It’s Sunday night. I’m home, alone, watching the Golden Globes. I was supposed to be at a party but croup tends to not be a super welcome thing to bring to parties, so I’m home with one sick daughter, one healthy/feisty daughter, and no husband. Husband is on a plane to Vegas. It’s a work trip, but I can’t say I’m not a little jealous. For some reason, business meetings and trade shows sound better than being up for hours at night with a feverish child.
So I’m watching this inspiring speech by Oprah, and I’m like: “Yeah! Speak your truth! The most powerful tool you have! Love that thought!” Okay wait. I’m actually like: “Yeah. Speak your truth. The most powerful tool you have. Love that thought. But does anyone really want to hear my truth?
I was in a rotten, sad, fragile mood. If you can be all those things at once.
My truth that night? Immediately after I put the kids to bed, I came downstairs and cried. I actually laid on the floor and cried. For so many reasons but then also no for reason at all. I just felt spent, done, so lonely and tired. “I can’t do this,” I told God through my tears. “I can’t do this. I need help.”
So yeah. Speaking that truth about myself doesn’t seem helpful, I thought to myself bitterly as everyone cheered for Oprah. People don’t want to hear about my little housewife drama.
The days in front of me seemed bleak and hopeless. Could be the come-down from the all the holiday bustle, could be the weather, could be just me. But I couldn’t fathom doing the next day, or the next or the next, as a mom. I wanted to lay in bed and sleep the week away. It goes without saying that I love my kids with my entire being, but the thing about motherhood is that it doesn’t typically give you personal days—you know, the ones where you can stay in bed the whole day eating pasta and watching Netflix. And perhaps that’s why I felt I had started to snap: no mental health days.
Monday morning brought more of the blues. Another night with a poor sick child combined with my aforementioned mood made me somewhat of a zombie and I actually did that thing where I was like, “Hey honey, can you watch your tablet while mom takes a nap?” But it only sort of worked. I stumbled through the day until 2pm when I finally decided to get dressed and try to clean up the house for girls’ night (Monday nights are for watching the Bachelor, dontcha know?).
Having your girlfriends over for laughter and wine and cheese and some intermittent watching of the TV show everyone is there to “watch” actually does wonders for your mood (dontcha know?), but here’s the part that made it even better: my sister-in-law asked if she could just spend the night since she was in from the city. Now, she does this occasionally, but on this particular night my lonely little heart was so happy to hear her ask. “Company!” it cried. “Adult company!”
She ended up staying most of the day Tuesday, reading to my kids, laughing with me while we drank tea and played hide-and-seek with my 4-year old, taking out my garbage, vegging with me on the couch. ‘Being blobs together,’ we called it. Sometimes you just need someone to be a blob with you.
She heads home late in the afternoon, and I realize I’m out of milk, eggs, and the kid’s cough medicine that I will surely need tonight. I have to run to Target. Not a great prospect for a blob. Suddenly, both kids get super whiny, and then I get more crabby…crabby enough that I have to retreat to a room by myself so I don’t yell at my kids or say (more?) mean things to them that I’ll regret.
We finally get it together enough (thanks to my sensitive 4-year-old who came in and told me it was ‘gonna be alright, mom, okay?’ and then snuggled with me on the bed), and we are getting coats and boots on when my mom calls. She and my dad are passing by my ‘hood and wondering if they can stop in. “Sure,” I say. “I was just on my way to Target but come on by for a bit.”
And you know what she says? “Oh! Want us to go to Target for you?” and then they pull up outside my house and come inside and offer a second option of watching the kids while I go to Target. And so I go to Target alone, and then we all have dinner together and they clean up my kitchen and help get my kids ready for bed and they take what could have turned out to be a disastrous and frustrating evening and turn it into one that ends calmly and peacefully and (dare I say?) happily.
And I suddenly think back to me on the floor two nights ago, at the end of my rope, asking God for help. Contrary to what my introverted self would have surmised, the help that I needed was people to just come and be with me. And I have to believe God sent me those people. And then I am struck by one of my deepest truths and it is this: one of the reasons I believe in God is because I have felt His care for me, time and time again. He sees dramatic housewives crying on the floor and He loves them, and for that I’m thankful.