I wake to shrieks coming from downstairs.
“You’re being a MEANY!”
“No, I’m NOT! YOU ARE!”
“Well, you’re like a poopy diaper!”
“Stop hitting me!” (Tears…..lots and lots of tears)
“MOOOOMMMM!! She said I’m a poopy diaper!!!”
I stumble downstairs to intervene while trying to be quiet to keep the baby asleep.
“You cannot call your sister those names. Now, go tell her you’re sorry”
Insert eye roll from a four year old.
“FINE” she says
As she walks out she mutters under her breath to me,
AND THAT DID IT.
As of 7:30 am, my patience tank hit empty. I hadn’t even had a chance to pour a cup of coffee, before my SANIITY WAS INVADED and any hope of having a pleasant morning was stolen.
Add to that, I have a four month old who (God knows why) I decided to begin sleep training that day. Yeah, not my brightest moment.
Which leads to my epiphany and why I wrote this post.
Hang with me.
Skip to later that afternoon
I’m in the baby's room, and I’m on my third attempt of getting her to fall asleep on her own (because that’s what the Babywise book told me to do). When I first became a mom, it was in the early 2000’s and when we weren’t scrapbooking pictures of our babies we were killing ourselves trying to implement Babywise. You’d think by now, I’d have found a different method, but (like anyone who reads it) I’m absolutely terrified of not doing it.
So, here I am trying to get her to go to sleep without a “prop” (like me). I felt like I had been standing there for about 20 million hours, but everytime I tried to move my hand she’d completely freak out and we’d have to start all over again. AHHHH!!!
As I’m standing there, teeth unbrushed, hair a mess, and pretty sure I was wearing the same clothes as the day before, I glance above her crib to the hanging bookshelf. I see all of these books….books that I used to read and could have conversations about. Books that when I’d finish them I felt smarter. And then it hit me.
I’m no longer smart.
Nope, defeinitely not.
I can’t even remember what freaking day of the week it is.
I’m now an idiot.
Make that a tired, frumpy idiot.
Oh sweet JESUS.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?!
In the trenches of littles. This one was born only 22 months after her sister. I was a lunatic. But, thankfully I was having a FANTASTIC hair day. It helped.
You know, we dream of what motherhood will be like. All of the long, wise talks we will have with our children, the homemade cookies, the herb garden and the beautifully organized educational play space.
My first got that. Her mom was awesome. Her mom ALWAYS had her hair done, outfits put together, house in order – and I have 4 GIANT scrapbooks of her first year to prove it (yes, four in her first year. I'm a mess).
My second had a rough start, but we eventually got there. Her mom was pretty cool. She could bake. She could read books without falling asleep or turning into a grumpy mommy monster.
My third…well, thank God for pictures because I don’t remember.
And, here we are with my fourth. Yep, this one did me in. I am EXHAUSTED. Like ALL THE TIME. I call my kids the wrong names, I don’t do laundry for weeks at a time, I fall asleep with my baby attached to my boob. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE.
And, as I’m writing this, she’s asleep and I’m pretty sure I just hit the record for how many Oreo’s you can eat in one sitting.
Just being honest.
What I wish someone would have told me about parenting littles IS HOW MUCH THEY WILL NEED YOU.
Not the pre-school teaching you, not the baking you, not the clean freak you, not even the photo/memory making you. No, what they really need (and require to become amazing adults) is the deep-rooted, inner makings of you.
Everything that makes you who you are – that is what they require. And, believe me, it comes at a high price.
You see, everytime you feel drained, it’s because you’ve poured a little life – a little bit of you - out of you and into them.
When you feel brain dead, it’s because every ounce of wisdom you gained throughout life – every lesson learned, every accomplishment and milestone - are tools now given to them.
When your heart aches from the emotional toll of parenthood, it’s a good sign you’ve done your job well.
If it didn’t hurt, you wouldn’t be making an impact.
And if you didn’t constantly feel like you were failing, you wouldn’t be human.
I’m seeing how there isn’t much left of me because what used to be me, now makes up four little people. Every ounce of me that is good, that is wholesome, that is smart, that is kind or intelligent now resides in them.
And, like any mom, I pray that it’s enough.
So, when you look in the mirror and feel like a part of you is gone, remember that it isn’t lost. That part of you is alive and strong – tucked inside little chubby cheeks, mischievous smiles, marker stained hands and those bright eyes is the very best of you.