I Was There. I Showed Up.

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I’m seeing double today — linking up with two weekly hotspots: #iPPP & #JustWrite.

Cheers to the hostesses of iPPP, Greta & Sarah, and to Heather of Just Write.

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Sometimes the days get so busy they fall into one another like pieces of clothing in the dryer. Somehow in between parent-teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments, checking homework, and putting away the groceries, I forgot to breathe. Somewhere, not so far from here, another mom is feeling the exact same thing. We talk about distracted living; we collectively juggle and balance and rush and schedule and slowly make our way down the list of things to do, and still manage find the time to judge each other. What the WHAT?!

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Sometimes after a crappy day when the only thing I can honestly say is that I showed up; I was there…I steal into your rooms to watch you sleep and whisper my love into your ears.  Somehow I’ll manage to make it through another day…because of you. You’re the reasons I press on despite your mastery of manipulation. I can’t believe you two are almost eight, because just the other day you were blastocysts in the IVF lab. Someday you’ll forgive me for being on auto-pilot, for running on fumes, and for not always being there. Somewhere, just up a flight of stairs maybe, the not-really-baby-anymore sleeps with her tushie up in the air; the older-by-a-minute-twin sells her secrets in her dreams; and the younger-by-a-minute-twin sweats in tangled sheets, clutching Nemo, her aging lovey.

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So all of this just to say that I was there. I showed up. It may not sound like a lot, but sometimes it’s not a small thing. Showing up is hard work. It requires getting out of bed (quickly). It means making breakfast, packing lunches, making sure your backpacks are ready to go and that you sport crunchy blue & red locks on Crazy Hair Day at school. It means spraying Oxi Clean on the track marks in your Ariel and Merida underwear. It involves taking you to school, the doctor, birthday parties, play dates, Sunday school and to Dolce for a sweet treat if you’ve been good, or to Hoopla for manicures as an extra special reward.

I’m here. I showed up.

And you’re too little to possibly understand, but…those things? They’re enough. They’re all I can handle right now.

Enough.

I am enough.

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  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    Showing up is 80% of it. Some days -no, most days, that is enough. It has to be. We are only human. You are only human. You love them. Yes, that is enough, you are enough. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Alison,

      Thank you for that validation. I’m only human. Only human. Must repeat! xo

  • BipolarMom (Jenn)

    LOVE this, Erin. For me, nighttime tends to be the hardest part. The time when I’m running on fumes and my patience is all but gone. I do the same thing – sneak into their rooms to listen to their deep, sleepy breaths and watch them roll over, lovie always tucked under their arm perfectly. Mothering is the hardest job we’ll ever have. And you’re doing a great job, mama. xoxoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Jen,

      Nighttime is hard here too — the witching hours don’t really end (at least not for me, not with all this “stuff” going on) even though they’re not colicky babies anymore. It’s just different junk. Homework, drama with friends, chores, complaining, trying to make dinner & clean up the house, run the laundry, etc… sometimes it’s like being being on the hamster wheel and never feeling like I get off of it.
      hugs xo

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    You being ENOUGH is never,ever a doubt. You, sweet lady, are more than enough. Your children know that, your friends (like me) know it too.

    I have been trying so hard lately to do as you do, just be there, listen, console, hug and hug and hug and hug and kiss temples until they know that I love them. (My own little blastocysts)

    and I’m glad that I’m doing that in the same universe as you are. xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Kir,

      Thank you so much for your lovely card I got this weekend! Perfect timing and really brightened my day. I’m glad we’re doing this together in the same universe, too. What would I do without friends like YOU? <3

  • Katie

    Oh how I love this post, Erin. I love it so SO much. You are sweet and sad and funny (the track marks…he he!) all at once. You are in there, friend. This is just a hard time. And you are showing up. You are doing this. So much love to you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Katie. I saw my doctor today for another follow up. I started another wean/jump down on my anti-depressants. Another big jump. Trying not to psych myself up, but holding on for the roller coaster ride to hit in another few days once my body and brain catch up to the change. hugs. thank you for your support through all of this. xo

  • http://auercommunication.com/ Kerstin Auer

    You are enough! And showing up is what really counts. They know :)
    xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Kerstin. Holding onto this, and to friends like you. I’m stepping down again on my anti-depressants as of today. I’m ready and not ready at the same time. Deep breaths. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your encouragement. ;-)

  • Cindy Reed

    This has been SO on my mind lately – the relentlessness of parenting. My husband and I finally split up email / website trails to follow for our 5th grader and kindergartner because it was all too much information to process. Leave a carseat! Bring a protein snack! Costume day! Make a poster about sustainable agriculture. Add to that an activity or two here or there, a birthday party, a playdate, and just fucking putting food into everyone’s mouths and yes, many many days, I just show up and do the work. And that’s got to be enough. xoxo, Cindy

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Cindy,

      Love this. Love YOU. “Just fucking putting food into everyone’s mouths….and that’s got to be enough.” YES. omg. Thank you for feeling this right along with me. xo

  • Christina

    Yes. This. THIS! And Cindy, yes, the relentlessness of parenting. Got an email (or several) checking in to see if they’d offended me somehow because I’m not responding. I will send them a link to this perfect post in lieu of my own half-assed explanation. Thank you. It’s crazy when strangers knows my life better than my closest friends. Love you for this.

