06 May Kids – exhaustion + life choices | FREE print
This started as a boring old rant from a tired Mum.
I had written it when I was thirty nine weeks pregnant, had a sore pelvis and hated the world a bit.
So when I came home from hospital five days ago on cloud nine having had my babe and all was right with the world again, I looked at it with disdain and thought
“I can’t air that moany piece of crap”.
So I stalled it.
Then last night,
I don’t know if it was a combination of the baby blues (it was day five), the exhaustion of a newborn or the fear of my husband returning to work but I lost my way and failed at disciplining (I hate that term- maybe ‘failed at parenting’ is better) my four year old for his rude behaviour and I hate myself for it and I thought,
“Well, I may as well share the darn thing now”.
Guilt ridden tears roll down my cheeks at 2.47am as I feed the newbie and type this amended intro because I keep replaying in my mind the scenario with the four year old.
I’ll set the familiar scene any mother will recognise
He and his brother had gone swimming with Dad – Mum and Dad allowed them some time to play on pads after the pool – Mum and Dad shared a drink while feeding and winding the baby – Mum and dad didn’t really keep an eye on time – time passed quickly and by the time we got home everyone was ” hangry”(a mixture of hungry and angry) – oven pizzas seem to take forever to cook – second born became agitated – cheekiness and spitting amongst other rebellious acts prevailed – I (also feeling the hanger myself) didn’t cope as well as I should.
Instead of letting the shouting and screaming wash over me, I rose to it.
I took on a fight with a four year.
Silly move and one I keep wishing I could go back and handle differently.
I feel that even though it was just the five of us around the table where the scene of the crime took place , I humiliated him with my words. Upon reflection he didn’t seem to view it as humiliation but more a cue to keep the banter going. But even still, it was fraught.
Since I started the tearfest about this scenario exactly four hours ago my husband would say otherwise-
he felt that I was pushed to my limits and it wasn’t nearly as bad in reality as when I look back at it in my own head.
Furthermore, the scene had ended quickly
with me asking my husband to take the four year old out or to help, which he did and the whole thing was resolved in a matter of minutes allowing us to finish the oven pizzas with great conversation and laughter.
So I was still with it enough to get the exit strategy in place.
However, any mother will know that the loss of perspective and the guilt wave is a strong one, a heavy one. So, no matter what it looked like to others, in our heads that scene replays and replays and it’s not a nice one.
SO if you’re nodding your head to any of this
and you too have cried over your sleeping babe as they lie there none the wiser whilst you eat up your very insides over changing schools, stopping breast feeding, working long hours- ultimately questioning your ability as a mother and human being…
Then be encouraged.
Observe both the irony in the content below as I refer to letting go of guilt and also the difference in my tone from this point on.
I’m one big ball of emotions,ah the joys of hormones…
Now entering original post
I get it I get it. I absolutely one hundred percent opted for this life of continuous exhaustion,
Nights of little sleep due to small babe’s who can’t clean up their own baked bean filled vomit who have nightmares about bionical lego men.
But it is tough, man.
Like the kind of tough that makes me question what I ever did before I popped out the little blighters.
Did I watch tv? Eat meals slowly savouring every forkful?
Cook for people? Or simply but beautifully slob about all day on a Saturday moaning how tired I was because I had to hit my alarm off a few too many times for my convenience?
What I do know is that I didn’t finish a glass of wine before kids, now I could down the lot in one sitting (sorry Mum).
My guess is that I did all of the above.
Don’t get me wrong I would be the first to get the tattoo which states “LIFE CHOICES”
across my low slung (thanks breastfeeding) chest, or indeed across my ever wrinkling stressed-resting-bitch-face-forehead so that my moaning could be met with a simple nod and a “told you so” look from strangers.
Which let’s face it, I deserve.
This stage in my life is by far the most exhausting.
Family life and the career that I am attempting to carve out for myself sometimes seem to suck the life clean out of me.
But what can I say other than
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I really wouldn’t. Even with the tears and this batch of public moaning, I am actually deliriously happy amidst the chaos.
Every once in a while I allow myself a break from juggling/ striving for perfection in my kids , my career and my social life which has served me well. It’s essential in fact.
The life cycle is a complicated and intricate one which moves in seasons.
Family and Friends who appreciate how hectic this brief window in our adult lives or just
those who cut you slack for not being the over achiever in friendships, life goals, family life and bloody mindfulness.
They are gonna keep you sane and they are your encouragers. Be good to them as they continue to be good to you.
If you’re a Mum in this boat/rocket ship of exhaustion-
school runs, packed lunches, the evernote app on your phone, a packed diary of tennis lessons, puppet shows and forty million birthday parties, then kudos to you mamma.
Here is your chance to be freed from the guilt and join the sisterhood.
We can stand solid in the faith that this too shall pass.
Knowing that it is a temporal and a magical blessed mayhem
which we chose to enter and can only keep treading water while taking stock of the wonder that is in front of us.
Keep ploughing through sister!
Our new ‘normal’ as a family of five
Ok so I have TWO THINGS for you
- The first is this FREE DOWNLOADABLE PRINT which you can print and stick to your fridge to remind you that “This too shall pass”. Click the pink link in the last sentence to download it straight to your phone now. I sent it to my lovely customers on AlyHarte.com + it has had hundreds of downloads. Feel free to share it with a Mum who needs a lift.
- The second is an open invitation to come and feel supported in Mel and my so solid crew of mothers using our hashtag #MOTHERHOODALIVE on instagram. It’s a slow paced movement and it has taken flight! We support and love you. Come say hi. *Also we have have a special treat for you this weekend. Please subscribe to my blog (drop your e mail in the subscription box at the bottom of your tablet screen or to the right of your laptop screen) or Mel’s blog so you don’t miss the fun.