As mothers (especially), it is easy to become overwhelmed, become engulfed in mom-guilt, and feel completely defeated on some days. In my opinion, children are wonderful beings and I am in love with family life, but on the flip-side, kids can also be life-draining, all consuming creatures. Well, at least mine can be.
And that brings me to days like this…
I started my morning at 5:30am with my usual 30 minute gym workout. This usually provides me with a boost of energy to handle the morning routine with the kids-breakfast, grooming, clothing, etc. But, being near my third trimester, I am finding myself struggling to get out of that early morning fog. For the last week, I have been wearing this fatigue like a ball and chain.
Upon arriving back home at 6:02am, I walked in to find our 2.5 year old daughter in our bed. Apparently Emilia had woken up sometime after I left, and Alex moved her to our room while getting ready for work. However, he failed to realize that she had wet the bed. Awesome! Laundry to do on a non-laundry day…my fav!
After tending to the baby, changing the sheets, and splashing some water under my armpits (my weak excuse for a shower), the hubby left for work and I went to wake up our son. Usually, he is pretty easy going in the morning, but on this particular morning he decided to argue with me on his ensemble. He vehemently fought to wear a T-shirt and thin pants, while I tried to be persuasive and logical with my thermal henley and jeans option. Apparently, 4.5 year olds do not believe that Chicago weather in January should have any bearing on wardrobe decisions. After some tears and hard negotiations, we compromised on jeans, the T-shirt, and a hooded zip-up. A battle royale at 7:00am? Sure, why not.
Since I was running behind schedule, I opted to serve a quick breakfast-cereal with milk. Everyone was situated at the breakfast table, the laundry was running, and the coffee was steeping (sweet relief, it felt so near). While breakfast was underway, I let Sadie out, but upon return, a symphony of tears filled my ears. In an attempt to reach for his orange juice, Liam had knocked over his entire bowl of cereal which managed to dirty himself and his sister. At this point, we were both crying over spilled milk-literally.
Fun fact-I despise the smell and taste of milk.
After re-serving cereal and milk, changing more clothes (good thing the laundry was already running!) and using what seemed to be an entire roll of paper towels to clean up the gargantuan mess, the kids finished eating and were allowed to have some free time in the play room (thank the heavens…coffee time!). No sooner did I sit down to relax, I was already doling out warnings to stop running around and to pick up toys.
Parents-have you ever taken a lego to the foot? Well, if you haven’t had the pleasure; it’s one of those awful, blinding, infuriating pains. And this is exactly what my children experienced after failing to heed my warnings.
Several tears and a Star Wars band-aid later, I just had it. I needed a minute. A moment, a MOMent to decompress and collect myself. By 9:00am, I felt like a failure. Every step taken forward was followed by two steps back. Nothing was getting accomplished and it wasn’t even noon. The kids had finally settled and quieted, so I took the opportunity to grab a breath of fresh January air. It was divine. No crying. No screaming. No tiny hands pulling at my pant leg. Just me, my thoughts, and a cup of coffee. And after three minutes, that’s all I needed-I felt ready to get back in the game.
As moms, it’s easy to let the waves of day-to-day life knock us down and consume us. As moms, it is important not only for us, but also our littles, to stay on top of these overwhelming feelings, address them without fear of judgement, and allow ourselves that MOMent when needed.
Oh, and just in case anyone was wondering, we survived the day and managed to share a few smiles along the way. Here’s to what the next day will bring!
Amanda Cifuentes Walchli