There are times that I wish I could fully write down that voice inside of my head. Write all those thoughts down not out of accomplishment, but maybe to just make sense of them. To see all the words written out on paper, and to grab certain ones and turn them and try to fit them somewhere, like a puzzle. Maybe if all the words and thoughts were out of my mind, and on paper I could put the puzzle together. Instead, I rise most mornings with one word in my head, "tired." So tired. Or maybe I feel more rested and begin the day accessing the current situation. Because, whether I am tired or not, there will be a situation. I ask myself these simple little questions, "What time is it?" "How long have the girls been awake?' (there are many mornings Andrew is home and up with them first). "How many shows have they watched?" "What is the mood?"
I ask myself all of these things on the way to the coffee pot. Sometimes I am stopped by a dirty diaper or a cry that needs a hug. Normally there is a request for a second breakfast, which is almost always oatmeal. I keep saying, almost chanting, "Yes but let me just get some coffee first." My mind never stops running, yet to actually speak full sentences I have to have coffee.
I woke up this morning feeling very grouchy about my life. About the fact that Andrew had to close at work last night, and that I didn't sleep well. When I am nursing and postpartum sometimes I get this weird cold feeling at night. It sort of feels like every nerve in my body is cold. And I can't warm the inside of my own body enough. Almost like a starving hunger. Is it low blood sugar? Is it exhaustion? It feels really awful. I normally eat to try and help the fact. But I'm never sure if its fat, carbs, sugar... what it is I need. And then I start to feel so high maintenance. But then, by the time I am in that hard sleep... I am woken by the toddler. And then the baby. And then four year old has a bad dream and wants to lay by me but I already have a baby on each side of me. And Andrew tells her if she just calms down she can have extra gummy vitamins in the morning.
I wake with more memories of the night than should be allowed. I am tired. Blanche wants to play a game that we played last night but I am just too tired to do anything. I try calling Rosemary's doctor. Blanche falls and hurts herself and starts screaming while I am on hold. I signal to go get her dad. Even though this is his turn to sleep...since we are both running on only a few hours, and he technically got up for cartoons at 5am. I hear her crying to him. I feel bad but also so tired. Oh yeah, the doctor. I talk with a secretary. Well, yes I want them to check her ears... actually I want to know why it has taken me months to try and wean her. I'm trying to get in on Saturday hours as a semi emergency even though I know her ears are probably fine and I need to wait until next week and make a real appointment. I'm on my third kid and I still have no idea what I am doing. I ramble half of this to that lady. I know I sound confused and tired. I decide to go take a bath.
I run the water as hot as I can stand and lay back and think about everything. Am I having a bad day? Or am I not really any better? Am I depressed? I access my current day, my current life. Tired. I can beat tired. I keep telling myself that eventually everyone will sleep through the night and until at least 6 am. This can't last forever. I want to cry. I want to call in sick. I want Andrew to call in sick instead of closing tonight. My head is spinning. Why is my head always spinning? Do I have an overactive brain?
Tired. I can beat tired. I'll take them to the park. I'll let Andrew go back to bed. I will just keep going until I can no longer. Andrew sees me getting ready and says he wants to come. We rush around and I pack everyone up while he makes coffee and gets dressed. We go to the park and end up hiking on a new trail. I feel good again. The rest of my day goes like this. My head spinning and some many needs and so many people talking to me. I keep thinking about zoning out to the Gilmore Girls. I steam the floors while Foster screams because I don't know what he wants. I let the girls watch a Winnie the Pooh movie and hate how much I really do hate them watching shows. Then later as I make dinner I watch Blanche playing in an imaginary world. And I feel happy. Then I start to understand why shows bother me. Because I am afraid they won't be creative or use their imagination. But I feel enough pride watching her play that I know I will get through dinner and bedtime. We all make it. To the end. I read a Winnie the Pooh book about finding colored pebbles and think to myself how I really do like Winnie the Pooh. I hold hands and nurse. There is quiet. For the first time in my 12 hour day I am alone. The spinning stops and there's me again. I see my kids and how much I love them. I realize I probably am pretty normal. Maybe just a slightly introverted person that doesn't have a chance to be. I think too much. I am alone with my kids and sometimes I think too much.
But then as I sit here typing I realize that its often the moments when I give in and stop thinking so hard, that I do best. Like when the girls were fighting over the same books and I made it into a game of "library." All I did was make a beeping sound while "checking out" their books. I gave them an imaginary receipt. They smiled so big. Blanche would go into the living room and actually look through each book before "returning it."
Just learning how to be. That is my struggle. I ride my days so often on my own emotions. Or maybe my kid's emotions. And now after feeling like I was really in a slump for a while, I think I tend to over analyze myself. This is what I have been working on all along. To allow myself to be me, to be creative and sensitive but to not be stuck in my mind or emotions. To really live my days.
I have realized three things that help me do this... to be present in the midst of chaos. Hearing my counselor call my life with three young child chaos was freeing. To know that actually is what it is sometimes. And that I can still be happy. The first thing though, is Grace. Grace to give myself and my children and my husband. Honestly, I really would love if we never had the tv on or shows playing. I like reading or hobbies or being outside. But I am learning that life doesn't always go like I would like it too. And an hour or two of cartoons while we lay there semi-unconscious is really not that bad of a problem. And if that's "the worse part of the day" well, I guess we are pretty lucky. I have to learn that even when things are going well they will not be perfect. It will never be perfect. That is really hard for me.
The second thing is Positivity. I have to remain positive. I have to tell myself to go to the park or take a walk. Even when I want to curl up in a ball and not do life that day... I have to. Positivity in motherhood is a lot like perseverance. Getting out of the bathtub and telling myself that even though I want to escape... I am going to face the day head on, is a lot like that feeling when you really want to stop running but you don't. You actually push harder.
And the third is Simplicity. This works for almost every element. From meals, to getting dressed, to the simple little games I play with the kids. Having such young children is the perfect time to learn about simplicity. Because I often try and give my children so many amazing experiences. But sometimes being the librarian after dinner or playing tag in the front yard is actually all my kids want. I get so lost in my own mind and thought and worries... and all my kids want is a silly game.
So, to be really cheesy... I have sort of made it a little saying in my mind. My "GPS of Motherhood" ... I know I warned you it was cheesy. But, I honestly think that these three things (along with begging God for patience and love and strength) are the keys for me to fight the "I can't do it" feelings I often have. I know I have a beautiful life. That's why I take pictures of it. But sometimes my own tiredness and emotions can leave me feeling really stuck. But when I give myself grace and stay positive and just do a moment at a time... It gets better.