My life has become so overwhelming that I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m not talking about the suicidal version of not giving a fuck, I’m more of the version where you don’t shower for days, the laundry is piled up on the spare bed, and household budgeting is reduced to crossing your fingers and hoping there’s money in the account whenever you swipe the debit card.
I watch my two year old daughter as she plays, and if it doesn’t involve tormenting the dog by hiding her chew toys in out of reach places, it usually involves some sort of domestic work. Ruthie loves to sweep, and if she was about five pounds heavier she would love to push the vacuum around, too. She’ll spend oodles of time caring for her doll, laying her down on a clean blanket, lifting her legs in the air, wiping the doll’s ass, and she’ll even attempt to put a real diaper on it. Don’t even get me started on her obsession with cleaning surfaces with a wash cloth – she will intentionally spill water just so she can clean it up.
It’s funny how, at two years old, we loved to do these things. Tea parties were fun and we got dressed up in our white gloves and garden hats.
At what point does this all become a horribly dreaded chore? When does the joy become divorced from the task? Does Bree find any more pleasure in her daily grind than Lynette, or does she simply suppress the dread more cleverly?
I never meant for life to be so complicated. Was I just being naive? Is complication inevitable? Have I allowed too much to enter my life or is this the way it’s supposed to be?
I really felt that as a single person I was pretty non-romantic about the way life would be with a husband and kids. The extent of my fantasy was that my kids would sit quietly in the family room as we watched some brainy show on t.v. like Nova or Frontline, and we would have long and interesting conversations about the Milky Way Galaxy or the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. One season of King of the Hill and Celebrity Poker Showdown nipped that dream in the bud.
So instead of the tea party and white glove dream, I over-multi-task my day in order to get it all done to the point where I scream at my kids, they cry, and my daughter learns to say, “Mommy, sit! Mommy, sit!” And even THAT annoys me.
I just want it to stop. If it’s not possible to lay in bed all day with the covers over my head, then how do I get motivated to get up in the morning? How do I face the piles of paperwork and laundry and dishes and blah blah blah? If I choose to lower my standards and just let some things slide, will I be a Christian who sucks?
The Christian Culture says to “let go and let God,” that we find joy in our work because we are doing so unto the Lord, that serving my husband and children is a role I need to cherish. I know there are verses for all that.
But what the fuck does that mean when I can’t get out of bed?
Am I a Christian who sucks if my husband can’t find any clean underwear? Am I a Christian who sucks if the unopened mail is stacking up on the dining room table? Am I a Christian who sucks if I don’t get the dishwasher emptied until four in the afternoon?
Do I need to repent? Does anyone have a users manual that will tell me HOW to “let go and let God” and make it all happen?
I’m not asking for bon bons and soap opras, but there has got to be a way to do the things that need to be done while still enjoying my life and my daughter. Currently I feel as if I have to make a choice between nurturing my daughter and getting things done. Any parent who’s been there knows how demanding a two-year-old can be, and as I read more on the subject of raising toddlers, the more I feel comforted that I’m not alone.
As of late, if given the choice between resting or getting something done when I have both the kids napping at the same time, I choose REST. I put my feet up, grab a book, and if the gods are smiling on me I get to snooze for 20 minutes.
Does that make me a lazy Christian who sucks? To which I say, I don’t give a fuck.