Fall In

A beautiful quote from my Peloton “Feel Good Ride” this morning with Ally Love. Some days it’s easy to “fall in” to self-love. Other days, like today, it feels impossible to surrender to that empowered ideal. Even though I know in that surrender is the contentment I crave.

Today, I ended up crying through my kids’ swim class after getting a speeding ticket on the way there. It’s not about the ticket, but the mortifying experience of getting pulled over with my kids in the car pushed me over the edge. I am crippled with cognitive dissonance right now. I am stuck in the shift from school year to summer and I’m letting it get the best of me.

One broken mama

Over the last couple of days I’ve tried to resort to old coping mechanisms to ease this tricky transition in our family routine. But junk food and a glass of wine make me feel so much worse. SO much worse. They always did, but I didn’t notice it as much when I was stuck in my wino-life, because I never knew how good I could feel.

But I am not fully equipped to fill the void left by booze and junk either, and that’s what broke me today. Can’t drink, can’t stuff my face with chocolate. What else do I have? Foam rolling. Tea. US Weekly (though that’s fairly toxic too). Writing. Seltzer. Stretching. Breathing…? But I just want a jar of Nutella! Is that so wrong? Yup. F.

I know this is a process. And I know I’m too hard on myself most of the time. I get lost in one bag of tortilla chips and lose sight of the long game, in which I’ve already scored more goals than I ever thought possible.

So let’s zoom out of this pity party for a moment.

This was a tough week. My daughter was crushed to have her kindergarten year come to an end. My husband was out three nights and has been renovating our garage all weekend. I haven’t had enough time or space from my kids to be able to digest the end of the school year. Oh, and I had a heinous case of PMS.

I have a kid who finished kindergarten. This is a big deal to me. A milestone in my motherhood journey. My little girl is vanishing before my eyes, and in her place is an increasingly poised, articulate, compassionate, curious, independent big kid with real feelings and opinions and the ability to express them.

She has also arrived at a point in her life where she will have legit memories. And here are her dad and I, at the helm of our family craft, doing our best to steer both of our kids through what they will hopefully remember as a happy and fun childhood while navigating the tricky waters of adulthood ourselves.

We are all first-timers here. And we are all going to stumble along the way.

After her swim lesson today, my daughter could tell I had been crying – luckily my 4-year-old son was oblivious so I only had to contend with one conversation, which of course turned the waterworks right back on. She looked me directly in the eye and wanted to know exactly why I was so upset and what she could do to help me feel better.

My kid shows compassion beyond her years. And she loves me so damn much.

I need to show her that it’s just as important to love yourself as it is to love those closest to you. I need to give myself a break. I need to show her that when things get out of whack, love brings us back to where we should be.

Oh wait. She already knows. Fall in, Mama.

6 thoughts on “Fall In”

  1. Oh my goodness Jen – this gives me all the feels!!! So well written. Sending you big hugs, and a reminder (though you don’t need another one, cause Maggie hooked you up) to give yourself a break. Momming is HARD – and you ROCK!!!!!! xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hang in there my friend, being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world! I’m sorry you’re having a bad time, things will get better though😊 Sending you good vibes🌸🌈❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jen,

    I finally fired up my slower than molasses desktop with the intention of writing a proper comment to one of your posts. And suddenly I’m struck with “now….what was I going to say???? I had lots saved up to say….I’m sure it was important, too…” (I’m rolling my eyes at myself)

    First of all, thank you for the bravery and time it takes to post your thoughts and experiences. I know is isn’t easy on both fronts, so I do appreciate it.

    So. What in the hell was I going to say? Lord knows there have been plenty of times when I have Connect up on my damn cell phone and think “I wish it was easier to respond” – and here I sit.

    Today is day 28 without alcohol. Again. For me. I vowed to take June “off” because, although May was a relative “success” on the booze front, towards the end I spent at least a few days on the sauce. And, I’m not talking the “oops I had two glasses of chardonnay with dinner” sauce. I’m talking, all the vodka seltzers I could drink. And, I ended in the same predicament as always. Wondering, Why? Or more like, WTF? I’ve asked myself this routinely over the years and now my husband asks along with me. Bless his patient heart.

