Why is it that children, in particular my toddler, seem to forget that we get into our pjs every night? Or that a diaper change is a mandatory part of our day, in fact she seems to be suffering momentary short term memory loss because I just changed her not more than 20 mins ago! It seems that my goal in her mind is to put an end to all fun and wrangle her to the ground, contain the clearly protesting and convulsing child while I attempt to keep poop from getting on the new rug. There are times I think we need to call an exorcist with this one.
Though seemingly funny it gets very tiring. 16 month olds have super human baby strength. There’s a funny story around the internet that refers to the act of dressing a toddler as containing an octopus in a mesh bag with holes. Couldn’t be truer.
In my world right now it feels as if groundhogs day has taken over, except that Bill Murray isn’t in my version. Things get tiring, and frustrating, and I become “over it.” The other night I was extremely defeated. Being in my ninth month of pregnancy for the third time in two and a half years really does begin to feel like groundhogs day, and I am starting to feel its effects. I was flustered with the protesting little toddler, and the overly happy bigger toddler who just had happy wiggles, and the little boy who just wants to talk more and all I wanted was for them to go to sleep. Thus, in anger I put them all to bed and wept in the kitchen. I was frustrated. Frustrated at myself. At my selfishness. At my clumsiness. At my sore back and aching hips. At my tears. At my expectations and my feelings of defeat. Frustrated at knowing what I needed to do (be patient) and should have done (given him 5 more minutes of mommy time), but sought to escape rather than dig deeper and muster the energy for them.
I know my limits. I have learned them sadly the hard way. I must walk away at times to keep myself from lashing out. That alone is frustrating. And it creates fear in me. With yet another season of round the clock feedings, hormones, the possibility of postpartum depression again and over-all fatigue heading my way there is fear in my heart that I will stumble. Failure and weakness are such ugly words in our society. We must constantly seem as if we have it all together.
I must seem like super mom to some, and I have been told that, but the bitter truth is I just yelled at my kids, and said things that may shape my sons view of me for a lifetime. And sometimes I need to be reminded that I have in me the potential to be super mom. Rather than constantly reminded that my hands are full.
The flip side of that coin is the whole “being real” concept. I have tried to take that one to heart and never present myself more than what I am. Flawed. And some days it is a Christmas miracle that I got dinner on the table and didn’t kill the kids. But that can’t be my standard. There are real seasons of life that require me to lower myself and my expectations and realize that I can not do it all. And, to be honest, I probably shouldn’t be doing it all. If I am, what am I not doing? Am I not parenting? Am I not loving my children? Am I not allowing creativity because I want to do a specific craft I saw on Pinterest and it must be done this way! All I know is that this is where grace and faith come in.
I must believe that the grace that is given to me can be given over and over again. I have faith that I am not finished. I know that things will change and my children will someday no longer need diaper changes, but that something else will take its place of inconvenience. I know that they will not be little forever, but that I must grow as they grow. I know that defeat will come my way, and my days will be filled with hard moments, the question is how will I move forward? What will I do to overcome the “over it” moments?
I will text my girlfriend that I am “this close” to loosing it.
I will cry alone in the kitchen.
I will pray for strength.
I will remind myself that I am not finished and that this moment does not define me!
I will turn the music loud and sing and dance.
I will throw caution to the wind and make cookies to eat before dinner.
I will rise above it and not fall victim to defeat.