Yesterday was a low point. Another one.
I am still not sleeping well and I have managed to get myself a summer flu. So I was even more tired than the days leading up to this. I have been short-tempered with the kids but yesterday I just had no energy at all to even hold a resemblance to discipline. Cooking dinner for the kids at 8pm was a triumph. Before I began it felt like an impossible task. Getting them to clean up at least the surface of the bed from all the toys and to listen a bedtime story was another triumph. One task at a time I pushed through the fatigue all day long.
E wanted to see me, so after I had put the kids to bed, I accepted his Facetime call. I informed him that I am sick, probably have fever and am so tired I'd prefer death to sleep, if it meant I could rest forever. I didn't exactly say that, but I said I was very very tired. I asked how he was and he simply shrugged his beautiful shoulders. I wanted to show him what I had bought to his family earlier that day from a sale at my local shop. He didn't want to see. So I suggested that maybe it was not a good time for us to talk, if he didn't really want to talk about anything. He started to speak about me eating while we talk (I was having a cup of tea and a snack) and me exercising in a tone of voice I did not appreciate. So I told him bye and stopped the call. I then sent him a message on Facebook and told him to not call me if all he wants to do is bicker. I am tired, sick and having the first quiet moment of the day after the kids have fallen asleep. I do not want to use it by bickering with someone, anyone.
After a moment he apologized. Wrote that he is still feeling weird after the funeral yesterday and was taking it out on me. That it is best indeed that we don't see eachother while he is in this mood. But that surely I know he loves me and that I am the most important to him.
I cried a little after that. I want to be supportive of him and push my own problems aside when I speak with him, but on days like yesterday, when I have zero energy and I already feel like I'm stretched too thin and carry too much on my shoulders, it just feels like I have no more to give. And really it is ok that he is not in the mood to talk, I have told him that. And it is ok if he doesn't want to see me one day. But he specifically sent me a message earlier that day that he has to see me because he misses me too much. The Facetime call wasn't quite what I expected after that message.
I know he doesnt have friends or family to pour his bad feelings on. I am probably closest to that. So I guess it is natural that I have become his shit bucket for bad feelings. That's what we people do, make our loved ones hear all the crap and feel it too. Except I do not have any intention of accepting that from him. Not when he doesnt accept it from me. Not when I can barely deal with my own shit. Not when I am this vulnerable. Not when our relationship is only these Facetime calls and rare moments spent together when I travel to see him.
Boundaries are difficult for me. I am codependent by nature, have been since childhood. I have been trampled on so many times. This time I am trying my hardest to stick to the boundaries, to make it clear from the very beginning that it is not ok to treat me badly. Not even when you are sad and mourning a death of your friend. It does not give you the right to treat me like crap. It may give a little bit of more understanding on your moment of bad behaviour but it is no excuse to be nasty to me.
I'm glad I ended the call instead of getting sucked into a pointless argument. Apparently he is well aware that my body issues & weight loss journey is something that will push my buttons. If he uses it one more time as an ammunition in an argument, I will address that. It is a low blow to go there, when he knows that I am working my ass off to lose weight and am succeeding too. He has said many times that my size doesn't matter to him, has made fun of my stomach (which I did not appreciate but smiled anyway). He doesn't really get how fragile my body image is at the moment. Or really how fragile I am at the moment.
He has no children and thus he has no idea of the magnitude of responsibility that just fell on my shoulders alone. Nothing much has changed yet with the every day stuff. I did it before mostly anyway. The only problem is my lack of sleep. But the responsibility of everything the future holds in store for me and the kids. Being the only example, the parent who is supposed to do it all, that is what has sent me on a free fall. I don't care what other people think, I don't care about appearances like some other single mothers I've talked with or like my mother, who is worried how everything looks on the outside. I care about not being constantly tired and snappy to the children, having time to read for them every night, bathing them at least every other day, preferably every day as my son is covered in sticky substances at the end of every day. I care about having the energy to make healthy food for them and having time for myself to exercise.
I do not want to put on the weight I have already lost. For one week now I have not really had a chance to exercise. I have been too busy and too tired and now I'm sick. My weight has stayed the same, so no gain yet, but I know that if I stop exercising, it will be super-hard to keep the kilos from piling on and to begin this exercise routine anew.
I am afraid I will not survive from running the daily stuff, the food, the sleep, the laundry, the cleaning... I have never been good at it before but I somehow got it done. Now I'm left with piles of stuff to go through and organize on top of the normal things that seem overwhelming by themselves.
What is the hardest thing about parenting? For me it is the moments when you feel like you have come to your absolute bottom. You have no energy to pick yourself up and go to bed to sleep let alone catch those little rascals who were supposed to be asleep in their beds but instead are running around. You have no patience, no good will, no nothing. You are running on empty. And yet while you sit there on the floor feeling empty, beaten down and absolutely out of control, tears running down your cheeks, you know that in a moment you have to get up and put those kids to bed and feed those cats and put the clothes ready for tomorrow and get yourself to bed too. You sit there and dig deep and somewhere you find those last drops of willpower and you do what you have to do. This is what people with no children who are not extreme athletes or in other kinds of extreme circumstances don't understand. They have no concept of facing your limits and then having to push through because you just have to. There have been many moments in my life as a parent when I have felt like I cant do this anymore and pushed through.
E has no experience of this with children. He doesn't know how frazzled your brains can feel after one day alone with two children. How many times you have to get up from dinner table to cater for the needs of your children. Often I eat after my kids have eaten when the food is already cold, because I have no time to touch my food while my kids are eating. They need more milk, more tomatoes, more this more that, the milk spills, the spoon falls... He is a son of a single mother and I know he holds an appreciation for strong women who are capable of dealing with everything life throws their way. But I am afraid of him seeing the reality of life with two children. Not just the holiday version of it.
He wants children, but with children you can't put your own feelings, wants and needs first every time. You can't always do as you want. You are not free to just do things impulsively on a moments notice. I have grown up immensely since I became a parent. Now that I have been officially a single parent for one week I can already say that I'm going to grow up a lot more during the next few months.
I am afraid that we will be in different places in our lives. For me it is difficult to accept his immaturity when I have no possibility to behave like that even when I want to sometimes. Recklessness is something I have no luxury to experience. He needs to meet me half way, maybe even more because I'm not sure if I can meet him half way. There are some things that are just given, that I cant change. I will forever put my children first. He is my first in adult world, but my children will always be first for me. If I can't take my children away from Finland, I will not leave them when they are still so young. Maybe 10 years from now that could be a possibility, but not yet. He must face the possibility that we can never be together for real. I must too. I want to live with him, but I don't know if that is going to ever happen.
I must say that I am working on putting my adult needs and my own needs first occationally, because I realize that a mother can't always be a martyr. But moving the children to a different country is a huge decision and something I can't make alone. The father has his say and I believe he will not let me move.
Time is what we all need right now. I need time for myself to get through my breakup, to heal my wounds and to stand on my own feet again. He needs time to finish his marriage, deal with his emotions relating to that and to stand on his own feet again. We need time to get to know eachother better and to find out if this love we have is as strong as it seems it is. I personally feel the love growing stronger through every shared experience, the good and the bad. I hope he feels the same way. If our relationship does not work, the breakup will be so big that I will never survive it. If this breakup now feels like the end of the world as we knew it, breakup with E would be the end of me. I really don't want to think about my life without him in it.