Life’s a beach

Welcome back from the weekend everyone! Here’s hoping you had a nice one.

Saturday was a very strange day for me. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I know this is every day for most people, but this Saturday was something different. My cell phone fell and the battery came out so I didn’t have any calls coming in. My grandmother came knocking on my door because my dad had been trying to contact me and I could barely speak to her.

After she left, insulted I was so “serious,” I just went and climbed back to bed, broken cell phone be damned. I did take enough time to make sure the kids had food and entertainment. But mostly, I just lay in bed.

It wasn’t nice. Honestly, it was a very dark feeling. I cried more than once and was thinking some pretty crazy stuff. I remember thinking, “This is depression.” I don’t know why it attacked me like that, I really don’t. But it did.

At some point, Baby came to me and he was just having a rough morning too. He climbed into bed and slept for hours with me. A really nice thunderstorm was our lullaby. When I woke up, it was 5:30 in the afternoon. I wasn’t feeling awesome but I wasn’t feeling badly either. I was ok. I got out of bed and started getting around the house fixing things up, teasing the kids, and playing with Mutant Kitty.

I found my phone, pieced it back together, and found a slew of messages. Figures that when you’re feeling depressed and unloved and you turn from the world because you think no one would notice, you get slammed with people reaching out to you. One of them was my Dad who’s the best Dad in the whole wide world. How awesome is he?

On Friday, he watched my kids for me so that I could go to the Parent’s Orientation at the school. My mom is a teacher there so she had to be there as well. When I came home, my Dad emptied out the dishwasher, reloaded it and set it running, and cleaned the kids’ bathroom. All three kids were happy and fed. And then on Saturday, he came after I emerged from my coma and took all three kids to his house to enjoy the pool for a little while.

As completely shocked as I was by what happened on Saturday, I can’t help but wonder if in some way, I just needed it. I slept horribly the night before and Baby ran in and woke up the whole world at 8:30 AM. I don’t know, I just couldn’t do it. When I woke up, it was just a matter of time before I was quickly back to normal and Saturday was nothing but a strange memory that almost seemed like a too-vivid dream and not actual reality.

I did some straightening up and cleaning. I did some reading and finished the Poisonwood Bible. I listened to some music and danced while I worked around the house. I was me again. For the record, this was a No-Spend day but this is not the way I like getting them thank you very much.

The next day, I made the kids chocolate chip banana pancakes and made a double batch so I could freeze some for breakfast this week. My parents came and picked up Eldest to accompany them to Church. This will become pretty standard this year. Eldest has his First Communion this year and from this point on, attendance at Church takes on a role of relative significance at the school and also socially.

But, I’m not into it. My parents are. So we think it’ll be good if he goes with them. We explained to the little ones they can go when they get to Second Grade too. And we’ll manage it that way. Unless of course I find God or something and start going to church every Sunday…

I read the newspaper, especially this article on taking back your weekends at my mom’s urging. I picked 24 more avocados from my tree including one giant one that is just gorgeous. I did some more laundry and more straightening up. I made a friendship bracelet with Daughter. I put everyone down for a nap and even I settled for a cat nap. After, I woke everyone up and we went to the beach for a couple of hours. We were so excited until we got to the beach and found these everywhere.

BAD Jellies!!!

So we took advantage of the marine biology lesson, I taught the kids how to find them in the low tide and keep an eye out for them in the water, and we played in the shore when the high tide washed away almost all of them. They dug holes, chased seagulls, ran down the shore, and enjoyed the breaking waves.

At home, after they washed up, I put on the DVD of old Speed Racer episodes I’d gotten from the library and made dinner. They ate up and I got them in bed and did some crocheting while I waited for the silence of sleeping children to fall into place.

Thinking back on the weekend and what was essentially a tale of two days, I have to wonder at what’s going on here.

The article I read wasn’t exactly targeted at me, yet it spoke to me. Maybe I’m not doing a really great job of disconnecting and really relaxing and enjoying things. At first, I’d always talk myself out of things because they “cost too much money.” But then it got to them being “too much of a hassle”.

I went through this after having each of my babies. I just never wanted to leave my house and would tell myself how hard it was to go anywhere with a newborn and would just stay shuttered inside.

Not healthy.

And I’m doing it again. Nine times out of ten, I get irritated when my kids and I are invited to go somewhere, anywhere for absolutely no reason at all. When doing their birthday parties I was equal parts excited and anxious.

I always feel badly asking someone if they want to do something because I feel like I’m butting into their lives and if they wanted to do something, they’d just reach out to me. But that’s not true. And there’s no excuse for me being a shut-in on the weekends I don’t have the kids. I should at least get out and do something one of the days.

Needless to say, this will definitely be something I’ll be thinking about as August ends and it becomes time to think about September. One of my favorite tips on the article was about planning mid-week. This weekend, I saw evidence of that fact.

I’d mentioned to the kids that I’d wanted to take them to the beach days ago. Well, they remembered and kept at me. On Saturday, I was off the hook because of the thunderstorms but there was no excuse on Sunday and they knew it. Lots to think about the next few days, that’s for sure.

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7 thoughts on “Life’s a beach

  1. This post dug at the heart strings. I spent Saturday curled up in the fetal position crying to myself in intervals when the kids were napping or outside playing. I realized this weekend that I, too have fallen into depression and can’t figure out why! I keep telling myself that ‘depression is what happens not when a person is too weak, but when they lose control after being too strong 100% of the time.’ Reminding myself of that made me feel better and I wiped my tears and continued on with my day. However, the feeling still remains. Planning personal time on the weekends with whoever you may still remain in contact with is VERY hard work. After having children, maintaining those relationships could be even harder…and it becomes a part-time job to organize outings. A friend of mine actually made it a resolution to have more “girl time” and it literally takes her weeks to coordinate schedules and maintain dates with friends. Now that this year is almost over though, she maintains that creating that resolution has given her a sense of happiness in having ‘a separate life’ from parenting and home-life that she forgot even existed. (Imagine that? So simple you’d think.) Long story short, I know what you’re feeling and am literally right there with you. Assessing the root of the issue is always the first step to climbing out from it. You can do it!

    Reply
  2. Sometimes I miss the ability to be 100% selfish some of the time. There’s always kids, family, work, and your personal ambitions all pulling a little piece of you in every direction.

    I can’t think of time off without thinking of the half painted house I’m living in or about 25 other 1/2 done things around the house. I think it makes sense to try to schedule in unproductive time for our own sanity once a quarter. It’s still so hard to do. This weekend we were couped up because of the hurricane and I was running around trying to do odds and ends tasks instead of just camping indoors and making the most of the experience. Then my son was up 1/2 the night with a fever and home with me today while I tried to multitask and now I’m feeling utterly exhausted. I could use a whole day in bed..sounds divine and not depressing at all.

    Reply
    • 100% selfishness is definitely a nice thing. It wasn’t that I was in bed that was depressing it was because I felt depressed that I was stuck in bed. It was so weird. I’ve never had that happen ever. I hope your son is better. Sick kids are exhausting!!

      Reply
  3. This broke my heart — and definitely stirred memories. I remember those endless dark days, and as trite as it may sound: They fade away. But talking about it — or writing about it — definitely helps. So keep it up.

    There are others out there who are or have been in the same boat. Strength in numbers, sista!

    🙂

    Reply
    • Yes it does. That day I wrote in my journal while in bed too. All the YUCKY stuff. And I know they’ll fade away– they mostly have but still, I know there’s more to good to come.

      And yes! Strength in numbers is absolutely important!

      Reply

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