Last July I fell apart. Completely. Like, weeping and screaming like a maniac in the car because we couldn’t find a parking space at the community pool and my both kids were crying and I hadn’t slept or eaten and I. Just. Lost. It.
Well, I’d been losing it. It was already lost at that point. You know that mom who drove her minivan into the ocean with her kids strapped inside? That wasn’t me, thank God. Thank God I have an amazing husband, mother, community of friends. I have people who took my by the hand and said “stop. breathe. get help.” And I did. Nevertheless, I had the blues big time. The hormones and the not sleeping and the chaos of trying to get two children out the door to do anything, ever just closed in and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. The only thing that seemed to keep me going was anger and worry. I don’t even know what I was angry about. But boy was I ever angry. At everyone. Mostly at myself for being so damned angry. And sad.
Because I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I have two healthy children and a husband who adores me. I have a fulfilling career that I got to create for myself and it’s far more successful than I’d ever imagined. I get to be home with my kids. We are financially stable and healthy and well. In the grand scheme of things, there is nothing to be angry about.
In fact, people would regularly tell me how great we looked in pictures. How precious the children were. Neighbors would tell us how nice our lawn looked. How cute our front porch looked. How adorable our dog is. How wonderful the cupcakes we brought the the party were…
I felt like I’d helped create this place where everything was tidy and adorable and Pinterest-perfect. And I couldn’t be happy. I could not find a single moment of happiness in my world. Everything I did felt like a lie. And with two small kids in the equation, I couldn’t seem to make anything look perfect anymore. Nothing came out the way I wanted it to. The more I tried the more exhausted and insane I became and the more miserable I made everyone around me.
I finally talked to my OB and started taking anti-depressants. At first that just made me feel like even more of a failure but after a while they helped. It wasn’t overnight. But slowly, I started to accept that there is a difference between perfection and happiness.
There are still moments when I lose my sense of balance and start to feel guilty and stressed about absurd things: Max takes formula now because I lost my breast milk; he’s never worn a single cloth diaper; Lilly’s hair hasn’t seen a bow in months and she watches more Disney Junior than I’d care to admit; our hummus is store-bought. A friend suddenly dropped me and I cannot figure out why. Our family Christmas card photo shoot was a laughable failure. This blog is a like a virtual black eye that I cannot seem to fix. Let’s not even discuss the edible peanut butter play dough incident.
When stuff like this starts to eat at me, I try really hard to recognize the crazy, pull an Elsa and “Let it Go.” It doesn’t always happen but mostly it does. Lots of yoga. Lots of breathing. In January I was able to taper off the anti-depressants. And nearly two months later, I can honestly say I feel happy, mostly. And grateful. Always grateful to everyone in my life. Most of all to my husband and children and dog, for putting up with me and loving me anyway.
I’d like to think I’ll be back here soon with more posts. With mouthwatering pictures of the mini raspberry donuts the kids and I just made for our Valentine”s Day breakfast. To share some of the stunning pics JiT has been taking with his new camera. Or to tell you about my amazing clients’ blogs and the tv segments I’ve been coordinating and the awesome food styling gig I just finished. I hope I do that. But if I don’t. If I’m too tired or too stressed or I just want to play with the kids and be really present for them, I might not get to this. And thats ok. Because my life is not perfect. But I’m trying to make sure its mostly happy.