Swimming Against the Tide


November 22, 2011 by Marj Hatzell

Bugaboo has been all over the place the past few days in terms of mood and behavior. Actually, so has Bug Boy. As a matter of fact, so has The Guy I Live With. And so have I.

In other words, we’re all a bunch of cranky McCrankypants and you should avoid us like the plague.And it’s because we have the plague. Or at least, it seems that way. The never-ending cold, cough, runny nose, etc.

And when Bugaboo is in rare form (which, that’s a funny word for, because it isn’t rare, this form. It’s common. So should I say common form? I have no idea. Where was I again?) the house…well, you can tell.

  • Toy bins dumped on end
  • cereal and snacks stimmed all over in every single room
  • sopping wet towels on the bathroom floor from shower overflow
  • piles of crap everywhere because I can’t keep up with him from room to room
  • Laundry – it’s like the loaves and fishes. Y’all. If I showed you a picture you’d be all WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT.
  • Dishes. Broken glasses. Dirt and dog hair and finger prints and slime and filth.

Yep. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t get ahead. I do what I can and he comes home and it’s times ten all over again. Then I’m frustrated and feel defeated and give up. Then I go to bed and the next day I’m all “I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS” and work my ample posterior off and it looks decent.

Then he comes home from school.

Lather, rinse repeat

Such is my life. It’s just the way it is. It may always be this way. I might always have a non-verbal child. I might always have floors in various states of repair, walls with joint compound on them, trim that needs fixing, leaks through my kitchen ceiling. Bugaboo might always destroy his room on a daily basis, pee from the top of his loft bed to the floor to hear the splatter and take fifteen daily showers.

I’ve come to accept it.

Does it make it easier? Yes. Accepting it isn’t the same as giving up to me. Accepting it is going along with it, instead of fighting against something you just can’t win. Bugaboo has autism. Bug Boy has autism. It isn’t going away. So I’m learning to work with it.

(This is different from accepting my kids for who they are. I did that a long time ago.)

I’m talking about accepting that I won’t ever have a totally clean house. I won’t ever have every house project fixed. I won’t ever have a full-time job, sleep all night or go for girls’ weekends. I probably won’t have the type of house where I can host other couples, parents, friends or neighbors for dinner parties, cocktails and the like.

I can host backyard barbecues, however. And they kick ass. Just sayin’.

So. When I talk about accepting? I’m talking about finally surrendering and wising up and realizing that I can fight against the current or I can swim along with it. Guess which one is more productive? That’s right. Swimming along with it. Otherwise, I fight and expend VALUABLE energy. Me? I prefer to conserve my resources. I’m going along with the flow.

See, I’m accepting that I’m not like everyone else.

And that’s okay with me.

Because, keeping up appearances and trying to be like everyone else? What’s the point? I need to be me. I need to admit I can’t do it all (this is VERY HARD FOR ME). I need to admit I can’t say no. I need to admit that this is REALLY HARD and I’m not Superwoman and there’s no magic here. I totally fake having it all together.

But you knew that, right?

It’s funny how at peace I am right now realizing it.

9 thoughts on “Swimming Against the Tide

  1. Julie says:

    When I go to someone’s home and everything is polished and sleek and pulled together, I always feel like a stranger in a foreign land. Pee spots on the carpet and crayon scribbles on the wall say home to me.

  2. “I totally fake having it all together.”

    T-shirt. Now. I’ll buy one.

  3. My internal clock wakes me up at 3 am…
    I may never sleep again.

    As for a clean house – well apartment, in my case, I’ve given up. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a mop. I’m all about spot cleaning when needed.

    We can only do what we can.

  4. Janet says:

    Amen sister 🙂

  5. blogginglily says:

    Last week I had four rooms that qualified for an episode of “Hoarders”. This week I have three and one pretty messy one. I have no doubt I’ll be back up to four before I’m down to two. Stupid housework.

  6. MT says:

    Completely relate and feel the same way. My son destroys my house daily (we call him the ‘destructor’). I’ve also accepted my house will always, at all times, be destroyed… oh well… The bad thing is, by profession I am an Interior Designer, so really, don’t judge me! I swear I can make other people’s houses look nice 😉

  7. Most of the time we keep the living room in family worthy visit state the other rooms are out of sight so they get whatever attention is let at the end of cleaning. At least once a week I go through the kids room and get any dishes they snuck in there, dirty clothes and trash. Then make a path so that they can get to beds and clothes.

  8. […] And now the keeping it real part: […]

  9. […] This week has been no exception. Bugaboo has been…interesting lately. He is more distracted. More hyper. Unsettled. Not sleeping well (yeah, yeah, what else is new?). Not eating well. I know he’s been through a few transitions lately and he has grown quite a bit and I’m trying to be patient. Patience isn’t exactly a virtue I was born with but I’m certainly learning it (Note: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR). Between a new classroom, new classmates, a new bus driver and new bus aide, his little world has been rocked a bit. And I’m planning a sleep and eat weekend? I must be MAD. But in all seriousness, he is learning to adjust. It’s just taking time. And I know his behavior as of late is a direct result of his inability to cope. It’s his way of dealing with his anxiety. Add in the weight he has gained and that impending puberty stuff? Yeah. It’s that much fun.  Wait…this feels so familiar. Like I’ve done this before… […]

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