Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mom Life. The Hard Life. The Best Life.

I am writing this blog post from a place of exhaustion. Because yes I am exhausted on all levels. I am coming off a night of literally no sleep. A night of being woke every single hour on the hour by either my husband or one of my children. There truly is nothing like them all reminding me during Mother's Day week that my job as a mom is indeed 24/7.

This is week 3 in a series of being woken by one of the kids nightly. Aspen is getting his 2 year molars and I loathe teething. Especially for him. Because nothing helps his extreme pain. And I mean nothing. (My mother-in-law likes to take ownership that her side of the family produces early teethers. Well then I will blame and curse her side of the family as this is anything but a positive attribute from them.) So it is constant screaming, crying, coughing, vomiting from coughing so hard, runny nose, biting through his pacifier, and so forth. A true delight to parenting.

Adelaide is on a new kick of waking up to pee around 1am each night and then wanting to get in bed with us. You all we still have a queen size bed. Yes, that is downright ridiculous and doesn't make for kid co-sleeping. So I either fight her or trade her places in hopes that she will be quiet and not wake her brothers in the middle of the night...they do that on their own so I don't need her assisting them. She also has night terrors when she is too tired. Those are my absolute favorite as she screams and cries while still asleep for 20 minutes. Then she enjoys waking at 6:15am to watch her iPod touch before school. Seriously WTF?!

Brighton, my little sleepless wonder, has battled pneumonia, teething, miniature bassinet cramming-ness, and everything in between over the last 3 months. We finally let him cry it out a month ago which was great...but now he is in his crib and so crying it out from 5:15-6:30 while right next to the others is dangerous to me. Some nights he sleeps until 7am and other times he is up at 1am for Orajel then up at 5am for a bottle.

Now I am not one who needs 10+ hours of sleep but I do require more than say 4 to 5 hours of sleep. And I certainly require more than one hour intervals of sleep. This is mostly because I get sick when I do not have enough sleep. It is basically the only time I get sick...too many nights/weeks/months of not enough sleep. Not to mention that patience ain't my strong suit. So lack of sleep + getting sick + screaming children all day long = an angry bird mother with zero patience.

While we are on the topic of motherhood, let me note a few other things here. I resigned from my job about 8 weeks ago. It is a long, complicated story that I can't really speak more about at the present. While there are a plethora of great things that come from going back to being simply a "stay-at-home" mom, one of them is NOT that people apparently don't respect just stay-at-home moms. One person in particular who happens to live at my house and is an adult, not to name names or anything. Yea not cool. And since this person feels that way, I had to cut back my babysitter to one day a week instead of two because why would I possibly need her two days now that I do not "work"? Ummmmm I don't know maybe for my SANITY!!!!!

I am also trying to figure out why kids back talk their parents now at the age of 2/3/4 and on up. I NEVER would have dreamed of speaking that way to my mom. Ever. Not until I was at least 16 years old and then only in rare occasion. And my dad would have reached across the room and smacked me so hard in the face if I had dared speak to my mom that way. Thus putting an end to it. End of story.

I want to be clear that this is not meant to be a complaining blog post. It is a truthful blog post. And I know that I became pregnant 3 times (and even want a 4th child) with the intent to have children. I know it was my/our choice to have kids and have them rather quickly. But that doesn't mean that I have to enjoy the lack of sleep, screaming tantrums, fights to change poopy diapers, back talk, etc.

I want to be truthful. I want to be honest. Because people comment a lot to me that I seem so laid back and calm. That I look like I have my sh!t together. Oh bahahahaha that is so nice of them to think and really I appreciate the compliment. Then I sort of cringe because I am afraid that it makes them feel bad. And then I tell Ryan what they have said and he laughs because he thinks I am a train wreck.

Truthfully, there is nothing laid back or calm about me as a person much less mom except for the fact that I don't wash pacifiers that have fallen on pavement or rip puffs from their hands that have touched Target's floor or freak when their brand new clothing has food/mud/dirt/blood stains on them from them living their lives. I just can't pull it together enough to be a germ-a-phobe.

