toys and remove those she no longer plays with. Many of them were brand new from a year ago when daycare first shut down. I bought tons of "learning" toys with all of these grand plans of how we would engage with her at home. That lasted about a week or two... and then the parents were pulled between work and making sure that the older kids stayed on task for school. Autumn spent a lot of time playing alone. And now many of those COVID-lockdown toy purchases are no longer needed.

The task of cleaning through the clothes took most of the day today - sorting through clothes, moving items from one dresser to another and into and out of storage. On top of it, they both had drawers of what they would call "treasures" and I would call "junk." Their rooms are always messy, no matter how often I make them clean. At one point I had to come upstairs for a Hulu break because I was feeling anxious.

For whatever reason, seeing their messy rooms and sorting through ill-fitting clothing brought forth a lot of feelings from the past year. It was a reminder of the barely-hanging-in-there state that we lived in for more than a year during COVID lockdowns and isolation. Did I pay attention to the fact that their clothes were getting small? No, because we weren't leaving the house. Did I give my daughter a good at-home experience while she wasn't in daycare? No, because we had work and the older kids. Did I enforce room cleaning as often as I should have? No, because we were stressed to the max.

So many things fell by the wayside and now I feel like we are playing catch-up. Catch-up on a school rhythm and haircuts and dentist appointments and everything else we put off while we were trying to just get through the days.

I think that's why I was so exhausted this morning. It was the catch-up nap of all of the times over the past year when I lay awake thinking that I wasn't doing enough. All of the tears cried and feeling that even the best I could give wasn't good all hit me today. And even knowing that we are "moving past" this insanely difficult time, I wonder how long it will take to get back to a good place.

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