Jealous of Joy

My husband and I are forever working to become close like we used to be. To do the things we used to do and feel the way we used to feel about life and our dreams. Then reality sets in and I’m tired and the game is on, so I get done the tasks required for the next day as my husband sits in the den. “A” for effort and “F” for progress.

If my life were a cinema I would come home from my full-time job to a perfectly clean home with everything in its place. I would be joyful while cooking a delectable dinner and we would catch up with one another while eating at the table. My 20-year-old stepdaughter would tell us about her studies in college, while my 16-year-old stepdaughter goes on and on about the rival football game that week. My 4-year-old son would wow us all with a new song he learned at daycare and everyone would help clear the table and rest in the den.

In reality I rush home to dishes in the sink that just magically appear while no one was home. Dancing over army men in the floor that just wiped out the dinosaur colony in the corner, I rush to get dinner on the table before my 4-year-old can get another snack before because he has only had 3 meals at daycare. When everyone plates their food to get back to their phones or tv, my toddler dictates all of his new food allergies for the night which I have so stupidly made into a meal. After a standoff with our little terrorist over which path he will choose to get ice cream, I do only the necessary laundry and dream for the moment I can put on pajamas. Before bed I pick up toys strategically placed for my enjoyment because why would I ask my son, he left them there. If I can survive giving my son a bath without drowning in all the water on the floor, I may receive the honor of making a snack for the bottomless pit. When the hour of nine is upon us I will drag my son up two flights of stairs kicking and screaming. I would swear he has stuffed weights in his pockets, because he gains 25 lbs when he is uncooperative. Novel after novel is read until all of Disney’s archives have been raided and I am dismissed for the night.

Meanwhile my husband has watched all the news and weather he can handle and I don’t even know what the temperature will be to dress my child until I check my app. Thankful to take a 2 minute shower because our daughter has decided that I need to cool down in an ice cold waterfall, I throw on pajamas to crawl in my bed. I place my mask over my eyes to block out the world and fall into my dreams. At this point my husband turns our bedroom into his media room to continue catching up on his DVR. I eventually drift off to sleep dreaming of the warm cup of coffee I will have in the morning.

Each year my son gets older I get more time to myself, but as a mom I always put my family first. It is hard to find balance between my family’s needs and time I need regaining my sanity. At times I feel like a slave and a doormat and I am happy to enter into adult world at work where I get respect and make a difference. When I feel used I try to remember those sleepless nights when I rocked my son through the night to give breathing treatments and still made it to work the next day. I am thankful to have some time to sleep but I don’t feel that I have time to live. I mean really live and enjoy life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful I have a family but I am just working for the next paycheck to pay the next round of bills. I watch the world go on around me and everyone else takes joy in accomplishments and fun times. Jealousy sets in when I see my husband spend time with his friends watching the game or traveling half way across the country to see the college world series working on his bucket list. My friends and I text in between tantrums and nap times when we aren’t catching up on laundry and cleaning. I struggle to find the time or the energy to slap on some makeup and go out when I can throw my hair up and lay with a warm blanket for 20 minutes.

They say one day it will all be worth it, but for now, I will long for my bed and dream of my next morning coffee.

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