It’s been awhile, huh? Though June is always a notoriously busy month here, my recent absence isn’t due to just a kid-crammed calendar…
…but due to a broken laptop.
Because, you know,
I’ll share what went down to make a point that I think is relative to many parents out there- moms in particular.
Recently I had committed more of my time to my social media business, & have been battling against the naturally chaotic flow of our lives here in order to maintain it. Finding “spare” moments can be challenging at best, so I’ve been determined to keep plugging away at it, since it’s a passion of mine.
Picture It: After dropping the kids off to school one morning, I settled #6 down with some toys, brewed a fresh cup of coffee, & opened my laptop. It was a moment of tranquil, enthusiastic productivity.
(Note I said “was”.)
Moments into my writing, #6 decided to hop up & give me a hug. And hugs from #6, while delicious, also occasionally involve personal injury, so as he jumped over, I attempted to put my not-yet-sipped cup of coffee down.
(Note I said “attempted”.)
In fairness, #6 didn’t see the cup as he went in for a hug, & in a flash, coffee splashed.
It instantly soaked into the couch cushion, the side table, my clothes, and on my LAPTOP.
I’d like to say that I handled it maturely.
I’d like to say that, but if I DID say that, then I’d be lying.
I jumped up, yelling. Poor #6 began crying, probably because he knows that Mommy loves him, but also loves her coffee AND her laptop a lot.a lot. a lot.
It was one of those potentially picturesque “perfect” life moments, until it wasn’t, because real life is messy.
And the situation got messier when I checked the laptop after cleaning up the coffee. It seemed ok- at first. Until I tried to type. Out of the 26 letters in the alphabet, only 16 were functional. So unless I wrote posts excluding most vowels, various punctuation, & oh, right an INTERNET connection, because that was broken, too, then it was a no-go.
So I did what any self-respecting, mature mom would do:
I cried. A real ugly-cry.
Sort of like THIS:
(Note: Contains profanity. But SO spot-on!)
Comedian Dane Cook- Video Courtesy of www.youtube.com
You’ve had those moments, too. A moment when you feel you give your all, but it feels like there’s nothing left for YOU. You can’t have anything for yourself, it seems, especially nice things.
Whether rational or not, it’s that moment when you feel like you pour yourself out for everyone else, but also want to be yourself/do thing for yourself/invest in yourself, and face a tsunami of obstacles (and coffee).
A broken laptop is a serious issue for someone working exclusively online, & with one family income, buying a replacement simply wasn’t an option.
The Captain happened to get a bonus, & insisted that we spend a reasonable portion of it on buying a replacement.
Now I say reasonable because our interpretation of the word differs greatly. To The Captain, reasonable is an amount that will supply a decent laptop.
To me, a reasonable amount to spend on something for myself is….. NOTHING.
I readily invest everything I am into everyone… except MYSELF.
As parents, we accept that sacrifice is an integral part of the job. We put the needs of those we love first, because… we love them. And that is a good thing.
What’s not so good is when we become so absorbed with putting everyone else first to the constant exclusion of our own needs.
I played the Martyr Mom role for a long time. I had grown so accustomed to making sure everyone I love had what they needed to the point that a sense of misplaced guilt kicked in if I spent money on myself, or relaxed longer than I “should”. My expectations of myself were set far higher than they were for anyone else.
So, back to the laptop. I fretted over the decision to buy another one, thinking of a million reasons why we shouldn’t. And The Captain finally summed it up nicely,
“It’s like a teacher not having lesson plans, or a baseball player without a glove. You need the tools. It’s an investment- in yourself.”
We invest in the lives of those we love. And we need to invest in ourselves, too. Because my social media work isn’t just work- it’s also a passion of mine. It’s fun. It allows me to have something that’s “mine”, in the midst of taking care of so many other people.
Maybe this is a blatantly obvious concept to most people. But if you’re feeling excessively frustrated, limited, and/or discouraged, it’s possible that you’re not cutting YOURSELF some slack while making everyone else’s lives easier.
New laptop’s been acquired, & I’m so happy to be using it to continue connecting with all of you. Lots of humor ahead!
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