Honestly, I also say a lot of 4 letter words when the kids are stressing me out (don't judge me on as someone made them into bad words eons ago...pickle could have been a curse word). I raise my voice and I expect a lot from them. I know they are children but I do not want to raise brats who have no concept of the real world. I.just.can't.deal.with.that.thought. I will know that I have failed at my greatest job if that happens. I am quick to snap. Impatient. I can be hard on my kids even at their ages. I am hardest on Adelaide. Maybe because she is the oldest. Maybe because she is a girl. Maybe because she is so much like me. Maybe because the thought of her growing up terrifies me.

I think that being a mother is so much harder these days than when my mom was raising us. Mainly because of social media. We post joyful pictures of our kids and spouses and in photos it all looks really perfect. I am so guilty of this as well. What I should do is post pictures from the hours betweeb 4pm and 7pm when it is utter chaos in this house. When it looks like a small tornado of cars and dolls have whipped through every room. When I crack open wine to take one little sip at 4:55pm in hopes that it will be enough to get me through dinner, bath, and bedtime with 3 kids 3.5 years and under.

More honesty...there is a lot of fighting between Ryan and I (he will not be happy about me writing this down but its the truth). We argue a lot about anything and everything. We argue in the middle of the night as he tells me he is tired right after I have been up for the 15th time with one of the kids. We BOTH say hurtful, nasty things to one another. And it hurts. A lot. We have yet to face a challenge together with grace from the start. No, we find it much more fun to battle each other while going through difficult times and then figure out that the only way through it is to face it together, unified, on the same side. He is gone a lot. It is lonely. And when he is here, well, he isn't always ALL here. Having 3 kids, moving across the country, living in NY, being a banker, having ZERO family here, growing up completely different, and both having strong personalities {all in 5 years} has been challenging. I moved a lot and made a lot of sacrifices for his job. I kept uprooting the life I had made for myself for him. He doesn't quite appreciate that or see it that way. It causes tension. And there is some resentment I think on my part at times. 

I think that being married is even harder than being a mother at this day and age. You are competing with a million other things for a spouses attention. Like his phone, iPad, laptop, TV, kids, friends, etc. And apparently chivalry is dead or only reserved for anniversaries. Also, I am sorry seems to be like saying you are a terrorist about to bomb a village and unacceptable. No really it is okay to admit fault and say you are sorry. It is okay to romance your wife. It is also okay to let her sleep in on the weekends and feed her donuts in bed...with mimosas.

Raising kids without my parents nearby, specifically my mom, has been hard. It wasn't ever how I envisioned it going for me. I try hard not to get jealous that my sisters and brother are there to share their adult lives with my parents as well as their kids enjoying times with Mimi & Papa. But, if I am telling the full truth, I do get jealous. Not of them but of the time that I want to be a part of with them and my siblings. I feel sad for my kids to not get to celebrate their birthdays with them, their school plays, their dance recitals, etc with their extended family.

I miss my mom. I miss my dad. I miss my sisters and my brother. I miss my nephew and nieces. I miss my best friends from college. I miss Kentucky. I cry a lot over it. I can't help it. It's hard. I never intended to live away for my entire life when I moved to Miami for graduate school in 2005.

The biggest truth would be that I have hard days. Really hard days. Days where I cry and am not even sure why I am crying. Days where I am only getting out of bed for my kids, literally! Days where the world seems heavy and my problems seem overwhelming. But I think that everyone has those days at some point in their life. Whether they are willing to admit it to others and in an open forum.

But here is my favorite truth...my life is blessed. I have a roof over my head. Food on the table. Clothes on my back. My kids are happy. My kids are loved. My problems and struggles, while real to me, are so low on the tragic totem pole of life. And for every hard moment, I have an amazing moment to get me through. I have wonderful people who have helped lift me up when it was hard. Friends to listen, advise, laugh, cry, and then pop open a bottle of expensive champagne on a Tuesday afternoon just for the hell of it ;)

So in closing, I came across this shirt on my friend Abby's Instagram awhile back and had to have it. I wear it proudly. Because I love being a mom. It is a special tribe. It is an honor to be apart of that club truly. And while there are long & hard days, I would not trade the life I have today.

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