And not just a little bit.
Take today, for example. I didn’t pay close attention to my two-year-old at the park and he took off his shoes and stepped in something prickly. When we got home, I spent 45 minutes with tweezers picking splinters out of the poor guy’s toes. This put me behind at work, so I frantically spent the afternoon trying to catch up while Will slept and Joey and Kate played Legos. I had promised Kate 4:15 Zumba so I woke Will up at 3:30 only to have him take one step on his foot and find more splinters. More tweezers. More crying. More frantic rushing. I left at 3:55. I forgot my wallet.
I got to the gym and they let me in (without my card) but realized that I had to go straight from Zumba to basketball and get the kids dinner in-between. I begged $20 off of my friend Rebecca (thanks!) and headed to Chick-Fil-A, where I told my kids to eat fast in the back seat. They did. I brought the kids to basketball and sat Will on my lap where he promptly… threw up. All over me and himself and the gym floor and my kind friends who happened to be sitting next to me chatting.
My friend Monica saved me by running for paper towels but I was still a total disaster.
I sulked out to the car and wiped us both off the best I could and proceeded to sit in the dark car with a squirmy two-year-old who suddenly felt better for the rest of my kid’s practice.
The kids came out (finally) and we headed home only for me to realize that I had no gas. My car said “16 miles to empty” and my house was more than 10 miles away.
We made it home. I have no idea if my car has enough gas to get to the gas station tomorrow but I’m not thinking about that right now. I have puke-covered clothes to wash and a sobbing toddler who is screaming “I’m hungry” and two exhausted big kids who need to go to bed and…
I’m a mess.
A total mess.
And I haven’t even told you about the recent toothpaste incident or Chai tea latte incident or car breaking down incidents (yes, that’s plural) or the broken water main or the fact that I totally screwed up a client campaign at work. I haven’t shown you pictures of the pile (no, mountain) of unfolded laundry sitting in my room or the piles of dog hair sitting in the corners of my kitchen.
I’m not exaggerating: I’m totally failing right now.
I have good excuses. My mom (who happens to be my sole babysitter as well as the person who does half of the school at home duties for my older kids) had to fly to Oregon more than two weeks ago to help her mom who is struggling with Alzheimer’s. So I’ve been left without childcare unexpectedly and had to make do. It’s not exactly easy to find a last-minute temporary daytime babysitter for one day a week. Additionally, my father-in-law had a stroke last week and my husband has been very preoccupied with this and is heading to Oregon for the next week. His job has also kept him late almost every night. The pollen count in Austin is higher than it’s ever been and I can hardly breath right now. And (as I mentioned before), my kid is puking.
I’m tired. And frazzled. And totally overwhelmed.
But, excuses aside, I have to start wondering what I am doing wrong. Why have I allowed myself to get to the point where I can’t handle even tiny curve balls? Where I don’t pay close enough attention to my kids and they end up smearing toothpaste all over the walls or filling their feet with prickles? Where I don’t have the mental capacity to do well at work? Where I can’t even find the time to blog (something I love) or read (something I love even more)?
I’ve obviously allowed myself to become unbalanced.
And something has to go.
I’m sitting here right now, tears streaming down my face, wondering what I can let go of, how I can regain the balance I obviously need.
Where are my priorities?
What can I do to regain them?
And how can I get myself to a place where I am not sinking in the mire of business and the muck of failed expectations. Because my kids don’t deserve this. And neither does my husband. Or my boss. Or my co-workers.
Will you pray with me as I struggle through this? I’m not sure of the answers, but I know there has to be one, because I’m not sure I can handle another day like today.