Mommyhood has the ability to frazzle me like nothing else (way more than the events that I plan). I don’t know if it’s the loss of control, the fear of a little person somehow dying, the enormity of what it means to have a little person depend on you completely (not just for health and all the things I do to ensure my child will of course be a genius—just like every other child—but weren’t our parents the ones who scarred us the most? Could I be…?) or somehow all of it?
Today I had swim lessons for little man. I scheduled them late morning so baby girl could be at home for her morning nap. Little man could sleep anywhere anytime when he was a baby but not baby girl. She’ll fall asleep for a bit but as soon as a sound wakes her, naptime is done! Time to play! She really needs to be at home in her bed for a decent nap. SO we had been home all morning, which is fine, but by 11am both little man and I are ready to be OUT of the house.
So we get up baby girl (please don’t scream at me but I’m not going to feed you until we get there), rush off to swim, load the baby in the stroller when we get there, grab the towel and swim bag and lunchbox, rush inside because of course I’m not early, strip little man, pull on swim pants, throw him in the pool, get out baby girl (who I think is still in shock from being transferred from bed to bucket and is looking at my wide-eyed), grab nursing cover, and sit. For 10 minutes. Then “mommy I have go poop poop” because I’ve just potty-trained little man and he’s still terrified of poop and holds it as long as he can so nice fellow mommy (who I can’t remember your name, but your awesome) sitting next to me says “I’ll hold the baby” and little man and I dash off to the restroom with him wailing all the way. I mentioned he hates to poop. We get there, I strip off swim pants, am now covered with chlorinated water, sit him on the toilet. Nothing. “Mommy, I’m all done!” So back to the pool, take baby girl, sit down. Five minutes later, “mommy, I have to go poop poop!!!!” Hand baby back to nice neighbor, chase wailing little man back to toilet, pull pants down not quite as fast because I’m sure it’s another false alarm and “oh no!” says little man as poop falls on the floor as I’m transferring him to the toilet. Really? And I can’t traumatize child further so of course I tell him it’s ok and accidents happen and I’m using toilet paper to scoop poop off the floor and back to the pool we go with smiling proud little man because he pooped in/close to the potty.
And then class is over and I put baby girl in her stroller with a toy dangling in front of her and strip little man and he and BF little blondie girl are squealing and splashing each other, and my girlfriend, blondie’s mom (who has her 1-year-old strapped in his stroller) are washing and wrangling and dressing kiddos and combing hair and baby girl is squawking because she doesn’t want to be in her stroller (or confined in anything because she always wants to wiggle) so I take baby girl out of her stroller and her back is covered with light liquidy brown stuff and really? So now I’m stripping baby girl and praise God I have another outfit for her in the diaper bag and now we’re all outside and kiddos are running around with sandwiches in hand because they don’t want to sit and baby girl is bobbing like a turtle on her blanket and 1-year-old is investigating the bark on the ground and then blondie girl whispers in a voice that cannot be heard above the din “I have to go pee pee” and suddenly her clothes are all wet. And little man thinks it’s a fabulous idea as well but at least he yells “I HAVE TO GO PEE PEE” and I unbutton pants and he’s grinning from ear to ear as he waters the bushes—much to the wide-eyed amazement of blondie girl who at the moment would really like to be able to do the same thing. Then blondie girl is running around in new underpants and girlfriend and I are wrangling kids into cars and baby girl is squawking because she really doesn’t want to be back in her car seat and my stress level is inching up my legs into my belly, up my neck and I yell at little man who is half way down the block to get into his car seat now (please!) and I load baby girl (squawking louder) and look and little man’s in the front seat pretending to drive and I pull him out and it takes all I have in me not to pull down his pants and give his little behind a wack.
Now I’m not opposed to spanking when it’s done right (as in not pulling down your child’s pants in exacerbation and giving him a wack) but it’s not something husband and I have decided to do and we’re not home so I can’t give little man a time out in his bed which is what I would do so I breathe deeply, hold little man’s shoulders and look in his eyes and say “I am very frustrated right now” and continue with how when he runs away from me I get scared and when I ask him to do something he needs to do it because mommy is in charge, not little man. And finally, we’re all loaded and I’m driving home and I’m trying to focus on traffic while baby girl still squawks and…really, is this my life right now?
Does living in the land of mommyhood just mean being frazzled? Choosing to be thankful for the sweet moments with each of my little people I have every day helps (and actually looking for those moments some days) and appreciating the gift that each of them are in my life helps. I wouldn’t trade being their mommy for anything and I absolutely adore them both (most days). I don’t want to change my life and it’s not like I want to even add more childcare—it’s not that I’m trying to get away from my children or spend less time with them. So why are there so many days where I feel like I have half a brain and my stress level is between my ears?
I have a 41-year old girlfriend who tried for 7 years to get pregnant and/or adopt and after 7 years finally adopted a little boy internationally and miracle of miracles was pregnant 3 months later so she went from 0-2 kids under two in one year and feels all this guilt because she cried for and prayed for and begged for children for so long and now some days she wants to throw them both out the window.
Does living in the land of mommyhood just mean being frazzled? I think part of it is the loss of control. And for a type A person like me, that’s hard. I have two want-based illogical little human beings on my hands that depend entirely on me for health, happiness, and safety. Little man wants to run down the street because it’s fun. Little man wants to climb into the driver seat and pretend to drive because it’s fun. His ideas are based on wants and curiosity…which at times is really fun but because I’m trying to keep him safe and mold him into a little person that understands boundaries, at times it also drives me C-RAZY! And throw a squawking need-based (hungry! tired! uncomfortable!) baby girl into the mix and there’s some days I think I should be checked into a looney bin (at least it would be quiet there and I could shower in silence and absolutely alone!).
Helpful husbands, good girlfriends, red wine, Nashville, prayer, date nights, occasional breaks, cute jeans, and chocolate all help. But I think that being frazzled is just part of my stage. The I’m thankful for but still going to be frazzled stage.