Mixed Up

June 16, 2011

I'm completely overwhelmed by summer vacation, and it's only day two.

This whole fear-of-summer thing is absolutely asinine for so many reasons:

1) I only have two kids.
2) The two kids go to daycare two times a week.
3) James was only in school half days, from 11:45 until 2:45.
4) I really don't even want to admit this one, but Jared is home on Fridays. He works on Saturdays instead.
5) We live one tenth of a mile from a beautiful, clean lake, and my in-laws live in town and have a pool that looks like it should be at Sandals Resort.

So really, I have one additional kid, for nine additional hours every week, and three of those hours, my husband's around. That sounds easy, doesn't it? It should be, it really should be.

But honestly? The older my kids get, the more overwhelmed I'm starting to feel with this whole motherhood thing. It used to feel so simple and natural to me, now it's just so different.

When James was smaller, he was easy, easy, easy. Then we had a nice, big four and a half year age gap and had another sweet, beautiful, (not easy), baby girl who I wouldn't trade for the entire world. Now as a toddler, with the exception of the screechy thing she does, she's really laid back and fun. A good napper, too.

But the fact is, all almost-two-year olds are hard to manage.

She drinks out of the dog dish, she drags my laptop case around and pushes it down the basement stairs, she unfolds the laundry that I just folded, and tries to drink cleaning chemicals. And this is all while James is tugging on my pant leg going, "Mom. Wanna play Star Wars with me? Who do ya wanna be? R2D2? Luke Skywalker? Who? You want the purple light saver? The red one? Which one? Or do you wanna be Darth Vader?"

Now, listen. I know it's a light saber, but he doesn't. And that sweet boy, who I love so much I could puke all over this computer screen, never stops talking. Never.

Honestly--and I mean this with every ounce of my existence--I don't know how moms of three, or four, or six kids do it. I'm not sure how they keep 'em all alive and keep themselves dressed.

Being a mother is so #$%^ing hard.

I used to think Oprah was an absolute a-hole when she'd say that stay-at-home moms have the hardest job on the planet. I mean c'mon, back when James was a baby, and I was chilling out in the afternoons watching Oprah, it wasn't really hard.

But these days? These days with my two super well behaved kids who regularly go to bed by 7 pm? I'm genuinely inclined to think that military boot camp would be a nice break. But then again, I really like to exericse. These days there are lunches to pack, and a business to run, and debts to pay, and projects to manage. There are conference calls to listen in on, and a lawn to mow, and unsolvable situations to solve, and hats to cover with glitter.

And me? Well? I ran out of eye liner three weeks ago and haven't been able to replace it yet.

I'm so mixed up by the fact that being a parent can be so frustratingly hard, and so intensely joyful at the very same moment. The love and the chaos makes me want to roll over and die for completely different reasons. My life is good, we don't have any problems worth speaking of, but still, some days feel pretty stinkin' problematic.

One minute I'm all, "I would rather shovel mud than stand in this kitchen with these kids for another thirty seconds." And the next minute I'm like, "No one on this planet can make juice-drinking as cute as Maggie makes it! Oh my word I LOVE HER SO MUCH!"

Please tell me I'm normal here. Please, please, please tell me I'm normal. Becuase if I'm not, and I need therapy, or counseling, or anger management, or energy work, or some other shiz like that, I have no idea how I'll squeeze that in.

And that reminds me, one of these days I really need to tell you about the nurse who tried to do reiki on my dog to cure him of his obsession with the laser pointer. You really need to know about this. Like you REALLY need to hear this story, because believe it or not, funny things still happen to me forty times a day. I'm just way to covered in boogers to be able to type 'em out.

Thanks for letting me vent. I wish we could have a group hug. I feel so close to you right now.


Laura said...

I sometimes scoff at the "being a stay at home mom is so hard" thing, mostly because the examples I usually hear are really trite. But this? Made me scared to be a mom. Because it sounds totally realistic and not fake, but also totally stressful. Big hugs!!! And good luck.

Lindsey said...

The only reason Oprah is STILL an a-hole when she says that is because she has absolutely no freaking idea.

Charlotte said...

Normal. Totally normal. I gave my 4 yr old my eyeliner so he could draw his own Harry Potter scars on his head and stop asking me 800 times a day. And I haven't bought a new one. And probably never will. Who has time for eyeliner anyway?

David said...

Why would you want to be normal when you're so cool instead?

And BTW - the daddy business ain't all glitter and unicorns.

Stef said...

Best. Post. EVER!

Mindy said...

You're as normal as I am. I don't know if that helps you or not.

RosieReader said...

Totally, totally normal. Except the eyeliner part. My eyes are always perfectly lined.

Marie said...

I hardly ever comment here, but I read your blog religiously because you are so down to earth and dang funny to boot. Anywho, I totally get where you are coming from. I am a new mom with a nearly-9-month old. I work full-time and still wonder how I do it (not to mention anyone else with multiple children).

When my baby was born we looked at her all googly-eyed and pinned for another one as soon as possible...but then we got home from the hospital and endured purple-crying and being up all night and no sleeping and colic and.... There are times now where I look at my daughter and say to her (and my husband) "You are the reason that you won't have any siblings."

But there are also times when I look at her and think, "I love you so much I would have a million more!"

