Thursday, March 21, 2013

Target Therapy

I have some friends, who will remain nameless (you know who you are, you brats!) who make me feel bad about myself.  They don't mean to...but somehow they are able to be with their children, run a business on the side, get dinner on the table, keep a clean house, exercise and even SHOWER DAILY.  I swear they have a nanny and chef locked in their basement...or maybe they are locking their children in their basements?  I see others and think....they are doing it all, why can't I get my crap together?

Today Abigail and I went to Target.  As I strolled the kids clothes, I over hear two moms talking.  Both are wearing babies tucked tight to their chests (yea for baby wearing)...the first says "I have lost myself.  I don't think it is good for anyone - me, the kids, my poor husband - to have me feel like this"....the second "I feel the same way, but who has the time for themselves? I need to figure out something, too".

I could not resist talking to them. They smiled when I approached and said "I was eavesdropping and just had to say - I am right there with y'all".  They also had older toddlers and we laughed about how we all feel this way.  I told them I was just commenting to my husband the day before that I felt like I was bored and disenchanted with myself lately and need something beyond being a mom (note I said disenchanted with myself,  not my beautiful family). One talked about how she had friends who had "other" things in their lives and she just didn't know how they did it. I could not have related more.

We talked about how we want something "else" in our lives but they only times we have are evenings and weekends.  The first gal commented "but in the evenings I am just trying to feed the family and get the kids down. then I am too exhausted for anything else" and the second woman said "...and the weekends you feel guilty to be away because you are cutting into family time".  We all kind of stood there for a moment in silence and agreement....there seemed no  real solution.  I excused myself and told them to have a great day and when they figured the secret out, please broadcast it as a commercial on Disney Junior because that would be the only way I would see it and we parted ways with smiles of encouragement to one another.  

I continued to the check out line where I was SURROUNDED by moms with screaming kids.  I held Abigail on my hip as she had decided she was done with the basket and I saw many other moms doing similar juggling moves with babies and toddlers.  I teased a poor bachelor guy in front of me buying deodorant  coffee creamer and English muffins telling him that he must not have heard that you get 10% off if you bring a toddler on Thursdays.  He laughed and said he wondered if he had missed some sort of memo.

It felt wonderful to be surrounded by others wrestling the same issues I am.  It was like attending a support group meeting.  We all looked a bit tired, and I felt accomplished as I was at least showered and dressed in real clothes - many were in sweat pant outfits.  Sometimes getting out of the house feels like a big feat and at times it really is.....I felt very much a part of the sisterhood...we all had a small victory that day getting out of the house and an errand run.  We all deserved a pat on the back or at least an offer to help us to our cars (which of course Target doesn't do - they also only had 3 lanes open, are you kidding me?).

I realized all those women who I visited with and smiled at in the check out lines, probably have friends who think they are "doing it all" and yet they don't feel that way about themselves.  Sometimes even just a few words with strangers makes me remember I am not alone in my quest to find that balance of mom, wife and self.  It was therapeutic in reminding me I need to be forgiving of the fact that (as my smart husband reminds me all the time ) "it is just that time of life".

I left Target actually energized and a bit refreshed...usually I just feel tired and ready to stop wrestling the kids.

Oh and be forewarned, Target therapy ain't cheap.  I went into Target for a new backdoor mat.  I walked out feeling encouraged for $236.58 (and no door mat).