I burned the frozen vegetables.
I burned the frozen vegetables because my dog was insanely barking and I had to put her in her crate upstairs and then my toddler was crying and asking me to read a book and I’m worried about my husband who contracted Hand Foot and Mouth and it’s two days before we are flying out on a business trip and I’m 7 months pregnant and I’m tired and I’m worried about the taxes and paperwork I have to file for our new business and my toddler has a mystery rash on the back of his legs and literally everything that could go wrong has gone wrong as we have set up our new business and my dad just had heart surgery and the construction on our hard cider facility has taken forever and the equipment doesn’t fit and I had a minor procedure that is no big deal except it’s in an irritable spot that hurts when I move (or when the toddler pokes it) and our garage door is broken and the people can’t come to fix it forever and my brain is only functioning at like 10% because I’ve got major mommy brain and I can’t remember anything and I’ve got a marketing client who needs constant attention and the toddler is throwing spaghetti all over my freshly cleaned house and the damn commercial dishwasher at our facility isn’t working and I can’t get their support on the phone and I didn’t finish that newsletter for that other client and my desk is a mess and I need to finish the laundry before our trip and I have to get groceries for my in-laws who will be watching our toddler so we can go on the trip and my husband is sick and sad and stuck at the facility for hours to try to make the kegging system work before we leave and my ankles are so freaking swollen and I could keep going. I really could.
And as I stood in front of the sink staring at now-burned peas and carrots I was making because it was easy and stress-free when everything else was stressing us out, I cried.
And my toddler says “Mama, is ok?” And I croak out “yes baby, everything is fine.” But it’s so far from fine. Everything is stressful. Everything. So overwhelming.
And this isn’t the first time, either. It’s only the most recent one. Like when you wake up to pee at 3:30am and instead of slipping back into sleep, your pregnant brain suddenly remembers the 32 emails you forgot to respond to, that you never texted your cousin back when she asked for advice, oh and the toddler is out of nap diapers at daycare… don’t forget… and you stay awake… and then you finally slip into sleep 15 minutes before you have to get the toddler up for daycare and he throws his oatmeal on the dog and you yell at him to just GO POTTY NOW because we are late and carry him like a football to the car without shoes on and you just sit in the driver seat tearing up, again. Or or or… there are a million examples.
I try my hardest not to let the kiddo see it. But he does. And he loves me anyway. He grabs a towel and helps me clean up the water I spilled singing his toddler “clean up” song. He says “Mama, I love you so so much.” And that brings tears to my eyes for a different reason.
There is no moral here. There is no happy ending. But it’s not an unhappy ending either. It’s a tumultuous middle. These are my monkeys. This is my circus. (And I love that, especially knowing how hard it was to get here). There are more bags of frozen veg in the freezer and this time I make them in the microwave so my sick husband can eat and feel better. And I snuggle the toddler and read an extra page of Harry Potter before he says “I love you mama. Love you baby sister” (to my tummy). And we go to bed to recuperate for another day.
Talia Davis Haykin is a Denver-based freelance writer, social media strategist, and reformed actor. She is also the mom of a (very handsome) little boy and pup, Soba Schnoodle. In her free time (ha) she and her husband grow thousands of pounds of food each season and make award-winning hard apple cider. She also occasionally blogs at Talia, She Wrote.