I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I have the most uncomfortable mattress. It is so firm, sometimes I’m convinced that I’m sleeping on concrete. I want to buy a pillow-top mattress pad, but I haven’t yet. I’ll add that to my already long to-do list. Being pregnant isn’t helping the sleeping situation. I wake up periodically through the night for no apparent reason and I never used to do that. Plus, I have to keep reminding myself that I must only sleep on my left side and that doesn’t do any favors for my neck and left shoulder.
When I finally give up, usually around 6:30 am, I get out of bed tired. I make the coffee, even though I rarely drink it (due to the baby) and even though I could really use it because I am so tired. I put away the clean dishes in the drying rack from the night before, get myself dressed, and go to work.
Once I get to work, I dive into all the emails and voicemails that came in over night. It’s our busy season so I try to do these before the phones start going berserk. I may sit all day, but my job is mentally exhausting, which, in turn, becomes physically exhausting. Sometimes I feel like it sucks the life from my soul.
After a nearly 10 hour work day, I clock out and head to the grocery store. Yes, I go shopping every day. For some it’s a chore, but I enjoy it. Generally, it is the only time of the day I get to myself and I’m the type of person that needs a little bit of “me-time.” I like to plan interesting meals for my family.
I struggle through the door, grocery bags in hand, cutting off the circulation to my brain, set the bags on the table, and take a look around. I am tired of finding a sink full of dirty dishes when the kitchen was spotless when I left for work. I am tired of seeing half full (or half empty) water bottles strewn about the place. I am tired of dishes not at least being rinsed. I am tired of trying to put the groceries away only to find the fridge and pantry in disarray, even though last nights leftovers were placed away in an organized manner.
Once I get the dishes washed and re-clean the kitchen, I get started on dinner. I review my recipes, make sure I have all my ingredients, and follow the directions. While that is going, I head to my room to make the bed. I know it seems silly to make your bed at 6:30 in the evening, but I feel better when it’s put together. I have a new bed set and I love it so much. As I arrange the pillows and comforter just perfectly so, everything looks so inviting, I want to climb in and make “sheet angels” before I drift off to slumber because I am so tired…
but I am not fooled. I know that bed won’t provide the comfort I am after.
Dinner is looking good, the house is smelling delicious, things are coming together, and I make the table. I start to look around, satisfied. Chaos replaced with normalcy.
My legs are sore and my feet are throbbing. I want to sit on the sofa and stare into space, but I know I’ll just notice the dust bunnies rapidly reproducing on the TV and stand. I’ll notice the floors need to be swept and mopped and that the chair needs my dogs slobber cleaned from the upholstery. I’ll add that to my to-do list. I keep pushing myself, but damn, I am tired.
Jose gets home from work and we all sit to eat. All my careful menu planning, selecting the perfect groceries, meticulously following the recipe directions, and carefully setting the table sometimes seems all for naught. In less than 15 minutes, the meal has been devoured, the table a mess, and a pile of dirty dishes await my washing. I desperately want to leave it all for tomorrow because I am oh-so-tired, but I know I’ll regret it if I don’t, so I do.
Once everything is done, the clean dishes drying on the rack, the leftovers carefully put away in the fridge and pantry, the counters wiped down, and the kitchen spotless, I realize I need to breathe. Just as I am about to give up for the night, throw in the towel, put on my nightgown, settle in for some downtime, and hopefully get some rest, I’m caught off-guard. Maybe it’s a call from my daughter asking for a ride home from work, or a text from my son asking me to take him to Hastings, or my husband telling me about a concert in the park that night and that all our friends will be there.
Honestly, I don’t want to do any of these things. I am tired. I want to lay down, I want to relax. I want to not do anything, but I do. I fluff my hair, slap on my lipstick, hop in the car and go do what I need to do.
I know what you’re thinking. You think I should take some time for myself. You think I should learn to say “no.” You think I should sometimes let those dirty dishes wait until morning or that it’s not so bad to get into an unmade bed.
The thing is, at the end of the day, after I’ve done all these things, my reward isn’t sleep. My reward is the self-satisfaction of knowing what I’ve accomplished. My reward is the hug I get from my child, and the words, “Thank you so much, Mom! I love you.” My reward is laying my head in my husbands lap on the sofa while he massages the knot from my shoulder, even after I’ve drifted off to sleep. My reward is crawling under the covers of my recently made concrete bed, lying down (on my left side only,) me being the little spoon, my husband kissing the back of my neck, his arm around me, caressing my pregnant belly. And you know what?
…I’ll never get tired of that.
I wrote this Saturday and didn’t post it to social media. When I got home, I was exhausted. I did notice the dirty dishes in the sink and I did notice the empty water bottles strewn about the place. I knew I needed to go to the grocery store and I was aware dinner needed to be made. I sat on the bed for a moment and the next thing I knew, it was almost 8pm! Jose had come home, decided to let me nap (said he figured I needed the rest) gone to the store, washed the dishes, cleaned the fridge, made dinner, and handled business. I swear that man knows what goes on inside my head and that is something else I will never get tired of.