I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it many, many more times before my career as a stay-at-home mom is done. This job is hard.
Before I had my sweet little ones, I was a very productive person. Sure, I still might have never had everything done, but at least I made progress. I could stay up until 4am and survive a full day at work on two hours of sleep if I had to, and I was glad that I could if it meant I had accomplished something. But these days, I am spending hours and hours awake every night with my toddler who still won't sleep through the night. Where is the productivity in that lost sleep? I sure can't find it. And when I drag my groggy, sorry self out of bed when he is again awake at 6am, I can't find any motivation to wipe the kitchen counter clean, much less do the 47 piled-up sewing projects, scrapbooking inspirations, and thank you notes and memory journals and meal plans.
And it is driving me absolutely crazy.
Maybe some stay-at-home moms feel content or even proud when their day is done and everyone in their house is alive. I have days like that, occasionally. If it's bedtime and I have managed to nurse the baby twelve times, change sixteen diapers, take a shower, feed the toddler something other than cheerios or crackers, run the dishwasher, wash four loads of laundry and get the clean clothes upstairs - even if not put away, and bathe at least one of the kids.... I probably should feel proud, right?
But most of the time, I don't. Most of the time I go to sleep at or after midnight, frustrated because all I wanted to do that day was write three blog posts, order photos for my scrapbook and all the grandparents, clean out the office closet, tag 246 items for the upcoming consignment sale, meal plan things that we will all enjoy even with my dairy restriction, grocery shop, and oh, you know - do a dozen Pinterest-worthy children's craft projects every day and keep the toilets clean and the floors vacuumed and have a hot meal on the table when Daddy walks in the door. Mom confession time: Daddy does 98% of the cooking in this house. And that is not an exaggeration.
The worst thing about all this is that people are constantly telling you to cherish these days, because they won't last and you'll wish you had them back. That's the problem. I know this - and I really do try to always appreciate the time that I have with my kids. But what am I supposed to do when the toddler is running circles around my kitchen after I've asked him to stop eight times, but I'm busy changing the baby's fourth poopy diaper in ten minutes so I can't catch him as he lands headfirst in the door frame? Giant scratch on his head? Check. Feelings of mom failure? Double check. And then heap on the guilt because I'm not enjoying that particular moment of my life.
|They are hard work, but at least they're the cutest kids ever.|
Photos from Instagram last week.
This stage of parenting is hard because my kids aren't old enough to help me yet. I have to take care of two other people, so caring for myself falls by the wayside. Lincoln's one chore of throwing away pieces of trash or dirty diapers is only successful about 75% of the time. I should look on the bright side though, because today I asked him to bring me the box of wipes while Addie was nursing and he gave me the brightest grin and did it immediately. It's moments like that one that are most helpful to the survival of a mom of tiny kids. I have great hope that a year or two or five from now, things will be at least a little easier. Maybe I'm nuts. But if I'm wrong, please don't tell me. I think I'll handle it better if I find out these things as I go.
And hopefully, by that time I'll be a little more okay with having days that are not up to my productivity standard. Until that day comes... I guess I am a work in progress.
I am also very, very tired.