It’s been another long day of work, child care, home maintenance, family issues, yard work, laundry, errands, food prep – you name it. Finally you are ready to climb those stairs at the end of the night, doing all your last “going to bed” activities: putting the dog out, clearing the table and counters, setting out items for the morning, checking on children, shutting down lights and locking doors. Bone tired, you just want to climb into bed, read 2 pages of a good book before you fall asleep…and suddenly you remember. You stripped the sheets off your bed that morning to put them in the wash.
Raise your hand if you just groaned and said “ugh, I HATE that!”
We R.W.’s can take on big issues all day long… Work deadlines? Bring ‘em on. Family emergency? Traffic control and ambulance mode, we got it. Baby sitter cancellation? Multi-tasking momma’s on it. Spouse loss of job? Ready with compassion & strength. Relationship issues? That’s why we have BFFs and ice cream. Sudden major schedule change? Ready to turn on a dime. We spend a lot of our lives coping with the big stuff “all in a day’s work”. But sometimes, it’s the little things that set us off.
That’s not to say that we don’t know how to not sweat the small stuff. We juggle small stuff in and around the big stuff all the time, never losing our firm grip on our coping skills. But sometimes, when we are just plain worn out, those little things can turn us from Wonder Woman into either the Wicked Witch or Cinderella BEFORE her glass slipper. I call those little things our AYFKM: “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” moments.
Let’s revisit the bed sheet issue. It’s likely that not only is your bed bare and needing to be made up, but you likely have wet laundry still in the washing machine, all the way down in the basement at 11:00 at night. AYFKM?
Or how about when you’ve spent 90 minutes in the grocery store, list and coupons in hand, trudged all the way home to unload and put everything away, only to find out 10 minutes later there was something else the household needed. AYFKM?
For any of a million reasons, you are running late in the morning and need to get to an important meeting. You slide into your car, throwing your bags in the seat next to you then realize your gas tank is on fumes because you neglected to stop for a fill-up last night. AYFKM?
Your bladder woke you at 1:30am, after which per usual your brain kicked in to worry about premature death, global warming, and weight loss. After 45 minutes of restlessness, you finally drift off to sleep. Only to be woken 20 minutes later to the sound of your pet or child puking with no warning. AYFKM?
And therein lies the primary issue that contributes to our downfall. Whenever these moments happen, we are tired. Exhausted. Spent. Stick-a-fork-in-us-done. We have spent our days bravely and powerfully handling major challenges and crises while playing the role of family coordinator until we ourselves are running on fumes like our cars. So in those moments, we are reduced to our alternative personalities and either start cursing like truck drivers, or end up weeping in a bathroom stall.
It’s just gonna happen. After all, ladies, we are always tired. And there’s always going to be some little thing that just for a moment takes us down. But that’s ok, because we can take heart in knowing that at that exact AYFKM moment, there are at least a dozen other R.W’s nearby experiencing the exact same thing.
Then we can pull up our big girl pants, laugh it off (preferably over a glass of wine with a BFF), and vow that the next time, we’ll get out fresh sheets right away. So when we think of the old adage ‘you’ve made your bed, now lay in it’, we can smile and think: Yes. Happily, I will.