I. Am. SICK!
SICK, I tell you!
It’s taking all my focus to look at my laptop screen and tap the keys right now. We’re talking the determined sleep bounce of a crackhead when crossing the street (I’m from the South Bronx, remember?), or the laser-like left/right of a DUI straight line test taker (for all you people with suburban problems).
“I’m not as think as you drunk I am, Occifer!”
I felt fine when I started my day, but by midway though it, I felt achy and tired. I fought it off and kept it together with tea and my office heater. I even popped some echinacea and vitamin C
horse pills. But by the end of my commute home, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I struggled to walk The Dog and flopped on the couch.
Oh yeah…and somewhere in there I managed to make dinner for The Boy and feed The Dog. That’s about it. ::taps out::
And here I am. On the couch. Laptop and tea at arm’s reach.
And here’s where my bitch of an inner voice (lets call her “Mildred”) opens her fat trap: “You know there’s laundry sorted and waiting, right? And what about the dishes? Are you gonna be able to help The Boy study for tomorrow’s midterm? You have to. 7th grade – the high schools will see this year in depth. C’mon. SMH. We have work to do.”
I envision her as all my youth idols rolled into one: an elegant woman in a Donna Reed dress (google it, whippersnappers), Jackie O triple strand pearls, and Claire Huxtable’s wisdom on Lena Horne’s graceful frame, with a hint of Sophia Loren’s plentiful figure. Only her name suggests her drill sargent nature.
You know, I can’t argue with Mildred. She’s helped me through some hard times and reminds me to be my best. As a single mother, Mildred has helped me stay focused on what needs doing for the greater cause of child rearing; she’s talked me into finding that last ounce of energy long after my eyes start to droop and I think I just CAN’T do one more thing in the house or at my office. Deadlines? Mildred’s a beast with those. And true indeed, there’s laundry and dishes with my name on them.
But you know what? Fuck off, Mildred.
::Mildred clutches her pearls::
Yeah I said it. GO FUCK YOURSELF, MILDRED! (I mean, that’s basically what I said, give or take a fuck.)
The world isn’t going to come to a crashing end tonight if there are dishes in the sink tomorrow morning – I asked the Mayans AND the Oreo cookie people! They each consulted their sacred disks and sided with me. Laundry? The Boy and I each have a bazillion pairs of socks and underwear for exactly these occasions. Let those piles sit on my bedroom floor another 24 hours – nothing’s “dirty enough to get up and walk away
yet“, as my grandmother used to say. But hey, laundry, if you are, then walk your happy asses to the laundry room, mmmkay?
And the midterm? Okay, that one’s sticky. But I’m not the one in 7th grade. I keep having to remind myself. I can take a seat in the passenger side – it’s someone ELSE’S job to drive now. I’ve been teaching independence, good study habits, and drive/focus for 12 years now. Something has to have stuck, right?!
::Mildred leaves in a huff::
God, I hope she goes somewhere and gets laid…she’s kinda uptight!
For caregivers, it’s so easy to talk ourselves into coming absolute LAST on the to-do list. Mothers, and single mothers especially, fall into it without a second thought. Whether you’re the primary caregiver for one or for many, don’t forget to take care of YOU, too.
What good are you to anyone else if you’re unwell, physically, emotionally, or mentally? Give yourself permission to be kind and gentle to the you that needs a little repair and rest. It’s normal. It’s human. It’s what you would do for someone you love. Love YOU enough to do it.
The sun will still rise tomorrow if something remains undone; tides will rise and fall;
Beyonce will still have the flyest lacefronts in the game.
So ladies… actually, all my readers, but with a special note to single mothers…tonight, this post is my permission slip to NOT be Superwoman, and instead be a resting woman. And it’s YOUR permission slip too, for whenever you need a reminder to take a break. Print it out and keep it. Share it with someone else who needs it. Cape removal is tough, but worth it.
Echhhh, here comes Mildred. Let her speak one…more…damn…time. Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver. (I’m from the South Bronx, remember?)