So young. So wise.
My brain was flipping through the day's agenda, making sure the milk pumping gear was clean and handy, Era's blanket and sheet for daycare were laundered and ready, his pumped milk bottles were sterilized and stowed in their cooler, and my passably ingestible protein shake was packed in my purse.
While whizzing through the kitchen, I placed dishes in the dishwasher then snagged a jacket to hang up because I was going to the closet anyway, to choose the shoes I hoped would be most appropriate for the forecast.
Getting ready for the day
I stood by the door, poised to launch. And I felt, for the first time, a dread. I did not want to come home tonight.
I just didn't want to do this all over again. The millions of decisions, the tiny moving parts that interconnect to keep my family thriving, the crushing minutiae that I never seem to get caught up on.
Even after a weekend spent celebrating my efforts to care for kid and castle, I was drained and frayed and just exhausted.
At the end of a long day
So, like the rational individual I am, I did the only thing I could: had a complete meltdown on my husband, the one person who stands by me in these parenting trenches. It wasn't honorable, but it did feel somehow inevitable.
Quincy is a primo partner and nothing in the sobbing litany I espoused in our little threshold could communicate what was really crushing me: the psychic weight of maintaining everything.
At work, I manage projects with a team, and the work is divided. I am rewarded for my toil. My efforts are applauded and responsibilities awarded incrementally. Believe me when I say that I'm aware of how marvelous and rare that is. And looking at a day of professional challenges followed by a night of thankless exertion was damn near unbearable.
And now, here I sit: pumping milk in a dimly lit executive office, pouring out my heart while pouring out sustenance for my son. And I want to go home. I want to squeeze my boy and joke with my man and all those tiny tasks now seem more than worth the work.
One giggle fit from my kid, and I float through an afternoon. One feisty moment with Quincy can kindle me all evening. Life is extremely hard right now, but it's definitely not devoid of joy. There are dozens of details that I know I will miss terribly. The bottomless adoration of a tiny human and the opportunity to grow deeper in love with my partner. These things are enough.
What can I do?
Apologize to Quincy. Come home. Wash the milk bottles, change the diapers, and nurse the baby in the dead of night.
Then, wake up and do it all again tomorrow.