Things feel tough right now. Not cosmic-level tough, just frazzle-making, quick-tempered, cranky tough. Tim is busy at work, Margaret is surviving the hell that is JUNIOR YEAR, and I'm deep into toddler-land with a sick and stuffed-up Andrew. My 12 hours a week of freedom while he's at Mother's Day Out have yet to exceed 8 and it's nearly November. Tim and I have done some really fun things lately, but not as a couple or as a family.
We are all tired.
Tim and Margaret work late into each night after putting in full days. I follow Andrew around, yet I'm not always fully engaged. We rely on our phones, computers, and tv too much, which cuts down on productivity and eliminates family time. "Communication" is by text, if at all. Because we are tired, we become less generous and grace-filled. In fact, we are grace-emptied. We start to think, "But what about MY NEEDS?" When we hit smallish bumps in the road, we catastrophize about the future, telling ourselves, "It will ALWAYS be this tough."
A few mornings ago, we were deep in the morning rush. It was clear Margaret would be late for school as she tried to finish up an assignment. Tim, her driver, felt angry and manipulated. I felt resentful of getting up before the sun with a toddler. In the midst of all of this, knocks started coming on the door.
Poor communication meant I had no idea Tim had hired landscapers to do some work for us that morning. The dogs barked, Andrew cried, Tim sighed, I groaned. More knocks came. Oh, yeah, our cleaning lady and her sister were here for our twice monthly cleaning.
Are those the garage door people? Darn. I'd assumed everyone would be out of the house before they got here. Even in the chaos of that moment, I realized how fortunate we are to have a house, and to be able to have help to keep it running smoothly.
But nothing felt smooth.
It's one thing to have a rough morning family-wise; it's another to do it with 7 extra people as witnesses to your disfunction. Tim and Margaret eventually huffed and puffed out of the house, I parked Andrew in front of Little Einsteins (again), and I got to discuss garage door motors in my pj's.
I know better days are ahead-- they always are-- but boy would it be nice to feel well-rested, more connected, and optimistic here at Team Donaldson. I've found what sometimes helps us is getting OUT of the house together for something low-key such as lunch at a Mexican restaurant or a mandatory walk on a local trail. If we can't get out, then eating a meal together or watching a show we all like helps.
What about you? How do you knit things together when it feels like you are unraveling?