The hours just after dinner, right before the kids go to bed, leading to the “wind down” or as some people say, the “wine down (take a few sips for me, lol), are the greatest, most exhausting, wonderful, exciting and most daunting minutes and hours of life! So much to be done, so many items to check off of my to-do list, yet, I can’t decide on which thing to tackle first.
Most days, my day looks like this: I wake up about 6:00a (boys are usually up 15 minutes after or before me), cook breakfast, feed the kids breakfast, prepare for homeschool classwork for the day (printing and deciding on specific worksheets), do homeschool for 3–4 hours, trying to do work for my businesses during downtown (snack break, recess, etc), prepare homework or work to do after school, cleaning up after the kids for the 20th time, lots of yelling (not because the boys are in trouble), answering questions, thinking of ideas for dinner, straightening up before my husband comes home, dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, making sure the house is tidy before bed, and finally, around 7 pm, things start to slow down and I am waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel, the wind down.
It may not seem like it, but that is a LONG day! My day doesn’t consist of only thinking about me and my needs or my own thoughts, no, that went out the window 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my first son and my body was no longer my own. My thoughts are consumed with my children and their wants and needs, and questions, and tantrums, and all the things, and on how can I be a better Mother to them, how can I reduce the amount of damage to them, how I can make their lives better, and with all of that, add in all of the other things that I have to think about throughout my 14–16 hour days. I often say to my husband, that I am the wife, mother, friend, sister….but I am also the coordinator, receptionist, executive assistant, cook, chauffeur, calendar, notes section, reminders section, Siri, the photographer, bookkeeper, and EVERYTHING else for my family. It is a job that I didn’t understand before becoming a Mother and Wife. It is not something that I truly understood from the outside looking in, because we glamorize everything around marriage and pregnancy and having children.
I am in no way saying that this life isn’t beautiful, because it absolutely is, even with its craziness and ups and downs, that’s what probably makes it most fun, the unknown. But every day, every evening, I try to find that person that existed before I had those “titles” and my life no longer about me, my life no longer my own. I cherish the moments to look at myself in the mirror, to shower alone, to be alone with my thoughts, thanking my ancestors, the universe, and God about how grateful I am for the days, though long, and to remember that at the end of the day (literally), I am still standing, I am doing the best that I can, and as long as I show up, each day, that that is what matters most to my kids and my husband.
The end of the day is my time to recharge, and to prepare for a new day! Regardless of what turns and surprises the days may take, I remind myself that is okay to take care of me and to be selfish, even if for a few hours before bed. I remind myself that I have that one constant in my life. It is the only time, that some parents, like myself, have to be reminded of who they are, not who they were.