Its 6am and I finally got everyone asleep….from last night! Its nights like this that leave me to question our decision to have 4 kids 6 and under. “Who’s idea was this?!” I half jokingly ask my husband. Of course, he responds with “Im pretty sure it was yours” as he yawns and starts the coffee pot. This stage of life is hard. Its teething and diapers and dinner struggles and not being able to go more than two minutes without someone needing me. Its physically and mentally and emotionally exhausting. So much work and so little immediate reward.
No one slept last night. The three year old had an ear ache and was in our room every half hour or so. The baby had a stuffy, snotty nose and cried most of the night because he couldnt suck his fingers – his usual way to self soothe. One child wet the bed. One child woke us up to let us know it was still dark out; wondering if it was the middle of the night, or if the sun forgot to come up. At one point, my husband took Emma back to her bed and never came back to our room. I figured he went to the couch to catch some sleep since he had to be up early for work. But, when his alarm went off at 430am, I went to find him, and there he was, asleep, while still sitting on the side of Emma’s bed. You know you are exhausted when you can sleep sitting up!
Its 6am and I already have over 1000 steps in according to my fitbit. I must have walked a mile or more pacing the bedroom floor bouncing the baby. My app says I slept one hour and 15 minutes. Im tired. So. Dog. Tired. The kids will be up in an hour. They will want breakfast. I promised them I would make banana muffins last night. There will be pee sheets to launder. The garden needs my attention before the rain comes. The sink is full of dishes. There are bills that need to be paid and appointments that need to be made. The diaper count is getting low, which means a trip to town is in order. Which means lugging 4 kids through Target. The baby will decide that he needs to nurse as soon as we get in the checkout line. Emma will need to pee, as soon as I start putting items on the belt, even though she declined the need right before we got in line. We will check out and go potty and feed the baby and right when I have all of the groceries loaded and everyone buckled in their car seats, Levi will need to poop. Then, we will need lunch out, because they will starve to death if they dont get fed right at noon. Its a variation of the same, every time we leave the house. They are good kids, actually very well behaved, but there are 4 of them and one of me. Being in public is just exhausting. And if the thunder comes, like the weatherman says it will, I can guarantee, my afternoon will be spent telling 4 kids over and over that they are safe and they dont have to be afraid; Ill tell them over and over and over while they all crowd in my lap. Dinner will be late because they wont let me out of their sight to go and cook it. Just thinking about it all makes me even more tired.
They tell me Im going to miss this. Deep down, I know they are right. But, in this moment, I cant help but dream of the day when I can make that Target run, alone, latte in hand, with no time constraints. Right now, I dream of uninterrupted sleep and conversation. Right now, I just want to shower without someone barging in demanding a sandwich. I want to be able to leave home and not worry about if the baby has enough milk. I want to eat a meal without having to stop to wipe someones rear. I’d like to remember, what its like to sleep next to my husband. This day will come, some day I wont be so needed.
Its 7 am and I hear pitter patter feet coming down the stairs. I sigh, because its time. That sigh is tired and ragged, but when I see that messy haired, finger sucking, blankie holding little turd…that same little turkey that had me up half the night, I smile. I love her; so much its hurts me. I love this time in my life. Its hard. Its so stinking hard. But, Its also the most fulfilling and blessed and full of joy. I swoop her up in my arms and take a long, deep smell of her hair. I think to myself ‘I wish these days would never end”. Isnt motherhood the most confused state? The same mom that was just yearning for quiet days to come, in now relishing in the very thing she wants to escape from.
Today, I will need a whole lot of coffee and Jesus to make it through. Im going to admit that Im tired and give myself some grace. Im thinking an afternoon full of too much TV and chicken nuggets for dinner. Im going to allow myself not to get caught up in the guilt of not savoring every single moment. Thats not realistic. Some days, motherhood is just plain hard. Its ok to admit that. Some days, the best thing I can do, for my family, is admit that Im only human and take a break. So here’s to coffee, grace, blanket forts, too many movies and finger foods for dinner in the living room…and hopefully an early bed time for all.