TGIF: When to Throw in the Towel (or Burp Cloth)

It doesn't always happen on a Friday, but the last day of the week does tend to bring on a little fatigue. A little brain fog. Sometimes you're just not on top of your game on Friday and you're ready to just put whatever you're working on aside and cruise right into the weekend. Even if it's before noon. I've had a few memorable Friday screw ups in my time. When I worked in publishing as an Editorial Assistant part of my job was to find people to review the book we were putting out. Easy, right? Especially since I had a nice long list of people who were willing and able. All I had to do was send them each an email asking if they would like to participate in my book review. But no, I instead wrote one email, which I then copied and pasted for each person, asking them to participate in my "bonk review". They all knew what I was talking about, and a few made some little jokes, but I felt like a complete moron. I wanted to just shut down my computer and head home. Call it a day. No more progress was to be made that day.

Or I had my stellar day of camp counseling when I shouted profanities within earshot of a group of ten year old campers. That was really a banner day for me. I was ready to throw in the towel that afternoon. And I did, I had three other camp counselors who took over and I was able to sit in my tent and read gossip magazines while pondering why the hell I decided to spend my summer at an all girls sleepaway camp in the middle of nowhere.

But I digress. The REAL meaning of this post (there is one, I swear) is that with kids, there really isn't a whole lot of throw in the towel time. If you do have a significant other you can have them relieve you and you can approach parenting tag team style, which is awesome. But, if you're a single mom or your significant other is away a lot for work you have a lot of wanting to throw in the towel time but not any of the actual being able to part. Because the kids? Yeah they're still there. After you burned your hand and almost slipped in the puddle of juice on the floor and the doorbell happens to ring at that instant and all hell breaks loose and you WANT to just give up, you can't. Because they are watching you. Wanting more juice because they spilled theirs. Wanting something to eat but also needing suggestions for what they want to eat. Wanting something to do because they are bored.

So you suck it up and you get the juice and suggest something palatable and easy to make and give them a quick lecture about how when you were a kid you played outside all day with just a stick and some leaves. You somehow hang on until bedtime and dig deep into those reserves and once they're all tucked in and (hopefully) down for the night you breathe a sigh of relief for getting through the day.

Before I had Jack I went through a brief phase where I panicked about being able to get through parenting the older two while dealing with the lack of sleep. Finn and Levy were pretty great at sleeping and getting to bed on time and I was getting a solid night's sleep every night and let me tell you, it was pretty sweet. But I knew that was going to end and I really doubted if I could do it. But, as babies are wont to do, he arrived, and with Sean's help (of course) we made it through. And you know what? It wasn't that bad. (Hindsight is twenty twenty mind you)

I made it through because of the fact that I am a parent. And while becoming a parent hasn't changed who I am fundamentally it has given me an incredibly unexpected amount of energy and perseverance. There are SO MANY days I would have given up on in my younger days that I just coast through now. Puke on the floor? No big deal. Puke on the carpet? Slightly bigger deal but totally solvable. I feel like that's sort of the point of giving birth. It helps usher in that new take no prisoners attitude you need as a parent. Did your toddler just unravel the roll of toilet paper and stuff it all into the toilet? You can handle this. You GREW that person and then gave BIRTH to them! But it's not just for birth moms, it's for every parent. Once you realize that it is YOU that has to keep this little person alive you take on a new kind of grit. You dig in, you get it done.

That being said, sometimes we all need to just throw in the old burp cloth. Even if you don't have too much time just do it. For your own sanity. In between the soccer and the tantrums and the sandwich making and the washing and folding and more washing and more folding. So, today, this weekend, give yourself a little time to just hang out. Send the kids out to play with the leaves and the sticks and turn invisible. It will teach them to be resourceful. Here's hoping you all have a little bit of time to yourselves this weekend...xoxo