By most people’s standards, I have it pretty good. I stay at home with my four-year-old and sixteen month old boys, we live in a nice house, my husband is usually home by 6:00 every night and my kids sleep through the night. And….I’m pregnant with my third child!!! Life is good! Right?
Yes. Maybe no. Not all the time.
Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. Drowning in guilt, drowning in anxiety, drowning in exhaustion. You see, I have a problem. I don’t like asking for help. And it has finally caught up with me.
Last night I ugly cried to my husband and I was not making any sense to him. In my mind, staying at home was a choice I made, so I should be taking care of everything it usually entails. Let me preface that my husband is AMAZING and the second he comes home from work, he is ‘on’. Dinner time, baths and bedtimes are never too much for him. But, with that being said, it is the time between 8:00-6:00 that is kicking my butt.
For starters I feel nauseated all the time. I’m rounding the end of my first trimester and it has been more difficult than the first two. Not so bad to where I am throwing up, but a sicky, gross feeling stays with me most of the day. And, there is never enough sleep. It is all I can do to get the baby down and bribe my four-year-old with his Kindle for ‘rest time’. I need it more then he does.
Then, after that, the guilt overcomes me. What kind of mom makes her four year old go watch a movie in his room while she can take a rest? What kind of mom gives her kids hot dogs two nights in a row for dinner? What kind of mother waits in bed first thing in the morning until her husband gets up (again) with the baby before the sun goes up so she can get a few more minutes in bed.
This mom does.
Then, after that comes the anxiety. How am I supposed to handle ANOTHER baby if I can’t be a ‘good’ mom to these two? I am a stay-at-home-mom…..I am supposed to excel at this! I need to play more, nurture more, feed them more healthy food, be more active with them, do more laundry, organize the closets more, vacuum more. The list goes on and on.
Then, that takes me back to exhaustion. The circle never seems to end. Until, my husband interrupts my thoughts. He reminds me I am the one who will rock the baby to bed for an hour until he falls asleep when he’s teething. I am the only one who can make my four year old’s boo-boos go away with my kiss. I am the one who cuddles. I am the one who nourishes. I am the one who makes our house a home.
He says I am the mommy and a good one too. I am the only mommy our boys would want. I know I can’t be the only one who is feeling like this. Many of my friends are in the same place right now. Small children and a never ending list of worries. Why can’t I just enjoy the moment? Because I care. And I want everything to be perfect. There is that word again! Perfect. Somehow I can’t attain it, but can’t get it out of my mind.
Here is a little secret. Your kids don’t care if anything is perfect. I had a major mommy fail today. I made cookies with my kids and forgot to put in the baking powder. They turned into a puddle of chocolaty muck. I was so disappointed. I had failed. But, guess what. My kids did not care! They thought they were delicious! All they care about is you being with them and being present.
As hard as it is to let go of this idea of perfection, it will let me able to take a breath and enjoy the days. Even when they are exhausting. But with the exhaustion comes satisfaction too.
Like my husband said, I am mommy and to my kids, that is more then enough.