You know how sometimes, when something terrible has happened, some people say something like, "God/The Universe/Life would never give you more than you can handle," and you just kinda want to punch them in the neck?
Except it's ME I want to punch in the neck. Because I found myself saying that very thing... to myself. "Self! You can do this! People do this all the time! Buck up and be a woman! None of this is more than you can handle!"
And then I got more to handle. AND IT'S TOO MUCH TAKE IT BACK UNIVERSE I CANNOT HANDLE IT ALL.
Two weeks ago, the Big One and I got in a small car accident on our way home from preschool. Because, as my mother-in-law so aptly put it, we needed that like a hole in the head.
It was my workday in my son's co-op preschool class, so I was enjoying some rare alone time with the Big One. We were happily chatting about our day at school and I slowly approached this terrible uncontrolled intersection that people always speed through. I looked, saw no one, entered the intersection, and BAM. Got T-boned on the left side.
Thankfully, we were all okay. It could have been way, way worse. My kid was in the car with me. We're all okay.
The Big One is still fine- didn't have a single sore muscle or red mark- and I could not be more grateful about that. He didn't even cry after it happened. Just looked at me with this mildly surprised look on his face and said, "Mommy? Did we just get crashed? We should call 911." So, he learned that, apparently.
I escaped relatively unscathed, too. Just a cervical strain and back sprain, which will hopefully be helped and healed by some prescribed massage. We have a great insurance company (SHOUT OUT TO USAA!), so the fact that this could have sucked so much more does not escape me. I am grateful and thankful and all of that. I am.
However. COME ON. Have you ever tried to take care of a 2 year old boy and almost 4 year old boy with a jacked up neck and back? AND A GODDAMN "WALKING" BOOT?!?
It's getting ridiculous around here. After a week, I was just barely able to bend and pick something up without yelping. Driving sucked. Getting dressed sucked. After two weeks, I'm finally able to move about almost normally, but it hurts. Doing laundry and dishes sucks. Lifting 30+lb kids really, really sucks. And I have to do all of this ALL. DAY. LONG.
You guys, I did not think I could get any whinier. BUT I CAN.
This fucking sucks big crinkly balls. You heard me.
I've been in this damn boot for 9 weeks now. My husband has been working his ass off creating a game at school and handling his team, so he hasn't been home much. Even over "break" he spent much of his time working. The kids are on fire lately- in total terrorist mode. They're testing the boundaries and fighting the power and doing all the things that are completely developmentally appropriate, but the screaming, hitting, and ignoring me is so infuriating I can hardly contain the screeching that wants to escape my throat. There's our usual lack of money and all the fun that comes along with that. My mom has been ill for a while and the hope we had for recovery is waning. And now, this accident. And all the gazillion phone calls and emails it entails. Plus a neck and back that only sort of work and hurt like a motherfucker.
I just.... ugh. A week ago I was completely out of the patience and strength required for quality parenting. I don't know if I was doing a good job before, but last week I was definitely not. I let the kids watch way too much T.V. because I can't get on the floor to play with them and I can't intervene every 5 seconds to stop them from killing each other or destroying the house. I was snapping at my kids and my husband left and right. I was completely exhausted. Exhausted from lack of rest, lack of relief, lack of resources, lack of help, lack of patience, lack of calm, lack of energy, lack of... everything, it feels like. I feel spent. And frustrated. And weirdly complaisant.
Then, I decided to do something about it. I decided to dig down deep while my husband was around for break and we chose to focus on the positive. To be patient even when we felt like we couldn't. To play with the kids and give each of them special time and to be present- even though we're both exhausted.
And you know what? It helped. It didn't fix everything and we're still having to work very, very hard not to get overly frustrated and focus on the negative, but it helped. It helped enough that to feel some relief. And maybe that's enough.