Today, I'm Drowning

Published by Lydia Richmond on

I have been awake since 3:30 am.

Granted, I snoozed here and there while Baby Diva nursed, but I was mostly awake and definitely not extremely comfortable. As soon as I got her settled again and in her bassinet, it was time to get myself up and ready to go to Miss Sassy Pants’s fourth grade awards ceremony.

Since then, I have not had one second of child-less time. In fact, come to think of it, except for yesterday when I went to the bathroom without an audience, I haven’t had more than 30 minutes of child-less time in, I think, a week. Maybe more.

Today, I am drowning.

drowning

I love my babies. Really. I planned them — for the most part — so I knew exactly what I was getting in to. Except that I didn’t.

I didn’t realize how hard it would be to break up a fight between a 2 and 4 year old while nursing a 5 week old.

I didn’t know that I’d be so exhausted that I’d begin to choose to drink coffee (I hate coffee) just to keep my eyes open through the day.

I had no clue that the house could get so messy. Or that I could be so angry when I stepped on a pointy corner of a toy.

It was no where in my future-vision that I’d discuss poop so much for reasons that didn’t include 12-year-old boy-like jokes.

I didn’t realize that my laundry would be never-ending. That grocery store visits would mean so much time, effort, cost, and frequency. That the trash could fill up so much. That shoes could track in so much dirt.

I had no idea that I would have to work so fast and so focused in such short spurts of time to make the money that helps us stay afloat so I don’t have to go to an actual work location and could stay home with these munchkins.

And I certainly didn’t expect to wear yellow yoga pants with a tie-dyed shirt and think that I looked good for one day.

For the record, I didn't make this fact up. Yellow yoga pants for the win.

For the record, I didn’t make this fact up. Yellow yoga pants for the win.

I didn’t understand how much I could love these little creatures that yank at my jeans or cry for me in the night.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not drowning.

In the midst of poop changing and barf cleaning and dish washing, I find myself longing for the future of these kids – a future where they are all old enough to wipe their own noses or entertain themselves for longer than 30 seconds so I can get work done. I have visions of our family taking vacations where everyone just hangs out and enjoys one another’s company rather than fighting over who got what toy first.

My heart aches a little. I find myself trying to breathe. And I can’t.

I can’t breathe because while I want so badly to love on my babies and lie on the floor and play and sing and take walks, I have work to do. Like, real people work. And while it may be behind a computer and in my yellow yoga pants, it’s still legitimate work. Work for which some people — who aren’t wearing diapers or begging for milk — actually depend on me to complete. I have commitments outside of the four walls of this house, and not getting to them in my self-determined time frame really works wonders on my mind set.

So much so that when I order the chicken souvlaki to go and then get home to finally eat it an hour after getting back to the house because the baby needed me only to realize that I got a chicken salad sandwich (and it’s really not that good), I lose it. Like, super lose it. And then there’s no ice cream in the house, so I can’t even appease my saddened taste buds with that creamy dairy goodness so I begin searching the cabinets for anything that might suffice.

I’m drowning.

Luckily, I can tread water a bit. I’m getting better at that and finding some routine with my minions.

But in less than 48 hours, we get to start another routine because the now-5th grader (where did that time go??) will be home for summer.

So the kids will spend the rest of the week fighting over the territory that the boys have already divvied up.

Today, I’m drowning.

And tomorrow, I’ll probably be drowning, too.

There are people who say to me, “Enjoy this time! Soak it all in! It’s so fleeting! You won’t get this time back! They don’t stay little forever!”

And I want to say, “I know this, genius.”

Because I do know this. I have a ten year old. I long for her sweet 2 year old self and incorrectly-pronounced Rs.

Except that I don’t. I loved that time with her, but she’s grown up now and even cooler than I would have ever guessed.

So, I appreciate everyone’s sentiments about my babies and my need for an attitude adjustment and mood shift. But if I was a betting woman, I’d guess that everyone who says this to me was also once searching for a life jacket, too.

Today, my life jacket comes in the form of coffee, a soda I didn’t really want but drank because I needed the caffeine, and my ability to multi-task while the kids run around me yelling, screaming, laughing, and crying (sometimes all at the same time).

Are you drowning?


11 Comments

Rebecca · June 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

aw, sweetie! I get it. I really do.

I wish I were closer, I would come sit in your house and help, like I did for my daughter when the 8th grandkid was born (her third, in a too small condo, a needy dog and helping launch her husband’s business), and she was drowning. Well, sometimes I did more than sit, but you get the idea.

Hang in there. You have many ‘out there’ praying for your sanity. (And loving your writing!)

    Lydia · June 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Thank you! I’d love to have you sitting here rocking Baby Diva!

Kristin @littlemamajama · June 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm

Oh goodness, yes. All of this. Except only two kids. I am sending you a virtual life preserver and a big carafe of coffee!

I can’t stand the, “Soak it all in,” comments. Of course we know this. It does not make it any less difficult to survive NOW.

I hear you, friend. For what it’s worth, you are ROCKING those yellow yoga pants. You are doing the absolute best you can and that is what is most important. Your kids will remember your love and the fact that their mom was there for their every need. You are a wonderful mother, WAHM and friend.

Now I need to go hunt down some colorful yoga pants…

Joy Steele · June 9, 2015 at 9:27 am

Thanks for the reminder. You expressed the strange mixture of awesome love and total frustration/endless work that mothers experience but would not exchange for a world of riches. Many times I’ve said or thought that even though a child of mine would be the cause of a horrible day sometimes, I would still not “give them back.” Even though I would groan with weariness when you cried out at 5:30 a.m. to be fed AGAIN, I would not have changed a thing. Well, maybe someone to help with all the other stuff every day, and keep up with the other three kids, and do the shopping. You know what I mean. Love you.

Heather · June 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

Yes, mama we are all drowning in this parenting thing at some point or another. We feel you. We don’t envy you except when you’re sitting there quietly loving on a sweet sleepy baby. Not in the hours before or after. Those people telling you to soak it up can shove it. I’m waiting over here with our Margaritas. We’re gonna make it.

    Heather · June 9, 2015 at 10:38 am

    PS. I love you, but seriously, yellow yoga pants???????

      Lydia · June 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Yes. Seriously. 🙂

    Lydia · June 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Yes – they can shove it. Nicely put. 🙂 Can’t wait for that Margarita!

Mel · June 27, 2015 at 7:39 am

Yes! Yes! And Yes! The golden gems of these days will be what I hope to remember in years to come.
The rest can fall away,the poop, the spew, the arguments, lack of sleep and lack of unaided bathroom breaks,then I will be left with nothing but happy memories.

    Lydia · June 27, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I try to remind myself of this in the moment – but it’s hard. Really hard. I know that I need to soak up every ounce of their little precious-ness while I can. 🙂

Please stop saying, "It'll be ok" - Cluttered Genius · October 29, 2015 at 8:01 am

[…] Four kids in, and I’m struggling. […]

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