I missed Zumba on Monday, but not because I didn’t want to go.
I really, really wanted to go. I even got dressed in my Zumba zwag at 6 a.m. (for my 5:30 p.m. class)
|Who wouldn’t want to wear this shiz ALL OF THE DAMN TIME?|
But then the day happened.
I had too much work, not enough time, and definitely not enough patience. Darling Husband was sleeping off the night shift so I was with C but I wasn’t really with her. I was working on and off, here and there, between meals and snacks and distracted Barbie sessions.
After we picked D up from the bus, I did more of the back-and-forth routine. Sort-of Mommy, sort-of Writer. I was angry I wasn’t getting to focus on my work. Angry at my husband for daring to SLEEP (Who cared that he’d been up, working, the whole night before? Not me).
I planned to throw quesadillas at the kids, wake him up at 5 p.m. sharp, and fly out the door to my usual Monday class. My therapy! My social time! My sanity!
But by 4:45 p.m., it had occured to me that maybe … I shouldn’t go. Maybe I shouldn’t put myself first today? Maybe I shouldn’t skip out on dinner and miss bedtime and arrive back home after the kids were asleep?
I’d been kind of a sh-tty mother since waking up that morning — and, if I stormed upstairs to wake my exhausted husband, I’d also be a sh-tty wife. As much as I REALLY wanted to leave the house, leave behind my annoying and stressful day, it didn’t feel right.
And so I didn’t go.
I worked another 15 minutes and then closed the laptop. I didn’t wake up my husband. I made quesadillas without rushing. I poured milk. I spooned salsa into the little silicone cups the kids like. I sat down with the kids and we ate slowly together, talking about our days. We packed C’s treasure box for preschool. We did the bedtime routine and I was home to read two stories.
And it felt really, really good.
Normally I’m the first person to argue that stay-at-home parents deserve — no, require — to put themselves first sometimes and get the eff out of the house at the end of a long day. But that’s not always the answer.
Going to Zumba as usual, after the day we had, would have made me feel good in the moment — lights flashing and bass pumping — but awful before and after.
If I’d gone, I literally would not have been D all day except for a passing kiss. I wouldn’t have spent any meaningful time with either of them all day. And I probably would have been snippy with my husband when I woke him up in a hurry so I could rush out the door. Instead, we had time to watch a quick show together before he left for his night shift.
So I missed Zumba. And although I missed Zumba, of course, I didn’t have to miss my family.