Dear Future Melisa,
Happy freaking birthday! I suppose I should feel some overwhelming joyous tingle but honestly, not many people take a break from their day job on their birthday, me included. I’m a stay home mom even on my birthday. So today I’ve wiped butts and noses, feed other people meals and snacks, ran some errands, been hit in the head with a tea pot (Mrs. Pots to be exact), picked up after the kids, did some laundry, and thought about what to make for dinner. My gifts are not a surprise, they are specifically what I have asked for, though I am excited to receive them. One of which is a hedge trimmer, which I did ask for. I know, right? What the hell is wrong with me? Why do I ask for a freaking hedge trimmer for my birthday? Because we need one, and because I really just want a vacation or a break or some help. Which is out of the picture with three little ones and one income.
How about some time with my husband that doesn’t cost $15 an hour or involve us being a referee to the kids?
Things will get easier as the kids get older. Something I tell myself almost daily. I won’t always have a kid attached to my hip and another one who can’t reach the sink to wash her own hands. They will grow. Thank god. I hear these mothers of older kids screaming at me “It will go by so fast! You’ll miss it!” and to those moms, I roll my eyes. You don’t remember it. Like when you had the baby and labor was horrible, then in a few months you start to forget how horrible it was, and suddenly another baby seems possible.
The kids are my joy and my trap. Freedom is not in my vocabulary. I can’t even walk to the mailbox without taking a parade with me.
Melisa of the future, I hope you are still hanging in there. There are good days and bad, but that’s life, and any circumstance could tell you the same. I have started to write a novel that I am now questioning its direction. Good lord girl, do you really want to start over? Maybe, it’s not like I’ve gotten very far.
I try to get friends together and 4 out of 30 can come. Gone are days of spontaneity, unless you count the stomach bug. I can’t take a shower without someone staring at me and knocking on the glass door, asking me to open a bag of Goldfish. Sometimes a shower beer is in order.
Nap time is my peace, if the kids don’t nap I have zero break. Right now as I write this Sloane is talking in her crib, I’m hoping she talks herself to sleep. I love her in my arms, but not 24/7. Meadow is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the Hot Diggy Dog song is on. I guess peace is rarely an option. I’m so jealous my husband has a 2-hour drive home and gets to listen to the radio or even the thoughts in his own head. I hear kids fighting, crying, asking me to look at them, and just the word MOM while I’m trying to get dinner together plays 100 times. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.
Today you turn 41. How the hell did that happen? When I turned 40 I was ready to conquer the world. Turning 41 just seems like another day.
Say something good, something really positive! Okay. I am making steps to a future career that will be good for me. I have made leaps and bounds in my soul searching mission. I no longer blame others for my anxiety, I also no longer put shame on myself. I’m not afraid to tell people I am anxious and that I have sought help for it. I am stronger. I’m thin-ish, yeah I said it. I’m at a good happy weight and my butt looks good in jeans, I think. My kids are healthy and happy and hilarious and creative and I soak that in. My husband is thoughtful and attractive and I love him, even when he forgets things, which is all the time. Or even when he actually buys me a hedge trimmer for my birthday, even though I asked for one.
I love to write, I have my first paying writing job, albeit through a friend, it still feels good.
I won’t be dancing on a bar tonight and pouring shots into the mouths of others. I won’t be trying to bump and grind my way across a dance floor or sturdy myself to pee with both hands on the stall walls. I won’t be shutting the place down and looking for an after party. I won’t be bumming cigarettes because I’m out or I’ve tried to quit again. I won’t be eating breakfast at 11am because I had the luxury of sleeping in. I won’t wake up on my friend’s couch with a sore neck and drool marks on their throw pillow.
I will be opening a Guinness as soon as my husband walks home with our sushi order. Let him put the kids to bed, while I do anything else. Watch half of a movie before we want to fall asleep. Read a book until my eyes close and the last two pages are forgotten. I will wake up probably once or twice throughout the night to see if someone had a nightmare or if the baby has a wet diaper. I will sleep until about 6:30am, at which time my husband might let me “sleep in”, this involves me hiding in the room while I hear the horror of breakfast decisions going round.
Saturday, if the weather permits, I will have a fire with the few friends who could come. I’m a lot of fun, or at least I used to be, I think I still am.
I’m okay with no one reading my blog, especially long rambling ones. This is for me. A notable email to myself on my birthday. To be opened again next year on 4/17.
Hopes: I hope you (future Melisa) have found a bit more balance and adventure. I hope your family is still happy and healthy. I hope you have written a book, even if it’s not the one you had planned.
PS. Don’t get rid of your fat pants, you know you’ll be back one day.