So it is absolutely normal. People who say it ain't so are abnormal and probably should stop taking their yellow happy pills and get real. This motherhood/parenthood thing isn't for the weak. It is dang hard work and even though I am grateful for the chance to be a mom/parent, I still don't know if I want to start all over again with another baby. Kudos to you for doing it. You deserve a trophy.

Morgan -Ing said...

I got dressed today. Bra and everything. And I have four kids. It's hard. And some days I hate it and everyone. But there are moments like you said of "YOU ARE AWESOME!" so you're normal. It's just a really hard job. Really hard.

Mom to 3 C's said...

Totally normal... this is the best and hardest job ever. Just wait until Maggie starts really talking. I have 3 that talk. Nonstop. All day. At the same time. Sometimes, I think my head might explode from the non-stop barrage of words.

Kim said...

I hope you are normal because you just described my life down to the never-ending chatter from the boy and the crazy-ass 2-year-old girl. The mix of emotions is exhausting as well.

Danette said...

You are so normal, so normal. I am expecting my fifth boy in 6 weeks and its crazy all the time. The hardest thing ever, but the best thing ever at the same time.

One of these days I need to tell you the story of how I got back at walmart. Its includes poop on walls :)

sherijung said...

Holy Schmoly, you are so normal. The main reason I have only two is because I could never imagine letting them outnumber us. And we used to have a code word for spending time with my younger son: 'bloody stumps' because he would talk until that's what your ears turned into.

Motherhood is harder than you can imagine, and more wonderful than should be possible in this world.

EmmaLee Robinson said...

Yesterday I locked the door to my house. My three sweet children were outside playing. I was sick of them coming in and out, and in and out, and in and out that I locked them out. Can I tell you it was the most peaceful day I've had in a long time. After two or three times crying by the door they got the picture.

Amy said...

yup--being a mother is quite the bipolar experience (is that not PC?). There are days that I tell my husband that while I love our 2 1/2 yo daughter dearly, I seriously want to squeeze her sometimes because she drives me f'ng crazy and within in 1.2 seconds, my voice gets all mushy and I am rehashing some completely adorable moment and talking about how I want to squeeze her out of complete and utter love. Being a mother is one jacked up experience. (and I unfortunately never experienced the lovey dovey easy newborn/infant stage. Let's just say this 2 year old stuff seems like a breeze compared to the first year or so...)
Thanks for sharing with honesty =)

Tara said...

I have no children; however, last weekend my fiance and I had my goddaughter stay with us for the weekend... just the weekend, 3 days. I thought I was going to die!! I LOVE this kid. She's turning 1 this weekend. I took a nap for the first time in YEARS. I touched poop, with my bare hands, more than once. I cannot even begin to fathom how parents (let alone SINGLE PARENTS) can raise children. Some people even WORK too! It's absolutely beyond my abilities or comprehension.

My hat goes off to all you mothers out there (and a HUGE shout out to my mama)!!

MB said...

*BIG BEAR HUG* You're normal. I don't have any first hand experience but definitely believe parenting is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. Enjoy the summer!

dearjenn said...

Thank you for letting me know that I'm not the only one who wants to gouge her own eyes out over motherhood and then gets misty-eyed when one of the monsters says "You're my best friend Mom."

Yeah, I don't know what's normal but at least if we're abnormal there are others like us.

Tari Anne said...

Oh MAN, I'm glad you wrote this! Cuz I thought I was the only one that thinks my baby boy (18 mos old) is SO CUTE I COULD EAT HIM, but today I stood outside the (running, a/c'd) car with him screaming and crying inside for a good 3 minutes. And then when I got in...I turned up Muse on the speakers just a little higher than one might with a small child in the backseat. 5 minutes later we were playing peekaboo and laughing while I was sitting at a red light. W.T.F!! It's craziness and the most rewarding life I could imagine!

Sarah said...

Normal, Normal and so stinkin' normal. Well as long as your measuring stick is the way I feel about motherhood :)

Kevin said...

As I was reading your blog I kept asking myself if I was reading something from my wife. I think the exact samething is going on a few thousand miles away.

Karen said...

The answer is to have MORE children. Look at the Duggars.....the older kids take care of the younger kids. Problem solved!

Kirsty said...

You have terrified me with this post and I just had my 5th kid. But that was after a 7 year break and you awoke vague yet traumatic memories/emotions. We are still in the "what's so hard about this??" honeymoon phase as she is not quite 3 months old..but seriously...I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this kid when she starts wanting me to be her sole source of entertainment. That's why the other 4 were all 2 yrs or less apart. Built in entertainment system. This one is going to be so overstimulated in the brief hrs of sibs being home/interested in her and then ALL MINE the rest of the time. Did I mention that I've become exceptionally fond of uninterrupted me time in the last 3 years or so... Freaking out here...at 1:37am. Thanks for that.
Ps: my cute 7 yr old says light saver too. Pray it never ends.

Anonymous said...

More kids means they can entertain each other. TV is good for that, too.

Gina said...

I have 3 and today I totally beat my goal of showering by 2:00 pm. Superstar! How normal you make me feel. I once asked my pediatrician if it is possible for a two-year-old to be bipolar (completely seriously concerned first-parent-like). He responded with a question of his own..."aren't they all?"

I told a friend (mother of three) the other day that when this is all said and done we will be so tired we will welcome death. 3 cheers for normal insanity!

January said...

You need to call me. You are very normal and I have no clue how I'm doing it. It's controlled chaos and survival mode. HELP!