What a loaded question..."how are you?"
Generally speaking, when someone asks that question, they're expecting this reply:
"Fine, how are you?"
The superficiality of that answer (and the question) has always annoyed me.
Lately, when someone asks how I am, I respond with, "not bad." The unspoken part of that answer is "but not really good either."
So how am I? Here's my real answer.
I'm exhausted. I'm stressed. I'm frustrated. I'm overwhelmed. I'm ready to cry...or sleep at a moment's notice.
I love being a mom. I love my kids and there's no way I would change our family or the fact that I stay home with them. Right now though, I am at a difficult season in motherhood...four kids, age 6 and under. A six year old who will repeat an offense the second the punishment for it is over, a three year old with a temper that is set off at the slightest thing, a one year old who constantly gets into everything, and a very needy infant who easily fits the guidelines for having colic. To get even the smallest thing accomplished, I have to listen to the baby scream while I'm doing it and put the toddler in the pack n' play so she doesn't destroy something or inadvertently hurt the baby. Most of the time, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I know this is just one stage in life and it will be over before I know it, but that doesn't make it any less hard at this moment.
Oh, and did I mention that we're getting ready to move next week? I'm absolutely thrilled that we'll finally have our own home and enough space, but the timing is not the greatest. I'm not exactly confident that I will have everything packed in time for the move.
There are two things I hear from people on almost a daily basis...."Wow, you must be busy!" or "You're doing a great job, I don't know how you do it!" Yes, I am busy, and thank you, but I don't know how I'm doing it either. Or of course, there's the other camp that prefers to tell me how their situation is so much harder than mine so I don't have a right to feel the way I do. I have a blog post for them too.
Don't worry, I don't plan on giving out the long answer every time someone asks how I am, but it's really hard right now to smile brightly and give the socially acceptable answer of "Fine!" And, if I ask how you're doing, I truly do want the real answer.