By Andrea Bates of Good Girl Gone Redneck
They’ve both left for the day.
She’s dressed. Hair brushed. (Sort of.) It’s time for school, and I have clients.
But I find myself staring into a bowl of cereal.
Mornings are rushed. After they leave, I don’t really focus on myself—I run on autopilot. Things you wouldn’t really SEE if you walked into my house.
I run upstairs and start laundry. I might start reading or writing, too. I load the dishwasher. Maybe unload. And re-load.
I sweep. Sure, sometimes I use my feet to shove dust-bunnies to the side before I can get to them. But I do—eventually—sweep.
I take care of my morning meds. When I remember. Otherwise, it’s noon, and I think, Oh. Yeah. But I always take them. For certain.
Eventually I’ll sit down and watch some TV. Zone out for a few.
I find myself particularly exhausted this morning. Yesterday was a draining day for me emotionally. I slept funny because one of my cats stole one of my pillows. My neck hurts. I’m tired, but I have work to do.
And this cereal, it’s prompted so many thoughts. It’s kind of ridiculous. Maybe.
But I look at it and think—well, it would be such a waste. I might as well have it for breakfast.
It’s got my almond milk in it (that’s where I draw the line. If it’s skim, I’ll pass!) and isn’t quite at the point of full-on sog-fest yet. Eh. I guess.
And so instead of dumping it out I find myself eating it. Spoonful after spoonful before I realize.
She ate all the marshmallows.
I laugh because I should have known when she said she was full, she wasn’t entirely full. But in the rush of the morning, teeth and hair brushing—encouraging her to move along—I didn’t stop and look. She’s eight now. Old enough to know if she is full.
I trusted that. Still do.
But for me? What fills me up? Is it writing? Reading? Social work? Parenting? Volunteering? Learning?
So so very much.
So many things.
I find myself without any marshmallows. And while that’s sometimes okay. Sometimes acceptable.
It’s just not.
Moms need marshmallows, too. Remind yourself of that. You’re entitled to marshmallows in your life.
Bright bursts of color.
Sweet moments of all sizes.
Yes. They count, too.
They’re YOUR marshmallows. Do with them as you see fit. Just make sure you have them.
You deserve them.
Now go pour yourself a fresh bowl. And sit back and savor each one.
This post was originally published on Good Girl Gone Redneck.
About Andrea Bates
Andrea is a native New Yorker living in NC who has become quite accustomed to wearing flip flops year-round. An LCSW, she spends her free time volunteering and advocating for mental health awareness. At her blog Good Girl Gone Redneck, Andrea writes from the heart, sharing the ins and outs of parenting, family and life. Andrea has been featured on Scary Mommy, SITS, BonBon Break, Postpartum Progress and Carolina Parent. She lives in Durham with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and trillions of dust bunnies. She hopes to find a clear surface in her house in the coming decade.