Last night I finally climbed into bed after an exceptionally long and exhausting day.
I was beyond tired, having woken up for the day before 5:00 AM, and thanks partly to the fact that I spent much of the night before comforting a child who had woken up terrified in the midst of a thunder storm, and nursing a baby who loves nothing more than to eat.
You would have thought that I would have fallen fast asleep the moment my head hit the pillow (like my husband does), but instead I just stared at the images on the video monitor, as it scanned back and forth between my children's bedrooms. I was afraid to fall asleep, because I knew as soon as I did, like clockwork, one of my children would need me.
I have been feeling very needed lately, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly can wear a mother out. There have been days where I have felt stretched beyond what I am capable of, and then some. The daily routine that has become finding a way to divide my attention between the constant needs of an almost 4 month old, a busy and inquisitive four year old, and a sassy and sometimes dramatic 2 year old, is no doubt taking it's toll.
Yesterday in particular was one of those days where I wanted to lock myself in the bathroom with a bottle of rosé. It was the third summer day in a row that we were trapped inside due to rain, following a weekend that I had single-parented my way through because my husband had been away. Over the course of these last few days, I had pulled out all the stops to entertain my little crew... movies, coloring, board games, Playdoh, even Happy Meals (gasp!)... you name it, I tried it. Despite my attempts, the usual tantrums still occurred, the sibling battles ensued anyway, and the baby still wanted to be constantly held... I was feeling defeated.
I'm not the first mother to have three kids (or more for that matter), and I know for a fact that I won't be the last, but when you're outnumbered, you're outnumbered, regardless of by how many.
I spend my days sipping on coffee that has gone cold, wearing yoga pants that are covered in spit up stains, and much of the time my hair is tied up in an uncombed top knot. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don't even recognize the reflection staring back at me. There are bags under my eyes and the gray hairs that are growing in are too numerous to count.
I spend my nights wishing that I had accomplished more that day, struggling with the inevitable "mom guilt", and thinking that I really should make more time for myself.
Motherhood is one of the most thankless jobs that there is. Much of the "work" involved often goes unnoticed. It is expected, and not always appreciated...
That is until after listening to you rant about the chaos that has become your life, one of your friends lets you know that her day has gone very similar to yours, and suddenly you realize that you are not alone.
That is until just before bed, when your four year old climbs into your lap, wraps his arms around your neck, and says "you're the best mommy in the whole wide world"!
Suddenly it ALL seems worth it, because you have just gotten all the thanks you need.