This week has felt overwhelmingly like this.
I'm on the upswing at this point, but I was on my period at the same time that Margot got a cold and thus stopped sleeping - so I wasn't sleeping - and what might have otherwise just been a routine string of crappy daily situations somehow morphed into the perfect storm of me feeling overdramatic, whiny, bitchy, and short-tempered. Lucky for Daryl, though, partway through the week I did actually realize what a turd I was being, and apologized. "I'm sorry," I said. "I'm just having a really shitty life." (Overdramatic. I told you. There's an Ebola outbreak and the Israel-Palestine conflict is so horrible it's too great a weight to bear and I'm complaining that my life sucks because there's a toddler chucking little pieces of spaghetti all over the dining room and I don't know what I want to eat for dinner because nothing sounds appetizing. REALLY? REALLY.)
But as I was saying - I'm over the hill and picking up my pieces. I've decided to make a change in my life. I have this one great friend who's said how remarkable she finds it that I possess this ability to make a sweeping permanent change when I decide on some way in which I want to change my life or otherwise strive for any particular goal. I had never realized this about myself whatsoever, but there was something incredibly empowering about having someone point this out to me. And so, here I'm going - I'm taking life by the horns (the horns? The tail? What's the expression again?) and putting an end to my lethargic nature.
Last night I registered to attend the upcoming Birth Without Fear meet-up in Minneapolis. I realized shortly thereafter that this conference, this opportunity for me to spend a day out of the house sans toddler, will be the first time I've ever done anything of the sort since having Margot. I'm not saying I've never had a sliver of me-time in the last year and a half, but realistically I am saying that I've never done anything more than slip out of the house for a couple hours after she's gone to bed at night, or run out to get my hair cut, or zip out to rob a bank real quick... that sort of thing. I'm always back in time to nurse my girl, feed her a meal, take her to go grab groceries, or whatever's left on the day's agenda - the only times I've ever spent an entire day away from her are when I go to work. It's embarrassing admitting this - but it's also incredibly freeing realizing that next Saturday I'm totally going to be doing cartwheels out of my house while wearing a dress with poofy sleeves. And I'll obviously have lipstick painted all over my face. If you hear shrill, maniacal laughter, don't freak out. It's just me on the loose.
I should have prefaced all that with an explanation as to why I'm always stuck at home with our girl. I think I've written already about how Daryl and I made the decision pre-baby to adjust our work schedules so that we wouldn't have to rely on daycare services in order to juggle careers and child-rearing. We're both incredibly lucky to have jobs that allow us to perform all kinds of scheduling acrobatics so that either he or I ends up being home with Margot on any day of the week. And as it turns out, it's equal parts blessing and curse - because what we never really thought to factor in is the fact that doing that means that never in the course of a week will we ever be home together. Either he's at work, or I am. We don't have weekends. We've got evenings, sure, but Daryl's a social butterfly and I'm a homebody by nature so he inevitably does all kinds of gallivanting around town while I'm happy at home watching tv, playing on vine, and perusing Instagram. It works for us.
...Except when it doesn't. Except when I every so often get swept away in a wave of jealousy so strong I want to yell and cry and throw in the towel altogether. I'm always vocal about it, mind you - I'm an open book when it comes to my thoughts and feelings and ideas about how I'm feeling - and I should also say that Daryl is the reigning King of encouraging me to do whatever it is I want to do, and to pursue the things that make me happy; the crux of the issue is me. It's me never totally knowing what it is I want, never really feeling like I know just the thing that'll make me feel free and fulfilled and as though I've had a sufficient break from my chaotic and overwhelming days with a teething/busy/cranky/happy/antsy/squirmy toddler.
So this jealousy picks me up by the scruff of my neck and throws me against a wall - and it always catches me off guard, because by nature I am not a jealous person whatsoever. I don't struggle with insecurity or low self-esteem, and I'm happy and proud that Daryl and I have a relationship wherein we can both feel free to do our own thing at our own pace. But it turns out that there exists a level of social jealousy within me that is fierce and strong in spite of my introversion. I'm sure it has a lot - if not everything - to do with the fact that I don't live in my hometown and I'm not surrounded by family or lifelong friends in a familiar community, the way he is; but nevertheless, I end up being so ridiculously conflicted between wanting to give Daryl everything and wanting to hoard it all for myself. It's again another example of how I end up giving into my role of Mother with far more ease than I ever allow myself to be Self. Because it's just easier not to, even when it's actually so much harder.
So next Saturday is monumental for me. Not only will I be able to spend the day marveling over the stories and experiences of like-minded women - women who've felt and experienced so much of what I have - but I'll be able to do all the things I can't normally do when I'm on baby duty. Like juggle torches and drink cocktails in the bathtub.
They'll have bathtub cocktails there, right?