It’s a wonderful life… right?!

Oct 31, 2013 by

I know. Wrong holiday. But after a particularly trying night and morning, I found myself texting my husband the following…

I think I need to watch It’s a Wonderful Life tonight because right now I feel a whole lot like George Bailey. BEFORE THE ANGEL CAME.

[Disclaimer: Yes, I know my life is one billion kinds of amazing. I am grateful for it every day. I'm also only human and good GRIEF, I'm spent right now.]

I don’t know if it’s the commute catching up with me (Last night I left work at 4:45pm and pulled into my driveway at 6:15pm.), settling into a new house in a new town with a new mortgage, having two very opinionated little girls or… just LIFE, but I’ve been fresh out of patience lately.

My day is supposed to begin at 5:15am, but most days I can’t get out of bed until 5:45 because, as much as I try, I am just not a morning person. I shower, get dressed, make coffee, pack lunches, get breakfast for the kids, put out their clothes, get them up, fed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, dressed, and load Audrey into Tom’s car for daycare delivery. Nobody wants to brush teeth, Audrey howls like a coyote when I try to TOUCH her hair but guess what, child? I have limits. You can wear pajamas to school but your hair WILL AT LEAST BE COMBED. Then I drive Olivia an hour to school, go to work myself, try to figure out meal plans, make appointments for the dentist, the ENT, hair cuts, well visits, family photos, reservations for anniversary dinners, line up babysitters for PTO meetings, write blog posts, buy Halloween costumes, Halloween candy, winter coats, extra hats, diapers, wipes, new sippy cups, extra socks — where do all the socks go? — laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, special dental flossers, the FAIRY Band-Aids, and groceries… all during lunch break.

I try to get out of work by 4:30 (and my boss is crazy awesome and totally GETS it) so I can pick Olivia up at aftercare, drive 35 minutes to pick Audrey up at daycare where Olivia routinely waits until we are all buckled into carseats/seatbelts to announce that she has to go potty so we have to haul ourselves back inside and wait 10 minutes for her to poop, drive another 30 minutes back home, all the while refereeing the backseat fighting/crying/wailing over being hungry/she’s touching me/she’s looking at me/don’t sing/sing louder/not that song/why can’t we go to the park/I want to go on the playscape/why can’t we have a dog/I want a new sister/why didn’t Auntie pick me up/did you bring a snack/I don’t want this one/why didn’t you bring pretzels/I want candy corn/I hate candy corn/I miss Daddy/are we home yet/WHY ARE YOU CRYING, MOMMY?!

Then we pull into the driveway and we aren’t even in the house before it’s utter chaos. Small people are tired, but refuse to admit they are tired. They want to watch tv or play in the basement or spin around on the office chair or climb furniture or have a dance party or go outside even though it’s pitch black out or have whatever it is that the other one has or ANYTHING OTHER THAN EAT (whatever I’m able to throw together in five minutes and call) DINNER AND TAKE A BATH.

If and when I am lucky enough to corral them upstairs and into the bathroom, Olivia insists she doesn’t have to go potty and Audrey screams over getting undressed. Then they fight over which side of the tub to sit on. There are too many bubbles, the water is too hot, I want that toy, I’m cold, I do have to pee, why aren’t there more bubbles, I want to get out, I’m never getting out, I want the pink towel, not that one, the other pink one that is ACTUALLY BLUE AND NOT PINK AT ALL, WHY ARE YOU CRYING, MOMMY?!

I chase them around trying to dry them off and put lotion on their eczema-prone skin while Audrey tries to shimmy out of her diaper and lick the lotion off of her arms.

I bribe them into pajamas and listen, I’m too exhausted to even GET INTO THE BEDTIME SHENANIGANS.

Dinner dishes are piled up. Laundry. Oh the piles and piles of laundry. Dirty mixed with clean, wet clothes in the wash, mail strewn all over the table and I open an envelope reminding me that I’m three weeks late on Olivia’s aftercare payment. And most of the time? I’ve only fed the kids. Tom and I haven’t even eaten yet. It’s about 8:45 or later at this point. If it’s after 9, I feel inclined to say fuck it and eat a bowl of cereal with the best glass of wine $10 can buy.

George Bailey: You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?

I’m trying to pay better attention to my health. I’m not happy at all with my weight. I want to floss my teeth more regularly. I want to spend less money on groceries. I’d like to remember to take my makeup off EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Oh, and maybe finish unpacking? I feel like these should be relatively easily attained goals.

I had a bunch of adorable pictures and a super cute Halloween-themed post in my head for today. If you could only read the post. It is so good! So cute! Next year, maybe.

But then I take a minute to breathe and remember the end of that movie. My favorite of all time. And I remember. I remember that this life is the moon and the stars I wished for all my life. And I wouldn’t trade these kids, this husband, this life for anything. [Wine is good, though.]

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.

Yeah, they're worth it.

Yeah, I’ll keep ‘em.

 

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Stephanie Wright

Stephanie lives in Hartford County with her husband, Tom and their two little girls, Olivia and Audrey. No stranger to the web, she’s been in website production for over fourteen years and recently transitioned to a full time writing and editing position – which makes her journalism-loving self so happy. She hopes to share some stories and (gain?) some tips about the never-ending balancing act of motherhood, work, friendship and marriage.

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7 Comments

  1. Cora

    Perfect. I love It’s a Wonderful Life too.

  2. Michelle

    Ahhh the backseat chatter drives me nuts some days! Lills does the SAME thing. I’m sorry things have been so tough. I admire that even when things are tough and you’re tired, you’re still able to find some humor in it all. xo

  3. Erin N.

    Love it, and I just wrote a post just like this, literally just before I read yours. Though mine is about a shift in my attitude about this crazy life. I’m trying to embrace it because I know it’s going to be like this for a loooong time!

    But oh, I feel your pain. But it IS a wonderful life. :)

  4. liz

    It is a wonderful life but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Thank you for voicing how I feel most weekdays!

  5. AmyS

    In the words of the immortal fictional Olivia, “pretty all true” around here too.

  6. So there with you.

  7. Tara

    Love it.

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