“Stop! Do not bite your brother!” “Do not throw your juice on the floor one more time.” “Please come back here so I can finish putting a new diaper on you.” “Please don’t put your hand down there while Mommy is changing your dirty diaper.” “You guys, play together and be nice.” “It’s not an ‘uh-oh’ if you do it on purpose.” These are just a handful of sentences that I have to repeat over and over.
A couple weeks ago my Mama asked me if motherhood was everything that I thought it was going to be. I paused for a long while and eventually answered, “No”. No, it’s not. It’s a whole lot more work. I imagined these sweet little babies that would love to cuddle. I remember even thinking at one point that I would never let my house be overtaken by toys because I would teach my children to be happy without needing lots of baby toys. “If they are never around toys then they won’t know the difference,” I thought. Obviously I was very naive. Those sweet, precious little bundles that came home from the hospital with me are growing up. And with that comes growing challenges. For instance, changing diapers are a huge challenge for us. My boys never like to stop moving, so having to pause to change a diaper is an earth shattering event each and every time.
Just today for example, I had changed a poopy diaper on Maverick and before I was able to get a new diaper on him Maxton walked over and started walking on top of Maverick. In the time it took me to get Maxton removed, Maverick had escaped and was running wildly through the kitchen with no diaper. I decided that I would get him in a minute, so I rolled up the dirty diaper and began changing Maxton’s poopy diaper. Before that task was completed Maverick returned from his adventure in the kitchen, grabbed his dirty diaper that was lying next to me and took off with it. He started to open it up and I yelled for him to bring it back to me. Of course he didn’t so I had to leave Maxton laying on the floor without a diaper while I tried to control Maverick. I returned and then had two toddlers running around without diapers on. I eventually wrangled them both together and got diapers on them. If I were to attempt to describe what it’s like to try and strap diapers on little ones that are resisting the diaper change, I would say it is like trying to lasso an angry bull, or two angry bulls in my case. Any moms out there able to relate? It is just exhausting.
Everything is exhausting, really. If I need to go anywhere it is a huge ordeal. Trying to get myself ready, both children dressed with teeth and hair brushed, get the diaper bag prepared, and everything loaded into the car takes so much effort that every time I do it I decide that it’s not worth it and we will never leave the house again. The boys hate to be restrained so probably 8 times out of 10 trying to get them strapped into the car seat is, once again, like strapping an angry bull into a car seat. It’s just impossible until they calm down.
I definitely don’t want to seem like I’m complaining. I’m really not. I love these sweet boys more than anything in the world. They are my entire meaning for existence at this point. Everything I do revolves around them, their nap time, their meal times, their needs and their wants. I’m there to hold and to soothe them every time they trip and fall or every time they are excited and want me to be excited too; I’m there. And I always will be. Nothing can change the amount of unending love I have for these sweet babies, and nothing could have prepared me for the amount of love I have for them.
But nothing could have prepared me for how much work they would be either. I’m being serious. I don’t think I’m alone, I’m pretty for sure every mom in the history of ever has felt what I’m feeling right now. I have been so weary the last few days. Motherhood is non stop. Like, it never stops. It doesn’t stop for me to have a bathroom break, or a lunch break. It doesn’t stop for me to sleep at night. It doesn’t stop if I don’t feel well. It certainly doesn’t take a pause for me to do a workout or make dinner. Sure, there are lots of moments that are joyful and beautiful. These are the best days of my life, but they are also the most challenging.
Lately I’ve been struggling with feeling like a bad mom. I feel like sometimes in the midst of all the daily chaos that I don’t savor every individual moment as I should. The other day as one of my children slung his macaroni and cheese all over my freshly mopped floor I thought to myself, “Okay, stay calm. One day you will miss this.” but in that moment, I was just frustrated. I’m not perfect. I wish I was. I wish I could just laugh with them when I round the corner and see them each dumping their chocolate milk on my new cowhide rug and giggling about it. I really do. I wish I could instantly remind myself that they didn’t mean to hurt anything, but that’s hard. I’m slowly learning to remind myself that because I’m human, it’s only natural to get tired and weary at times. I’m also trying to give myself a break and understand that I don’t have to be perfect.
I don’t think I’m the only mama out there who has ever gotten tired. I hope that this post has managed to be an encouragement to a sweet mama out there who is trying to savor every moment, but sometimes falls short. We are just humans, doing the best we can on this journey of motherhood.