  • One Funny Motha

    You said it, sista. I think we all deserve freaking medals for showing up b/c that is a LOT. Anything extra is seriously too much.

  • http://sarafhawkins.com/ Sara F. Hawkins

    Pretty much all of us. I once read that people process words they hear in their sleep. So I totally whisper positive mantras and thoughts into my daughter’s ear. She’s probably whispering “buy me a new tablet and I need more Littlest Petshops” into my ear so we’re probably even, right?

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Sara,

      I hope you’re right about this…and yes, I’ve no doubt my twins are already whispering their Hanukkah wish lists in my ears at night! I’m so not ready yet, but…?? ACK! xoxoxo

  • http://www.iasoupmama.com/ IASoupMama

    If it isn’t enough, than I’m in trouble. Single parenting is kicking the crap out of me right now. But I don’t have a choice but to roll with it because life doesn’t stop because I’m exhausted. Life doesn’t stop because I need a break. It just doesn’t. Not when there’s four kids, a full-time job, a part-time job, two online classes, the house, the acre of land, the flipping cat, te doctor, the dentist, soccer, four dance lessons a week, spelling words, bills to pay, the laundry, and cleaning and shopping.

    But my almost-ex can find the time to take a 12 day vacation with his wee young girlfriend and take up knitting. Because he has the time since he’s choosing to be dad around his booty calls. I fucking fall asleep on the toilet at work because it’s the only moment I have to myself where I’m not doing sixteen thousand things. But he can sit around and knit scarves and complain about paying child support.

  • Katie Eure

    You are enough. And some days are definitely like that. And I think showing up is way better than not being there!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Katie. Yes, I try to tell myself that things could be much, much worse. Sometimes it’s difficult though, especially when I know it’s hard for my family to “deal” with me and the various mood swings, highs & lows… I appreciate your reading and your kind comments!

  • Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    Be here and showing up is big. I think it is the most important thing. Some days that is the best we can do; it still means a lot.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Kim,

      Thank you for validating me. Maybe I need to make myself a t-shirt?? ;-) I so appreciate your kind words. hugs!

  • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

    You are so much more than you’ll ever be able to give yourself credit for having been. Use the daughter trick, imagine if you were listening and hearing your words through the lips of your daughter. You’d set her straight, gently and with love. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Amanda,

      Hard to use the daughter trick sometimes, but very good advice. Need to remember this a week from now when the roller coaster starts again. I love you so much. I wish I could come camp out with you and maybe you could help me with my writing. In Vermont. Or at McDonald’s, I don’t care. ;-)

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    You are SO right, it is NOT a small thing. They know and will always remember that you were there for them, Erin. And doing the absolute best you can. It’s a big thing, HUGE. xoxoxoxo

  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    Enough is exactly that. Enough. Sometimes it feels like we need to be more, but that just isn’t true. Our kids know that we love them. That’s all that matters.

  • heidi

    Yes. I needed to see this today. I am right there with you. Thank you, Erin. So much.

  • Greta

    They know you’re enough. They see you there, with them, doing the things to get them through the day, even though sometimes, you’re doing all you can to get through the day. You’re doing a good job, the best you can, and that’s absolutely enough right now.

  • http://www.scoopsofjoy.com/ Maureen @ScoopsofJoy

    Beautifully written. Feeling enough is hard sometimes as we wish to do more but in reality we are doing enough :)

  • http://www.twocannoli.com/ Kristin S.

    Being a mom to three young kids is exhausting, but you’re DOING IT! You are showing them you love them and you are present. It doesn’t feel like enough, but it really is.

  • Kim Jorgensen Gane

    Oh my. I showed up. To check out your writing after a quick chat with Dana on the phone tonight, too! LOVE The Gay Dad Project, love this, love everything you do! (O; You ROCK, Erin!

  • Stevie

    Showing up is huge. And it means a lot and it is enough. I have been thinking about you. Sending love.

  • Frankie Lawson

    Thank you for this reminder. I’m constantly obsessing over what I’m not getting done or doing right. I love the tip about OxiClean on the track marks in the underwear. (Might need to use it on my husband’s and my son’s underwear. Yecch.)

  • chelyagogo.blogspot.com

    Ah, Ms. Erin, you nailed it. Nailed it! Showing up is what we do, in spite of life’s efforts to the contrary. Keep going, Mama. Keep writing, keep showing up. Bravo.