It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to write and I could blame it on a number of things but it all basically boils down to this — I’ve been busy being an adult.
Isn’t it interesting how the grandeur of being an adult fizzes out faster than Pop Rocks as we have to make hard life decisions? Do we buy the house or keep renting? Do we put money into the car or trade in for a newer one? Do I have to put on actual pants today or do I continue to rock leggings for the third day in a row? And if I put on pants does that mean I have to wear my “sexy” bra or can I get away with the ol’ reliable? How about my roomier sports bra, a.k.a. my old nursing sports bra?
Last week was full of more difficult adulting for me. Some days the hardest thing is deciding if you want Mexican or Chinese food for dinner and others are watching people you love grieve a lost loved one — that’s just life.
Last week, my adulting game was on high between planning a baby shower for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend by myself and my best friend losing her mother. And right in the thick of it, we purchased a new car. It wasn’t planned. My car had been giving me trouble and every time we thought we had fixed the issue, it seemed to come back. It was progressively getting worse and no one could really figure out what was going on. So we invested some money into the SUV and hoped it would work. But we knew if this didn’t fix it, we would be looking at a very high bill that would cut into the money we had been saving for a heating and cooling system. Something we knew we were going to have to purchase this next spring. Praise God our air quit working in September and not August.
So almost a week ago, I decided to text my cousin who worked at the dealership where we got our cars just to see about the possibility of a trade in. Less than 48 hours later, we had a new car and she’s beautiful. It’s the same model and make as our SUV but brand spankin’ new with fancy features. I’m a fairly low-key gal so when I say fancy features, I mean heated seats. Some of the features are straight-up magical, however.
How many times do I want my turn signal to blink when I’m changing lanes — 3 (teenage mode), 5 (mom mode) or 7 (granny mode)? I think it’s set on teenage mode right now so I feel kinda cool at the moment. Do I need more Lumbar support? There’s a button for that. Do I need to dial a phone number while in the car? There’s a snazzy screen for that. Do I need to check my tire pressure? No, but I can if I feel like it.
In case you’re wondering, we did test drive a minivan and we hated it BUT our kids loved it.
“Mom, can I live in the minivan?” our oldest asked. “Are you going to live down by the river?” I replied. He didn’t get the reference. It’s too young to educate him on the great works of Chris Farley but soon, he’ll be ready soon.
My husband hated the minivan so much, he tried to get out of test driving it when I brought it home (nice try, dear). We got a great deal on our new car, however, payments are a bit more than what we are used to. So we decided to cut a few things and cut back on the piddle spending or should I say, I decided we needed to cut back on the piddles. I guess I should have warned my husband when I decided to cut the movie channels.
“It’s okay, I knew you were going to cut back on the TV channels,” he said. “I just didn’t know so soon. I’ll find something else to watch.” Oops.
And then there was the news I knew was coming but dreaded for my best friend and her family. Though her mother is at peace, the last year of her life was painful and exhausting but amazingly that didn’t diminish her spirits. Another example of how we can find joy and love in the darkest days of our life. It’s been hard watching my best friend go through such a tragedy and I wish I could have been there for her more.
The visitation and funeral ended up being at the exact same time as the baby shower I was hosting. Thankfully, they were only five miles from each other. I felt the pressure of everything sinking its teeth into me on Friday. My husband would most likely be out-of-town for his job and so I wondered how I would juggle three kids, plus host a shower and pay my respects to my best friend’s mother and family.
By Friday evening, I was ready to retreat to a pillow fort and wave my white flag. I was done adulting for a while. I’m not a drinker but the jokes and memes about mothers needing her nightly glass (or bottle) of wine sounded tempting.
Then I heard Him. As always, he comes through calm, patient with the willingness to repeat himself. God has no problem sounding like a broken record, thank goodness, because we rarely listen and do what he says the first time.
I got a feeling that everything was going to be okay, that I could make it to the visitation and still host the shower and keep our three kids from destroying my brother-in-law’s new home. My face sunk farther in my pillow with each breathe as I released the tension that had been accumulating all week in my shoulders, relaxing my mind and body I drifted off into a heavy sleep … for a few hours.
The sound of our sweet baby girl coughing followed by what sounded like vomit hitting her feet jolted me awake. I rushed to her room, grabbed her out of her crib and we headed to the tub. She managed to get sick in the hallway on the way to the bathroom, and I somehow yelled for my husband to help clean it up without waking up the boys. Ten minutes later, the vomit was cleaned up and we were cuddling in the rocking chair. She’s teething terribly right now and has been known to just vomit for no reason other than something not settling right with her. No fever. No rashes. No signs of diminished appetite or thirst. I could of let myself sink low and let anxiety take over. I could of said that the day was ruined and I retreat back to the pillow fort in my mind. But it didn’t. I felt surprisingly calm that I would conquer the day and would be ready for the curveballs lining up. My husband went to work shortly after the vomit situation. Oh, and did I forget to mention that my period started Saturday morning? Surprised? I wasn’t. The way my week was going, it made sense for her to show up.
I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from paying my respects to my best friend’s mom, except an actual sick kid. I’m friendly but I’m not an asshole. If my kids are sick, I’m not sharing that with anyone else if I can help it. Thankfully she was fine the rest of the day as I somehow knew she would be. I’m not a pro-adulter but I do know as a parent it takes a village. So when friends and family offered to watch the kids while I went to the visitation, I took it. And it’s true, not everything went as planned but I still did it. God reminded me of my own strengths. I have a tendency of saying “Yes” and taking on too much but this was for all the right reasons. This was about putting other people before me.
Sunday I did my best to not adult unless I had to. Simple meals for the kids and I and plenty of quiet time and movies. My husband came home from work around lunch so that helped make my “minimal adulting day” possible. You can be “on” forever . We need to recharge our batteries. Give yourself some “me” time, whether it’s five minutes in the car alone or five minutes at night when all your kids are asleep or at least in their rooms. You can sneak it in, I promise. Give yourself five minutes. You are worth investing your time in yourself.
And cut yourself some slack, girl. You are a warrior and you know what? Warriors need a chill day, too. What do you see warriors doing before a battle? They aren’t freaking out in the corner. They are calm, giving themselves quiet time to prepare mentally. They are feasting, laughing and maybe drinking a bit too much but the point is that they are living. They are enjoying themselves. They are having some “me” time.
As much as you want to turn around and drive back home and hide under the covers – don’t. Don’t give up; there is always darkness before the light. There is always the promise of a new day. You are worth pushing through the darkness to find your light. And He is with you in the middle of the storm. You are worth it. Your kids are worth it. And they deserve you and all of you, not just what you want them to see. They need to see your raw, your real, your resiliency.
Your kids need to see that not every day is a great but there is something great in each day. So when you feel like giving up the title of adult, think about who’s watching you. Not just your children but God is watching. He loves you exactly as you are – frazzled, tired, ready-to-throw-in-the-towel exhausted and he’s not finished with you yet. You are a beautiful work in progress.
And honestly, you may never quite feel like a “official” adult but that’s a good thing because it’s overrated and keeping a piece of your inner child alive will help keep your sanity in the thick of it. Who wants to admit they are officially a adult anyway? It’s okay if you want to stop adulting for a few minutes, no one ever said you had to be “on” all the time, just don’t give up completely. Your passions, your family and you are all worth fighting through the hard adult days. And in case you forgot, your success rate surviving the hard days is 100 percent.
On a happy note, you want to know a really awesome thing about being an adult? You can have whatever the hell you want for breakfast and no one cares.