Sad

I’ve been struggling with something-but-I-don’t-know-what for a while. I’ve brushed it off as just a bit of a funk. Something we all go through when the summer ends and the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter. But it hit me today as I stood in the pouring rain and delighted in the icy pinpricks hitting my face: I am deeply, desperately sad.

Now, before you silverlinings me or tell me how lucky my life is: I know. I know. I am not working three jobs just to make ends meet. I am not raising my babies alone with no support. I am not caring for a sick child. I have an amazing family and a beautiful home and work that pays well and I live in one of the safest countries in the world. I lead a privileged life. And still, I am sad.

My sadness is a privilege. I have the luxury of being sad about something-but-I-don’t-know-what because I am not sad about something concrete or devastating. I have the luxury of sitting in my sadness because I don’t have to pick myself up and snap myself out of it in order to survive. Knowing this makes me sadder somehow. I have so much going for me. And yet: sad.

I feel like I have so much inside of me. Words I haven’t written yet. Recipes I haven’t tried. Books I haven’t read. Foods I haven’t tasted. Pictures I haven’t taken. Doodles I haven’t doodled. Conversations I haven’t started. And it’s all eaten up by the overwhelming everythingness of life with small kids. My days are full of music and laughter and more hugs than I can count, but also laundry and conflicting schedules and a lot of bodily fluids (so. many. bodily. fluids.) By the time I have fifteen minutes to myself to write or read or draw, my brain is so overstimulated and raw that I can barely manage to stare at my phone and scroll through pictures of the gorgeous cakes I don’t have the energy to bake, or the clothes I don’t have the fortitude to buy and then put on my body in a misguided attempt to look like anything but a frenzied, overtired mom.

I’ve lost the part of me that makes me me and I’ve replaced it with a teeth-gritted, shrill-voiced shell of a woman who locks her babies out of the bathroom so she can pee in peace, and then cries on the toilet while they stick their fingers under the door and cry to be let in.

I know I’m not the only person to struggle with parenthood. I know none of this is original or unique. Mid-thirties, middle class white girl feels overwhelmed by motherhood. Yawn. I know. The realization is not comforting, it just makes me more sad to know how normal it is to feel like this. I also know it won’t always feel like this. This is a season of life, this too shall pass, etc. I know. But knowing I won’t always feel sad does not make me feel less sad right now. I cannot reason away the sad. Logic has no place here in my rain cloud.

I suspect time and gratitude are the only cure. And solidarity.

Mom

A few weeks ago, Shawn and Grady went on a road trip, off the grid, totally unreachable and hours from home. A few hours after they left, Poppy woke up from her nap, miserable, and proceeded to vomit for 22 hours. It was about two-o-clock in the morning when I realized that every towel, sheet, and pair of pyjamas we owned was either in the washing machine or piled in a stinky, wet heap in front of the washing machine. I dug through my closet and found the box of old receiving blankets my heart isn’t ready to donate yet, wrapped her up like a newborn, and sat on my stripped bed and held her until the sun came up. 

It was terrible. It was heartbreaking to see her so sick. It was frustrating to have her push the bucket away only to vomit directly into my hands seconds later. I was so tired and so scared and so by myself, the only grownup, the holder of the bucket and the wiper of the fevered brow.  

In the wee hours of the morning, holding Poppy as she shivered with the chills even as heat radiated from her tiny body, I was reminded of having the stomach flu when I was a kid.  

My dad lived in Germany for a bit, when I was about ten. My siblings would have been 13, 6, and 4 or thereabouts. That winter we all came down with a nasty stomach bug and my mom piled us into the big bed so she could hold buckets and dispense Tylenol and comfort more efficiently. In between vomit sessions, my mom tried to catch some sleep on the floor beside us in a sleeping bag. 

In the middle of the night, as my mom crawled into the sleeping bag to try to catch a quick nap, she pulled on the zipper and the wire zipperpull went straight into her finger and got stuck. She couldn’t get the zipperpull out of her finger. She couldn’t get the zipperpull off the sleeping bag. She had four sick kids to take care of and a sleeping bag attached to her hand.

Anyone who has met my mom thinks she is: kind, pleasant, sweet, caring, maternal, etc. But what isn’t glaringly obvious to the casual observer is that my mom is a hardcore badass (which makes it even more badass, right? She’s stealth badass!) My mom is sensitive and empathetic and motherly but she has nerves of steel. She called our next door neighbours and one came over to look after us while the other stayed with their two young kids, and then she drove herself to the hospital with a sleeping bag attached to her hand. Hardcore. Badass. 

She walked into the emergency room holding the sleeping bag still attached to her hand and apparently caused quite a stir because people thought she was either holding a sick child or a bomb. The doctors and nurses took care of her, removed the zipperpull from her finger, and she was home before any of us were even aware something had gone awry. 

My wild night of one sick child and zero puncture wounds pales in comparison to my mom’s but it made me appreciate just how badass she was and continues to be. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you bunches.  

 

Meal Plan 11/12/2018 - 11/16/2018

Apparently this blog is a once-per-month meal plan blog now. I…don’t know why. I don’t have the writing mojo lately. Everything is just a bit much.

Anyway. I feel better about life when I meal plan and meal prep so here we go. Let’s set this week up for success.

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Monday: We’re off work and school for the Remembrance Day stat holiday so I have big plans to do this Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Crispy Potatoes served with steamed broccoli topped with homemade cheese sauce.

Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas (I’ll prep these Monday and then just throw them in the oven when I get home from work) topped with lime crema (about a cup of sour cream mixed with the zest and juice from one lime) and served with roast carrots on the side.

Wednesday: Niçoise Salad 

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Sous vide ribeye steak served with Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad.

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Meal Plan 10/22/2018 - 10/26/2018

I’m still recovering from birthday shenanigans (cake! burgers! ice cream! ahoy!) and Shawn’s trying a low-carb thing so this week’s meal plan is smugger than usual.

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Monday: Indian Butter Chickpeas served with coconut rice and green peas.

Tuesday: Giant green salads topped with baked chicken breast and goat cheese.

Wednesday: Chicken Fajita Bowls served with guacamole.

Thursday: Spaghetti Bolognese on spaghetti squash for Shawn and on regular pasta for those of us who aren’t as disciplined (gimme all the pasta and all the cheese).

Friday: Charcuterie Friday

What’s on your menu this week?