Usually it starts with a screech or a cry. The sound could also just as commonly be a bang or a scratching surface. It could be the sound of a rip. It could be a quiet moment when a nag enters my brain. Worry, anxiety, what is he doing? I wonder. What destruction.
Yesterday had started good. A hike around the Lake, although there were too many mountain bikes zipping by. My mask wearing was fine, hot and sweaty, but fine. Keeping masks on the kids was not possible. I was also consumed with judging and analyzing the mask etiquette and effectiveness in general. I wondered how much it mattered as we hiked around the lake. Especially since most people wore bandanas or their masks were half on half off. I missed my deep breathing relaxation. There was also the complaining by the kids which caused the frustration of my husband. I need a hike on my own, a long hike where there’s no mountain bikes and very few people. Maybe I’ll wake up at 5AM next Saturday. I’ll sneak out and go for a hike. I’ll be back by 8 or 9. That would be awesome.
Anyhow yesterday: The rest of the day was stressful. There was cleaning to do, house projects, there was a general anxiousness in our home. But as the dishes were washed, the fridgerator cleaned, the dinner made, the helping of projects my husband was working on, all showers taken, T.V. watched, it was time for bed. I pulled my sheet back. There was a wet spot with white. I noticed the bed was a bit tussled and I had made my bed that morning. I knew a kid had been near. Earlier Jack had gotten extremely upset because he didn’t get the amount of chips he thought he should get. My husband called Jack over. We knew he was the culprit. What is this my husband asked angerly. Spit Jack said. I was so upset.
Moments before at Storytime I opened the book and on the first page there was the word POOP written in pen. The night before Jack had a pen and I had specifically told him not to write in books with a pen. I had cut storytime short because my mouth couldn’t speak the words. It was like I was drugged. I couldn’t speak. Then I found spit on my sheets and had to change the sheets.
I can’t believe how hard I’ve tried these past five months to be a good parent and a good housewife. I sacrificed my writing and studio practice. But the sink is always full of dirty dishes. Even with my huge sacrifices I still never do a good enough job at anything. Literally every meal I make someone in the family will complain about something. I keep trying to get better. I’ve been mediating and organizing, purging and trying to make a nice home. When I’m tired I get no break. I keep answering the calls, mom, jen, jenny, jenny hynes all day long. Often out of the three others who live in this house two at least are calling for my attention at one time. Sometimes all three. Then one or two or all three get upset with me and think I’m ignoring them. I get blamed for the situation.
As hard as it will be I must be strong and get back into my studio. I must get alone time where I’m not under pressure by other humans to do something for them. And I still have a hard time justifying it for myself. I have a hard time believing I deserve time where I’m not being a productive parent and housewife. Like my energy should first go to the homemaking. During a pandemic no less. But I’m not a martyr.