I am the person who cares more about cleaning up the dishes rather than cooking a delicious dinner. I cannot think straight if there is clutter or items strung about a room. The idea of a mess or spill not being wiped up eats at me until it is taken care of. I like things to be tidy at all times, and, most importantly, I like them to be done my way. (Now is the time when you should really begin sympathizing for my poor husband. Thankfully, after a decade together, the man has learned my neurosis and is well aware of what he should and should not do in order to avoid a fight.)
So, I did what I always do. I prayed.
Please, God, grant me patience. Something has got to give.
Well, apparently, he heard my request, because I have encountered plenty of circumstances that have tested my patience and my compulsions. Side note: babies are extremely good at creating those situations. So are home renovations.
While living through the chaos that has been ripping out an entire room and then slowly (but surely) piecing it back together, I have undoubtedly been tested. And honestly, I have done much better than I initially thought I would. That is, until about a week ago. I hit my breaking point and I. just. snapped. After cleaning an inch of dust off literally every surface in my house for the THIRD time, I just couldn't do it anymore. We were expecting not one but two sets of house guests over Memorial Day weekend and the place was a disaster. I was exhausted and embarrassed at the thought of having people stay in our home when it was so utterly disgusting that I couldn't stand to be in it myself.
I needed a break.
So I loaded Taylor into the stroller and high-tailed it out of the house as fast as I could. And you know what? Thirty minutes (and a good sweat) later, I returned to the house in a completely different mindset. Yes, the dirt was still there but my attitude about it had shifted. It was no longer a priority and it no longer mattered. I am learning that when things become overwhelming, I need to shift my focus and do something (anything!) else. It helps to put the bigger picture into perspective and keeps me from getting so bogged down with life's mundane tasks.
Since then, things have gotten better.
A testament to that statement came yesterday when Taylor managed to have two of the worst blowouts I have ever encountered (second and third only to the one she had when she was only a few weeks old that ended up in her armpits and on her neck - how is that even possible?!). Following the second blowout and a very thorough wipe down (not to mention a large amount of scrubbing to remove the stains from her clothes), she decided to have a pee free-for-all on the way from her nursery to the bathtub. Fan-freaking-tastic. Nothing tops off cleaning up mounds of shit like toweling up fresh baby pee. But, surprisingly, I didn't fly off the handle. Jake helped mop up the pee, and I proceeded with Taylor's bath. We were well on our way through the nighttime routine when Taylor decided to whack her head on the night stand while attempting to climb out of the recliner (and my arms) as I was rocking her.
Cue. the. tears. And oh, the screaming... Poor thing cannot handle pain.
I eventually managed to settle her down and get her to sleep, and, after everything was said and done, I gave myself a pat on the back for keeping my cool. I may have a long way to go, but I am certainly better than I used to be. And I'm pretty sure I have this babe (and her sweet new shiner) to thank.