it’s getting real.

I have been really proud of the way I’ve moved away from using this blog as a place to vent, but I also don’t want to paint a picture of rainbows and sunshine.  There are brilliant, shining, soft moments of snuggling my son, showing him off in public, capturing his beauty in pictures, listening to Ben make him giggle in the way that only his daddy can.  That’s mostly what I’ve shared over the past month or so.  I’m leaving out the painful, stressed, harried moments of being late for work, missing deadlines, rushing into grad class with cat hair clinging to the hood of my coat.  Times when there’s not enough money to buy clothes that fit me, so I feel fat and poor and miserable.  Times when I fall down the stairs running the last load of laundry before bed and am so embarrassed and defeated that I literally lay on the basement floor and cry for 5 full minutes.  Times when I am so overwhelmed from work and fussy five o’clock baby and the jealousy of Ben and Milo’s day-long play time that I can’t find the graciousness that my husband deserves from me.

Last week literally all of those things happened to me.  I intended to get to work early EVERY DAY, but Milo would wake up early and I felt torn between spending time with him or getting Ben up, dumping the baby, and getting shit done.  When Thursday came, I ran into class late, only to see people going over drafts of the paper that was due.  The one I hadn’t even started yet.  I did fall down the stairs and I did cry about clothes and my weight, two of the vainest things that I’ve wasted emotion on in awhile.  I had a beyond beautiful weekend with Ben, going to his work party and staying in a hotel room harbor-view suite that my fabulous sister made special for us.  Even that was sandwiched with stress: Ben had to work late and we very nearly missed the dinner portion of the party.  This afternoon, after retrieving the baby and schlupping all our stuff home, I was struck nearly blind with the worst migraine I’ve had in years- Ben had to give Milo his bath and bottle.  I just gained the ability to sit up and instead of grading tests, putting in my Scholastic book order, or folding the clothes or FINALLY WRITING MY GRAD PAPER, I’m writing here.  Because I need to get it out and and I need to get over it.

A couple times I’ve thought “This isn’t fair!”  But it is fair.  It’s my new life.  I’m a working mother who goes to school for a master’s degree that will allow her to to keep the job that provides for her family.  I’m a 26-year-old with a totally new body that created and then delivered a perfect human being only a four months ago.  I’m part of a home-owning family that survives mainly on one salary in order for all of us to be together as much as possible.  I’m all these things and more.  I have a slew of impressive titles and I need to get myself in order and live up to it.

There will be days where everything seems to go right, and there will be days where I am crying on a gritty concrete floor with dirty clothes scattered around me.  Either way, I’m still blessed out of my mind and responsible for a whole new level of performance.  I can obviously do it.  I’ll get on with it now.

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3 thoughts on “it’s getting real.

  1. Ashlie – you are incredible! Not only because you are able to balance being a mama, a wife, a teacher & a student but because you can honestly share what the rough days are like. You can put it all out there, emotionally deal with it and then continue on being this strong and amazing woman!! Know that I am always here if you need anything! :)

  2. My darling girl <3
    I love you more than words can say and I am humbled by the fact that I have
    birthed you. I apologize for the chuckle I got imagining you surrounded by dirty clothing on the basement floor letting it all out. I wish I could say that these challenges are the worst you will have but that wouldn't be true. However, I CAN promise for every tear of frustration you cry there will be many more tears of joy. You have elected to do the hardest job in the world and I promise that it is worth it all!

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