Selfless vs Selfish {motherhood}

Over booking my life is one of my many talents.

Some days I get real tired of being selfless. That never ending loop of giving and giving without question. Without thanks. Then when I try to grab a little life for myself that age old question pops up time and again, "What type of mother would I be if I didn't (insert task here)?". There are days that I just want to be me. Megan. The gal I used to be. I want to be able to do something without interruption, without delay. There are some days that I'm just not capable of being any more selfless than I already am.

Thursday was one of those days.

Thursday was the kind of Thursday that the saying TGIF was created.

I've had Thursday the 31st of March booked for the better part of two weeks. It included Spring Pictures, and extra session of dance class, Girl Scouts and a mammogram. For the most part I had all of those on lock. I was well prepared for a busy day, but with the exception of morning drop off, I'd be busiest in the afternoon. So I decided to buy myself a birthday gift and purchase an online class on structuring a novel.

Bravo, you might say, well let me tell you why this class is so important. I've written a short story of about 5000 words and now I'm at a loss at what to do with it. This class was going to give me the guidance I needed and most importantly, I was going to get a personal critique. Very important because the only people who have ever reviewed my work know me personally. My mom and my BFF think everything I do is fabulous. Insert a laugh out loud here.

I registered two days before, because I like to wait until the last possible moment, and I was excited and pumped to take a class for my craft. Finally, doing something for me and for what may possibly be a future as a writer.

I would have enjoyed every minute of that class too, if my oldest hadn't run her knuckles into the door jam of my bedroom door at full speed Wednesday afternoon.

I'll stop here and say, I know that shit hurt. I heard the hit, I saw her face, she cried a lot. I also saw the swelling. After the tears, the ice, and the fact that she could not hold a pencil Wednesday night or Thursday morning, it was pretty clear that she was not going to school and she probably needed x-rays.

Fantastic. Without the trip to Children’s here was the day’s schedule:

Kids to school by 8:20
Spring pictures to happen at some point in the school day
Megan to breakfast and lounge until online class
Online class 10-11:30
Girl Scout store trip from 12-1 (that still has to be made)
Insert Mother In Law to pick up kids at 2 and 3:15
Lunch at Whole Foods 1-2; also to kill some time
Mammogram 2:30
Mother in Law to take Caitlin to dance at 3:45; mom to follow after mammogram
Dance to end at 4:30
Dinner between 4:30 and 5:45
Girl Scouts 6-7:30
Bath, Bed, Grey’s Anatomy

I was well aware that this was a full day, and that any deviation was going to send me over the edge. I had it scheduled within an inch of it’s life. Let’s just say that when I realized that I was going to have to scrap most of that schedule for a trip to the emergency room, I was less than pleased. In my Husband’s defense, he did offer to take Caitlin to the ER, but it would most likely be later that morning, he had to shuffle a few things for work. And normally I would be just fine with that, but between the mammogram and the dance that afternoon, I wasn’t sure we would make it. Children’s ER tends to fill up after eleven in the morning. I also knew the sooner we knew if it was broken or not we could get on with our lives. A broken hand means that we can’t move it, use it to write with, go to dance. A hand that is just badly bruised means we walk it off, go on with life, and take another Advil.

This is also the point in this story where I got bitter. Where I realized that there is no use in planning anything when you have kids. Moms plan and God laughs hysterically. It was the point where I realized that sometimes being selfless sucks ass. The point where I realized that nice moms always finish last and eat cold eggs for breakfast and have to wipe someone else’s ass in the middle of dinner.

Did I rant and rave a little? Of course. Did my children notice? Of course they did. Did the guilt set in? Duh. Especially when Caitlin noticed I was looking at the clock while we waited for her x-ray results and said,

“Sorry you had to miss your class, Mom”

Well, shit.

I’ll admit that I was watching the clock, thinking about that online class that was going to save my novel (in my mind only, the only thing that is going to save that damn thing is for me to sit down and actually work on it.), I was less bitter and a little defeated. I told her it was fine. That her hand was way more important than some class; that I’d receive the class by email in a few days so I wouldn’t really miss it. I told her that it was kind of fun to cut class with her in the ER, which lucky for us, was incredibly quiet for a Thursday morning. We also were able to grab a Chick Fil A brunch, which was a treat because it’s rarely just the two of us.

That day played out pretty much the same way after the 2:30pm mammogram. We were busy as all get out. Caitlin suffered through with an ice pack and Motrin every six hours. She was able to rehearse for Saturday’s dance competition, and we were even able to make scouts. At some point I’m pretty sure we ate dinner. We brushed our teeth before bed, I think, but don’t quote me. They fell asleep pretty quickly, leaving me with Grey’s and Scandal on the DVR. When I finally fell asleep I wasn’t bitter. Not even a little.

I go days where I am selfless. That’s new for me. I’m a spoiled only child. Motherhood requires me to do things I once thought were impossible, like for example, putting myself last. For the most part, I don’t mind. Not really. I love my girls and would do just about anything for them. I can be selfless, I can put their needs before mine, I do a pretty great job of that. It’s one of the things in motherhood that I do well. Still, every once in awhile, there is this part of me that just wants to be me. A part of me that just wants to do what I want. Take a class, eat candy without sharing, pee alone. Some days that selfish part of me takes over, makes me feel bitter, makes me feel like I’m missing me.

Did I over book what would have been just an average Thursday? Absolutely. Do I regret it? No. Not really. I survived March 31st, 2016, with just the right mix of selfless and selfish. I realized that even when it sucks, sometimes I have to be both. A little selfless for the kids, a little selfish for me. Even on the days that blur together, and I almost forget who I am and what I look like, I get little reminders that the old me is still here.

Bitter and selfish when things don’t quite go her way. It happens. To me anyway.

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