If only I had an extra day in the week, then I’d be able to get things done. I’d stick it in somewhere between Tuesday and Wednesday, right when things are always starting to pile up. Right when it’s all starting to feel like too much.
I’d finally have time to exercise, meditate, to write. I’d find the perfect dance class at the perfect time in the perfect location. Smack bang in the middle of my extra day. Boogie all my cares away.
I’d get ahead of the laundry, organize the piles of clothes that my kids are growing out of faster than I can buy them new ones. I’d cook nutritious food that they’d both love, and I wouldn’t order pizza and eat it in an exhausted heap on the couch watching episodes of Friends for the millionth time.
This blog would always be updated. And it would be better written, more insightful, and outrageously popular on social media.
I’d fit in a couple of hours of volunteering, spend quality one-on-one time with my kids, and top it all off with a date with my dear husband in which we have enough energy for a real conversation. And I’d have time to change my clothes and wax my lip beforehand. And we wouldn’t waste half the night speaking about logistics for the rest of the week. And maybe we’d even have sex when we get home.
But there’s no such day, of course. And if there was, daycare probably wouldn’t be open and I’d still have work to do, so my lip would look just the same, and this blog would still be hanging on for dear life, and the laundry would be peeking out of the basket taunting me the same as it always does.
So I guess I have to go for Plan B.
Acceptance and prioritization.
This is the reality of my life right now: I have two small children, a husband and a fairly intense job that requires a 2 hour plus commute every day. These are the priorities I have chosen for right now.
So I’ve gotta own them. And stop beating myself up for not fitting in all the shit that I think I “should” be doing, everything I’d do if I had that magical extra day per week. It’s just not feasible right now. I can’t do it all.
If I heard one of my close friends, a fellow mother, beating herself up like I do in my head, I’d stop her in her tracks. I’d tell her she’s supermum, that she’s beautiful just the way she is, that to her children she is everything she needs to be, that no one at work realizes when she feels like she’s just barely keeping it together and that she totally just zoned out in the middle of that meeting. That she’s doing just fine.
I’d also tap into the voice of the older, wiser, mother inside me, and tell her what I know to be true, though sometimes it seems like a platitude. That this too will pass. That soon she’ll sleep through the night, most nights, then one day every night. That she won’t be breastfeeding forever. That things will be different, maybe even easier.
That everything is perfect just as it is. Messy and exhausting and intense, but perfect all the same.
So screw the extra day, for now. It’s not like I’d get any sleep beforehand anyway.