This morning, I found myself putting on socks while I was using the little girls’ room. And I was not alone, as all three of my children were hanging out in the small commode with me.
My 5-year-old, excited to be back to school after spring break, told me of his anticipation of the calendar changing from March to April. The 3-year-old, vying for my attention and perched on top a mound of dirty laundry, alerted me to the fact that her 3-month-old sister had spit up on her shirt. And finally, my 3-month old infant, sat kicking her feet and regurgitating upon herself.
"Do other people live like this?" I wondered.
A little TMI, but my point is, my multitasking is out of control. I multitask while I am multitasking. And it is all with a captive audience who have their list of to-do’s for me to accomplish.
I am not too keen on complaining. I tend to take life by the horns and wrestle it to the ground with my positive energy and constant need for being productive.
But, I am at a loss some days and have no shame in admitting: I feel a little out of control when everyone else is dictating my schedule.
And yes, I know, I am the adult. I need to provide rules and be the parent and set limits.
But doesn’t it seem like no matter how structured you are and how many boundaries are set, some days you might as well throw your hands up in the air and laugh - or maybe even cry?
It could possibly be the fact that I am still a little new to this parenting thing and being that I have not seen a restful night in six months, my brain is reminiscent of foggy oatmeal. I used to think people were crazy for having children so close together in age.
And I was right!
As smiling parents of older children approach me as wrangle my children in a grocery aisle line, and encourage me to relish this time, I wonder how these parents have brainwashed themselves of the ugly times.
You know - the tantrums. And the sleep deprivation. The insane repetitive rule reminders. The messy house. The constant over-caffeinated state.
How can these parents only recall the smiles and the skipping and the rule-remembering?
Is it because their children are older and they appreciate the fact that they can finally pee in peace? Or maybe, it is because these parents are well-rested and can get to the dinner table while the food is still hot.
And just as I start to sink into a hormone-fueled pity party, one of my children says something that captures my attention and tugs at my heart. An out-of-the-blue, "I love you, mama" or my infant's first laugh reminds me that even though some days might be full of emotionally exhausting child rearing, for the most part, life raising children is a pretty sweet deal.
What is in store for me as my kids get older?
If you have young children, are you feeling this way?
*The image of the smiling little man was taken by me! At at recent trip to the Field Museum, I snapped a picture of a statute that made me smile. Of course, I couldn't read the description of the beautifully sculpted wood because one of my children took off! Do you know who this guy is? Let me know!