I was talking to girlfriends today about how I lost my mind last night. I was yelling at everyone in my house, crying and carrying on. There were a multitude of stressors but the final straw was a glass of milk, set on the counter, instead of emptied and rinsed.
They kindly reminded me that I am not crazy — my feelings are real, valid and pretty normal. Still, I felt a little unsettled by my reaction to something seemingly frivolous. I don’t want my daughter growing up around a mom who can’t express how she feels appropriately and so I nailed down a few things.
Ask for help early on
I didn’t ask for help until I couldn’t ask nicely. We all know it wasn’t the milk curdling on the counter that did me in. It was the eightth load of laundry. It was making the dog’s yearly vet appointment. It was looking for my daughter’s missing soccer socks.
I could’ve asked one of the other capable members of my household to chip in but instead I defaulted to subscribing to the notion that I can do it all better, faster, easier. Which brings me to my next point…
I thought I could do it all. This is important: You can do it all — but not all at once. One of the greatest parts of aging for me has been the realization that I can say, “I can do this but that means I cannot do that.”
Whether that means saying to the soccer coach, no, I actually can’t get snacks tonight. Or telling my colleagues that I need someone else to make the copies — I have to advocate for myself. And say “no.”
I expected everyone to see things how I see them: the shoes by the door and the mildew on the shower and yes, the milk on the counter. They all feel like personal insults when you think your spouse is purposefully ignoring them or leaving them for you to do.
But I am slowly learning that these things are not triggers for my husband like they are for me — and I can’t expect him to feel as anxious to handle them. If I ask him to help, he will but he is unlikely to feel compelled, on his own, to scrub the shower because it just doesn’t bother him.
This is probably the hardest thing for me to accept but in doing so, I can recognize that I am the only one who feels suffocated by a half-full laundry bin and so I can relieve that feeling by tossing it in the washer or I can give myself permission to go to bed knowing the world is not ending and my spouse isn’t purposefully spiting me. It’s pretty freeing.
Listen to your body
I didn’t listen to my body. Hormones are a real and powerful thing. But even if you don’t regularly start crying at Pampers commercials, you are still bound to feel out of whack every now and again. Maybe you aren’t eating well, slept terribly or just straight up have PMS. Whatever it is, it impacts your mood and it’s good to slow down and question if it’s contributing to your tirade.
Originally posted to © CharlotteFive