For The Mom Who Is Tired


It is 9 a.m. and I am already tired. My husband texts and asks how the day is going, I shoot him a photo of the living room and kitchen in a disaster state as a reply. He texts back, "So, like normal?" 

I reheat a cold cup of coffee from this morning and think about how I don't want to clean the kitchen. I wonder where I would even start. But my mom's voice rings in my ears. "When you don't know where to start, go left to right." And so at the left I begin.

***

It is 12 p.m. and I am distracted. I know the reason why but I still cling to it, the FOMO setting in at the very thought of losing it. I sigh and know what I need to do. I take my phone, put it on silent and put it in the top drawer of my bedside table. I walk back out to my children in the living room. One begging to play diggers, one begging to be held. I scoop up the littlest and sit on the floor by the biggest and we play. The thought to check my phone flickers annoyingly through my mind between thoughts of grocery lists, digger noises and a packing list for our trip this weekend. I wonder to myself why I am so attached to it. Why I cannot have it in the back pocket of my jeans and still be present with my children.

***

It is 7 p.m. and I am spent. I help get the kids down then ask my husband if I can leave - although it wasn't really a question. I just need a moment, maybe two - or maybe three hours. I get in the car, turn up the music and open the sun roof. I think about the errands I need to run. How they would be so much easier without my two kids in tow. There would be no need to stop for a free cookie, to avoid certain aisles, tame the inevitable tantrum, or figure out where in the heck I'm going to put all the groceries with a carseat in the basket and a toddler in front seat.

But I don't spend my time as wisely as I should and I have an inkling of guilt for leaving. I need a break. I am heavy from the day. The week. The months of wondering about this or that. I drive with the music loud, hoping it will drown out my thoughts. I never used to be someone who drove to clear my head. But today, I am.

***

It is 11 p.m. and I am drained. But my mind is not, so I zone out to the television. I wonder if I am the only mother that cannot fall asleep after a day's 12 hour marathon of parenting. I wonder if I am the only mother that carried her newborn while still nursing over to the toddler to stop him from dumping all the milk out of his sippy cup because he knows how to push that soft top just so. Of course baby lost her latch, the milk was still spilled, and all three of us only got frustrated at each other. What was I thinking?

I wonder about all the mothers out there. I wonder how they have the self-control to not treat themselves to dark chocolate m&m's during nap time. Because in that moment of Nap Utopia, I do not care about the extra baby weight I want to lose. I want to eat all the m&m's more than I want a flat stomach. Besides, I don't think a flat stomach is possible after two babies.

That makes me feel better.

Sort of.

I wonder about other mothers who have the correct answers to the toddler throwing his trains at the window, the newborn's hatred of tummy time, and my inability to remember good posture as I sit on the floor, the couch, the toy bin.

My disregard for this is not helping the hunch in my shoulders that has come from the burdens of wondering each day.

I think I must be the only mother who's home always smells faintly of spit up, gets easily bored when playing with their toddler, and tears up mid-day for no other reason than This Wonder Is All So Overwhelming.

From the internet these days I know all of the above is not true.

But I can't help but think it.

***

I text a friend and tell her the poop rolled out of my son's diaper and onto the carpet as I was changing it. As I was working quickly to catch it, my hand most definitely grabbed a large part of it. She texts me back and she tells me her toddler just puked on her face, neck and chest.

She wins this one. 

We text some more and one of her texts says, "I was so tired, I had no idea what to do." 

This reminds me of what I have forgotten this day, but I already know. We are all in this together. We're all doing it one misstep at a time. We are all a little fried. We are all a little distracted. We are all a little tired. Motherhood ebbs and flows but you can never actually turn it off. 

This is motherhood we're talking about. Its wonder blares loudly even in the quiet. 

And so to the point of all this: I see you there, wondering if you're doing it right - unable to focus in the moment or wind down at night.

The good news is, if you care enough to wonder, I can assure you, you are doing it right. 

We are all in this together. So often, we wonder where to start, where to end, what to turn on and what to turn off. We don't feel good enough and the mom-guilt is heavy because of it. 

But we are doing it. We are all our babies need. So take a deep breath, text a friend for a little solidarity and encouragement, and remember, we are all in this together - if you care enough to wonder, you are doing it right. 

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2 comments:

  1. Oh goodness I love this. Late last week I had one of those days, those moments, where I was convinced that I just wasn't cut out for this motherhood thing. I wanted a nap more than anything, a few hours or maybe a day to myself to do absolutely nothing and felt horrible for being bored by my newborn, despite how very much I love her and how thankful I am for her.


    Thanks for always keeping it real. Your voice and your approach to motherhood is always my favorite voice on the internet (and in real life!)


    xo

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  2. Thanks Madison, I'm so glad you connected. And being your favorite voice on the internet has got to be the biggest and best compliment I've ever received! The pull with the newborn love and boredom is SO REAL. I feel ya, you're totally normal and still the best mom ever to little Ainsley!

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