As I sit in front of my unforgiving mirror, applying layers upon layers of concealer in my desperate attempt to cover my dark undereye circles, I think about how exhausted I am. It definitely shows. I can definitely feel it. I’m constantly trying to cover it up. I guess we get used to always covering something up–a pimple, exhaustion, a bad hair day, sadness, everything.
In a world of Supermoms, DIYers, and Masters of Facades, I definitely feel that moms and women in general can start to feel lost. A little insecure. At least at some point. I try so hard to be everything to everyone and I forget about the one person who makes it all happen: me. In the process I also forget about the person who helps me along the way. The person who supports me, looks out for me, and keeps my head out of my ass. My partner in crime. My bestie for the restie (he’s gonna roll his eyes at that). My bae, as the kids would say these days.
In the midst of trying to live in the moment with my kids and spend my free time with them, I never really thought about how much time Quang & I miss out on. Time for just ourselves, without the kids. He recently told me about how I put too much into the kids. Too much time, too much energy, too much effort. I just thought to myself: Why wouldn’t my kids be my top priority?
“You do everything for them,” he said to me.
“Well, of course, I’m their mom. It’s what I’m supposed to do,” I answered back.
He tells me that’s why I’m always so tired. It’s because I do too much when I shouldn’t. Apparently I don’t have to do everything. He told me about how he puts me first and the kids come in a close second. (Sorry kids). It was funny to me at first. But, he explained that one day the kids will be gone and we’ll just have each other. There will no longer be the chaos of shuffling the kids all over, or taking care of them when they are sick, or playing with them at the park. If we don’t make each other a priority now, we’ll be like strangers by the time the kids are gone. He made a valid point. I know he’s right. I guess I just can’t help it. I want to be Supermom. I want to be Wonder Woman. I want to be able to do everything without turning into a crazy person. I want to have it all. I want to have a career, keep a clean house, go to the gym, cook homemade meals, have dessert ready, tend to my kids, spend time with Quang, make all that crap I saved to my Pinterest page, hang out with my friends, and everything in between. I want to be a great mom, wife, daughter, and friend. I just want to be great at everything.
I guess in my quest for “perfection” I got lost. I got exhausted. I stopped caring about certain things, because I was just too tired. I put priorities lower on my list because I just didn’t feel like doing it. I guess I tried for as long as I could. I tend to thrive in chaos. But lately, I just can’t. I think I’ve finally reached my limit.
I love a challenge. I’m a fighter. A serious fighter. I hate failure. I hate rejection. I hate not reaching a goal or getting what I want. I hate quitting. In my quest to do it all I just started to become someone else. I got a bit snippy, short tempered, impatient, annoyed and it made me more exhausted. I began to wonder who this person was that I was becoming. I wanted to be this awesome woman, but it seemed like in the process I was becoming less awesome. I was losing the good parts of myself. I wasn’t focused on the little things that matter too. But, Quang was there to save the day. He helped to pull my head out of my ass. He is helping me to realize that as much as I want it, I can’t really have everything all the time. I’ll probably never be able to keep up at work and I’ll never keep a clean house (especially with that terrible toddler running around). I’ll never have the perfect body that I want or be able to constantly make healthy homemade meals. And that’s ok. I don’t have to do everything for the kids all the time. Part of them becoming responsible and independent adults is letting them figure things out on their own. It’s hard for me to accept the fact that I need to let go a little and take a breath (or two), but I know it’s for the best.
You see, Quang is the one who I always count on. He has our world on his shoulders and I know that’s a lot for one person to hold. He’s the man of the house and no matter how much I feel like I’m doing or what I’m responsible for, I would never want to really be the man of the house. Even when he’s enjoying a beer somewhere while I’m with the kids. Or when he’s hanging out with his coworkers on Friday evenings when I’m at home with the kids. Or even when he’s watching TV while I’m with the kids. Ok, maybe I’d like to be him during those times. In all seriousness, he takes on our burdens, the stress, the financial responsibility and anything in between. He’s always thinking for his family. Always willing to make a sacrifice for us. And I want him to know that I appreciate him and everything he does. But if I’m distant and moody and not keeping up my end of this team work, then he’ll never know how much I truly appreciate him. He’ll start to think I don’t care and that will cause a domino effect of negativity. Of course that isn’t good for any relationship. Of course, I take on a lot as the mom, but like I said, I wouldn’t want to be the man of the house.
With all the craziness and the frustration and mess, I know one day when the kids are gone I’m going to desperately miss all this. I’m going to miss Vanessa asking for my help and telling me some lame story and her theatrics. I’m going to miss Carter constantly in my face, loving on me, and needing my help. I’m going to miss Taylor’s crazy shenanigans and outrageous antics. I’m going to miss taking care of them. Watching them grow. Watching them sleep. Helping them along the way. I’m going to miss seeing them every single day because I know when they are older and they have their own things going on and they have busy schedules, they won’t be around as much. There’s going to be an emptiness. I’m going to turn around and they will be gone. But the one person who will be there will be Quang. Hopefully, if I’m lucky.
I guess all I’m saying is that we need to focus on ourselves and our partners a little more. Our teammate. The person who is there through the chaos of life and who will hopefully be there when the chaos subsides. All it takes is making an effort, even a small one, to show some sort of appreciation. I know finding the time can be difficult, but it’s definitely an investment you should consider.
Sorry kids, gotta move your Dad to number 1!
But you come in a close second.