Real Deal Update
This winter has been blessedly mild. But this past week has been raw, and wet, and the whole family has been battling a god awful head cold. Everyday it has felt nearly impossible to get my butt in gear to exercise, or just to get outside for my dog (more on her in a moment) but thankfully we have our warm pookie poncho from 7am enfant so I don’t have to stress too much about Redmond staying warm. Even though I still do. But then I’ll take him out of his little cocoon after we get home and he’s all sweaty so…my fears are misplaced. But its been a long, hard week.
Which brings me to the Real Talk. My last Real Deal post was here, and I figured it was time for another. Because, as we always discuss (maybe in excess), life can look pretty damn perfect via blogs and instagram (mine is @simply_hannah.joy in case you want to follow). I don’t have any interest in posting “messy” photos on my social media (although on snapchat, its a whole different story) because I like to see pretty things. It’s relaxing. It’s a nice escape. But I also sort of like to know the real people behind those little square images. So here we go. My mom had a pretty intense temper. She died when I was seventeen, and I was broken by the loss for a long time. All through college, it was basically just a recovery (through my artful talents of denial) from her death. Part of the pain of losing her lay in the fact that I have a terrible memory, and I so quickly found myself forgetting the sound of her voice, the smell of her perfume, the feel of her embrace. But unfortunately, I remember her temper vividly. She loved deeply, but her anger flared up at light speed, which scared me as a kid, and made me resentful as a teenager. I’m wildly non-confrontational as a result, and I have been afraid for years that I would lose my temper like she did, and I have always worked really hard to keep myself under control. Enter Baby+ 90 pound dog+head cold+teething+exhaustion+nap wars. All in a week.
On Monday, we had almost no food left in the house. I got mentally creative and thought of a dish I could make with the frozen chicken we had. I took it out to thaw (bone in breasts) and went to the gym with Redmond. I came home to find a gigantic mess in the kitchen. My dog had torn the styrofoam apart and eaten the frozen chicken on the carpet. There was trash everywhere and meat ground into our kitchen rug. I was completely livid. It was overwhelming and immediate and I had to put Redmond down and get myself under control because I was so angry. And all week, I’ve had those waves of frustration hit me and just build and bubble until I just want to scream. Redmond has been fighting his naps every day. Lupe vomited all over the floor while I was working at home. I have been so sick. And I find myself going from 0 to 60 emotionally in seconds. I hate it. And it scares me. I was running yesterday in the freezing cold, with wind whipping my face, and Redmond kept tearing his hat off, and I had to breathe, to actually take deep breaths, to not get upset with my seven month old, ridiculously adorable baby, for refusing to KEEP HIS EARS WARM. I was speaking out loud to myself like a crazy person, “Calm. Down. Hannah. Get yourself under control.” Because I hate feeling out of control. I hate feeling frustrated at my son when there is no reason to. I hate snapping constantly at my dog when she tries so hard to be good. I am so hopelessly flawed, and inside me, I know that my moms temper is there. But I also know that I can approach it differently. Exercising helps. Walking away from a situation immediately helps. But the guilt– oh, that intensive, deep seated mom guilt can be all encompassing. I have such a blessed life– so much love in it– so much goodness– that it seems wrong to feel anything but content and happy. But the reality is, (as the French mother would say according to Bringing up Bebe) there is no perfect mother. I do the best I can do. And every day, I hope I can do a little better than the day before. And if I can’t do everything, well, Lupe will not die without a walk or a run for one day. My husband will not be upset if there is not a hot dinner ready for him when he gets home. I will not be a terrible human if the laundry doesn’t get put away (for another day…lets be honest…I’ve been looking at it since Tuesday). It’s just life. It’s just a day. There is no perfect mother, but I can always try to be better.