Thursday had the perfect start to keep my life as a mother focused. My MOPS group had a panel consisting of “Wiser Older Women” available for us less-wise moms to pick the brains of. And what great advice we received. Held honest, at time teary, discussions of issues on the hearts of the moms! As I spoke with the panel guests and mentor moms prior to the meeting we chatted about how quickly time goes, how they feel somewhat removed and struggling to remember what it was like when their kids were so little. You know the comments, like the ones you received from strangers at Wal-mart… “Enjoy these times, they go so quick. You’ll wish you had them back”
It has been my goal since adding Isaac to the family to slow down, enjoy him while he’s little b/c I have realized with sending Emma off to school how quickly time passes. HOWEVER, it’s super D dooper hard. I mean really I’m going to miss THIS…
Like last night. Emma had evaluations for our church Basketball program at 6. Matt’s outta town. A friend offered to take Emma so I didn’t have to bring the boys. Yeah! No, cancel that. Emma came home from school fussing about her cheek and ear hurting. (Same complaints from the AM) She got more and more upset. Crying and crying. Could it be the return of strep from few weeks ago? Could it be what Aidan had last week?
All the while I’m trying to feed Isaac when Aidan starts what I call his poopy dance. He’s constipated- always & yes we’ve tried prunes, etc. It hurts, yet he refuses to let it out. He holds it in and cries. Begs for “help”. It’s taken days sometimes to get him to finally go. He screams for us to hold his hand, rub his back, hold him, etc. So, he’s in full blown need to poo mode, fussin’ and crying.
Again I’m trying to feeding Isaac. Get all the bubbles out and have a peaceful feeding so I’m not soothing a fussy, gassy baby later.
Emma is crying and reminding me every 3.5 seconds that she hurts and is hungry.
Matt is texting me about how awesome his hotel room is and how he’ll call later as they have dinner at 6.
I encourage Aidan to go in and sit on the potty. HOWEVER, the step stool isn’t in there b/c he’d moved it into the kitchen earlier to “help”. “It’s ok Aidan just climb up on the potty.” And I’m assuming he’s done just that until I hear a thud. Then he peaks his head out of the bathroom and smiles while stomping his feet and I hear…what is that I hear?…is that splashing?!? I investigate to find poo on the floor along with a pee puddle he’s splashing in like it’s fresh rain water. He’s got his undies at his ankles wet along with wet socks. I begin to clean him up and add to the ever growing laundry mountain. Disinfect the bathroom surfaces and mop the floor and it’s 5:50. Maybe I should be grateful for the mess, it did cause me to mop the bathroom…who knows when that would have happened otherwise. We’re obviously going to be late to BB evals as Aidan needs a full outfit change (more laundry), Emma is not getting ready to leave b/c…why was that again? Oh, yes her ear hurts! The baby has spit up all over himself b/c mommy was cleaning poo instead of burping him properly after feeding him, so an outfit change is needed for him – more laundry.
All this on the heals of Aidan’s illness last week where I was constantly told by Emma we must love Aidan more. We take care of him while he’s sick and we don’t love her. As if the week prior when she had strep I just let her suffer the 3 days she was off school! I’ve poured out all my physical energy and most of my emotions to nurse a child to health to be told by another that I’m not apparently “loving” enough. Just what a mommy who’s already feeling the guilt of short patience and unequal attention needs to hear!
I had mentioned to Matt in a down moment last week that I needed something, anything to happen that would make mothering feel pleasurable. Rewarding. Worth it. Worth the mess, worth the mountain of laundry, worth the stress, the trips to the Dr. resulting in piles of bills, little to no sleep at night, feeling physically tugged and in dire need of personal space.
Then IT happens as quickly as I feel overwhelmed and ready to run away. The reminders of all those strangers. The mentors. It will end. All the kids will hit a point where my lap will not be their source of comfort. There will be a time they get sick and not really need me to hold them, squirt meds down them, sleep with them or stroke their soft skin. I mean I’m the MOMMY. The one they want. The one they cry for when they’re hurting. Sad. Or needing comfort. As a teen Aidan won’t nuzzle up to me and say “love you mommy” in his sweet little voice anymore. Emma won’t beg to have her back/arm/leg rubbed while laying across my lap. Gone will be her soft, fine hair I stroke to soothe her. These things that seem almost burdensome at times will in fact be moments I long for.
But why can’t these feelings stick? Why can’t they surface after 3 nights sleeping everywhere BUT my bed awaking every 30 min? Where are they when I’m scrubbing the bathroom floor and cleaning a dirty 2 yr old while the other 2 are crying in the living room? Why do harsh tones come out of my mouth when I have these words of truth in my head? Why have I found myself raising my voice, or in last nights case, ignoring the complaints of a child hurting b/c I’m wiped. Why does the 7 constant loads of laundry waiting on me weigh me down so much- I mean laundry will never be “done” with 3 little ones, but I let these undone “tasks” determine my worth. Why do I dream of changing my name from Mommy to something else to get a break? My sympathy account is overdrawn. Each little (thank God, nothing major) illness takes more and more out of me with little time between for me to rest and gear up for the next. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He is good. He knows his plans for me. His timing is what is best. He’s designed us as mothers to be the nurturing, caregivers in our families.
I consider myself one who enjoys helping those in need. Caring for and providing comforts to others. But while in the mothering trenches it’s so hard to see your way out.
This struggle between wishing time to pass and the thought that life will be easier when ____ vs.. cherishing each daily moment has been the most recent addition to my load of mommy guilt I carry around, yet know I shouldn’t. (Guilt…awholenother post!!)
When I’m rational (and everyone in my house is healthy) I know that mothering will always have challenges…the challenges just change as he kids age. I know when they are older I will miss so many things about them at the ages they are now. So please, all you mentors, W.O.W. and purple hairs at Wal-mart keep telling me the truths that you have lived and know to be true that I, in the trenches of mother young kids, need to hear and hold on to.
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