    I had always been a social drinker. When I joined the prosecutor’s office I left last year over a decade ago, going out with everyone after work for happy hour was just something “everyone” did. I’d like to think I was successful. I worked my ass off; I did a lot of trials; I kept my shit pretty much together. Somewhere in there (early on) I went through my second divorce. I had a couple of other subsequent relationships that were not healthy and experienced a building resentment that I’d never have kids because I wasn’t finding the right man. SO MUCH flawed thinking went on in my 30s. Holy shit. And NONE of it was helped by booze. It’s probably safe to say that I drank every night. Back then, it didn’t even occur to me that drinking had become a crutch and sure as hell kept me from progressing spiritually or in any other way aside from feeling some false sense of camaraderie with people who (turns out) don’t really give a shit about me anyway (to digress – after leaving last year I remain friends with one woman – she recently told me about a conference “they” all went to that entailed drunken sex, an assault, lots of nudity and even an arrest….yah….prosecutors…people I once thought were my friends).

    Anyway. This is already getting long. About 6 years ago I met my current husband. He is in law enforcement and he has two kids. My life changed drastically. I went from hanging out at the pub with my “friends” after work, to coming home to a house over an hour away from my office. I worked 10 hours a day and commuted over two hours. And, at the time, my husband worked nights. There were times I’d accuse him of marrying me just to keep his kids (he has primary custody). So, he’d leave for work at 5:30pm and I’d hurry to get home at 7. I’d try to take care of these kids who couldn’t STAND me (and, for the record, their mom high tailed it to California with a new man long before I was in the picture – so, there was no “you stole our dad” bs going on….at least with any merit). Once I’d get into our room – alone, but for my precious cats, who have seen it all – I’d drink. A lot. It was my treat. It was the only time during the day that I exhaled. I remember one night digging around the house for alcohol and I found my husbands Crown Royal. I drank it until I passed out. He came home from work around 4am and there I was. Talk about humiliating. And things progressively got worse. I gained 40 pounds; started to hide my drinking; snuck Halloween candy, etc.; and basically had a second life happening in our bedroom when the kids went to bed from 8pm onward. Just writing about it actually makes me feel excited. I found such comfort in those few hours each day; I was preoccupied with those hours when I was at work and driving home. “I just need to make it to 8pm, get the kids in bed – and I can have ME time.” (another eye roll) Why does it still bring me joy that I know is unattainable and unhealthy? Talk about chasing the dragon….good grief.

    There’s so much more to it and I realize it’s probably a stretch if you’ve made it this far. 😉 For now, we are raising his 13 year old son and 16 year old daughter. He works days now, which has been an immense benefit for our family. Unfortunately, I still go to alcohol to escape at the end of the day sometimes (and sometimes the middle of the day….or even earlier). A week or so ago he was called out and the first thing I thought was “oh YES!!!!! I can open a bottle of wine!!!! Woohoooo!!!!” Then I thought “what in the hell is wrong with you?!?!” It became such a pattern that even when I haven’t had alcohol for weeks it’s my default. (I didn’t open a bottle)

    When I’m not drinking – it do have a hard time filling in the emotional blanks. Today being an example. I am in a funk for NO reason. I keep asking myself what the hell is wrong…. I don’t know the answer. But, not to sound cliché, I know the answer is not at the bottom of a bottle. Or the bottom of a carton of ice cream. And, our bar is stocked to the gills; our freezer has at least 4 cartons of ice cream in it. I am LEARNING that these things don’t make me feel better. Just the opposite.

    Ok – I will wrap it up. Guess I figured out what to say. 😉 I thought I was going to go into this with either a point or response to what you’ve so beautifully written, so I’m not sure what this diarrhea of the keyboard has actually accomplished. 🙂 This month I have been reading The Magic, which includes writing 10 things that I am grateful for and why each day. I have listed you and #sobersisters more than once because knowing that there is a kindred spirit or two out there makes a difference. It really does.

    Jules

    Liked by 1 person

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