Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All Exhaustion Is Not Equal

Yesterday was a rough go.  So many things went wrong.  And by wrong, I mean they changed unexpectedly.  I can vary from a plan, but I like a little notice.

For starters, Tyler didn't have school.  I thought he did.  This was nearly catastrophic for me, on the emotional realm.  All you show-offs who read every bit of paperwork that comes home?  This is your moment to shine.  I will hide in your shadow. 

So, I took them out for coffee.  Or, in their case, juice smoothies.  I really thought I was going to get some work done, except I forfeited my laptop so they could stream Netflix and I could have a few minutes of silence.

Then I thought we would give Monkey Bizness a try.  The one for big kids, the one my boys have been asking for with deep longing.  Except we got there and they herded us into this waiting room and put us on their wait list, since the play area was full.  I get this, if there is indeed an end to the wait.  Forty minutes later, we were still waiting with no movement on said list, I was out of snacks, and we had watched nearly all of The Happy Elf, streamed through Netflix on my phone.

(My Netflix subscription is nearly worth the same to me as my anti-anxiety prescription.  They serve different purposes, and yet much the same.  Hooray for mobilized technology.)

We went to the mall for lunch.  We went to the Lego store for ideas.  We went to Apple for the kid Macs.  We went to Barnes and Noble for the Lego and train table.  Enter stores with kid displays for my children to explore and enjoy endlessly?  Guilty as charged.

By the end of the afternoon, I begged my mom to take them to her house for dinner.  Please.  I'll provide the food, beverages and children, if I can just have a bit of time today.  A bit of time to catch my breath.

She said yes.  Hours later, she brought them back, fed and in their jammies.   'Cause she's so cool like that.  If I am ever a grandmother, I will do many things as she does them.

(While they were gone, I fixed my double chocolate cherry cookies (and by fixed, I mean repaired), I made grilled asparagus for a party of one, and I mapped out my post-graduate course plan.  Path for the next three years: Check. 

It wasn't exactly wasted time.

There's a reason why I write about all this: to describe the kind of exhaustion.

It was single mom exhaustion.  It wasn't widow exhaustion.  And there is a difference.

I felt the kind of tired I would have felt if Robb were in the middle of a long business trip and I were on my own for a long, harried day.  The kind of tired that would have prompted me to send him some snide text about how great his traveling business life must be, and please bring me something great for managing the homefront in your absence.

But I did not feel the kind of heart weariness that comes from thinking through fog, from wearing the wet blanket of depression, from crying without explanation, from tying a scarf around me just to hold myself together.  It wasn't that kind.

I am thankful others can see this difference and speak it into my life. 
I am thankful they see victory, when all I can see is tired.

There's a difference.  I can feel it.


Nicki Kennon said...

Hi. We have never met, but I have been following your blog for the past year. I've never commented though I have been compelled to many many times. I'm not a single mother nor a widow but I respect your strength and your wisdom. I know the saying is so taboo and maybe a bit overused but you are truly inspirational. I pray 2012 brings your lots of joy, laughter, and peace. My heart breaks for you and rejoices for you in every post you make.

Mrs. MK said...

I have been thinking and thinking about how to explain how, while my situation was very different than yours...I have felt so exhuasted by motherhood, and mothering through grief. My boys were ages 5,3 and 1 when my daughter died. Continuing to meet their needs when I had so many of my own was often debilitating in itself. My own mother was so kind to remind me that I was in a tough phase of life, regardless of my loss, and even without the grief, there would be days when I was overwhelmed, discouraged, and hopeless. So I have been praying, hoping you would hear what I am saying....you are in a hard phase of motherhood, even if Robb was still here, even without the grief.

My oldest is now almost 10. He has lived with a grieving mother for almost half of his life. That hurts me sometimes. But God has big plans for our boys, Tricia, and the grief will make their hearts all the softer, all the more tender.

Love and Prayers always, as you head into January. I am so proud of you!

Janet said...

'tying a scarf around me just to hold myself together.'

There you go again, weaving words that give a picture that lasts.

That's a quotable phrase. :D

Lindsey said...

The kind of tired of a GOOD MOM such a GOOD MOM!!

Kathleen said...

This really makes me smile! That is, the conclusion did. Praying for energy.