"It has nothing to do with you.”
That was his response to my martyr-esque gripe about everything I had done that busy day.
"It has nothing to do with you.”
That's what he said - can you believe it?
Though I don't think he meant it.
At least that's what I hope.
He couldn't have, right?
-- and this is a straight-up fact, NOT MY OPINION --
it had everything to do with me. At least that’s how I see it.
Everything has everything to do with me because I'm THE MOM.
And being "mom," well, it means that I play a part in all of it.
A big part.
A necessary part.
A leading role.
The director, you could say.
The main character and the supporting role.
The jack of all trades.
The train conductor, the engineer, the driver, and the staff, if you will.
I am everything, and I do everything, and perhaps not well, but I try my damndest.
And it's an uncredited role.
if I'm being fair,
just an under-credited one.
He doesn't always see my value.
Neither do the kids.
It's either that, or I'm overemphasizing it, and I can't believe that to be right.
I'm the sole adult woman in our house who does a lot that, at the end of the day, doesn't look like a lot.
And it's hard to be her.
Don't get me wrong; I'm lucky to be her.
I'm grateful to be her, and I wholeheartedly want to be her with every fiber of my being.
I'm not sure every fiber of my being is always
loved to the fullest,
thanked as often as it should be, as often as I want.
By him or the kids.
And, so, I go to bed mad.
Not visibly, of course -- the internal kind of mad from which nothing productive comes, and I wake up indifferent because what's to say that anything more is even plausible.
Until I pause,
take a day or two,
think it over,
and get some clarity.
The above was hard to write, folks.
It's hard to read back now that I'm editing it.
Because the thing is, I don't feel this way all the time.
I did feel that way, at one time last week, but that time has passed, and I feel better today.
And thank god for that.
Because if I did feel undervalued all the time, that wouldn't be okay.
But what is okay,
what is something I need to remember,
what is perhaps something you need to remember,
is if ever that lovingly chaotic family of yours is not making you feel 100%, perhaps it has nothing to do with you, and maybe it's because they don't.
And without the energy to keep themselves going, well, they lack the energy you expect them to use to keep you going.
And so here's what we've got to do, mamas --
We've got keep truckin' along, with or without a cheering squad tooting our horn at every turn.
Andddddd this is a big one — we must remember to cheer on ourselves.
Then we need to find a bit more energy inside of us to cheer on our loved ones, and low and behold, what unconditionally building them up will do, is remind them to do the same for us.
Being a dad, and an incredibly hard-working one at that, is also a very unnoticed and under-rewarded role.
I see that now.
And being a kid in today's wonky world is incredibly exhausting.
I know this.
And, so, I admit I was wrong.
Everything doesn't have everything to do with me.
Sometimes people's moods, behavior, and actions, or lack thereof — that of our spouses or kids -- has nothing to do with us, and what we're doing or not doing, or not doing well enough.
Sometimes our loved ones are just so busy doing all they need to do to be all they are that they forget to show appreciation for all we do and all of who we are.
And sometimes we are so busy doing all that we do AND COMPLAINING ABOUT IT or begging for a verbal trophy that we forget to show recognition and appreciation for all they do.
None of us is perfect.
And we're all prone to getting a little self-absorbed.
But do you know what I'm going to fight like hell to do from here on out?
Become a woman, wife, and mom who is more focused on wrapping as much self-love, other care, peace, and joy into my days as humanly possible and less wrapped up in all that I do and ensuring that it gets noticed.
Because she sounds lovely.
And even more than that, she sounds content.
And I'm excited to be her.