It was 11:30 at night and I was in my kitchen mixing up a batch of sweet potato muffins for my daughter’s classroom (guidelines for birthday celebrations involved bringing a snack that was as “nutritious as possible,” and I was bound and determined to deliver). I’d already spent most of the night working after a full day of mothering, our sink was full of dishes, our bedroom full of baskets of laundry that had yet to be folded, and all I wanted to do was lay down, preferably right in the middle of the floor, and cry.
But I finished baking the muffins.
I know I’m not taking good care of myself, but self-care when you’re working full-time, parenting a toddler and eight months pregnant is. A. Joke.
I try, I really do. But even when I force myself to lay down and take a nap, at least 60 percent of the time I end up lying in bed fretting over all of the things I’m not doing. I don’t get out of bed, mind, because I lack the will and energy to actually do them, and I don’t want my husband to stop offering me a break because of my inability to actually take one. He doesn’t need to know that when I can’t sleep I just play Candy Crush.
Still, last week I had a morning to myself and he treated me to breakfast. I had every intention to write or edit or get caught up on something, but instead, I ordered the three things on the menu that looked the most delicious and nursed an iced coffee while reading a book. Those two blissful hours got me through the rest of the week.
I have four weeks, give or take, before baby comes, and while I have a very long list of projects I’d like to complete before that happens, I think I ought to just write “me” on there a dozen times or so to even things out. Because it won’t get any easier with two, and I probably won’t get any better at learning to relax.
But with Miss E in school three days a week, at least I can cluster feed a newborn while watching Netflix on my couch. I’ll take it.