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.
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.
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.
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?