I’ve been so tired trying to keep up with everything I have to do everyday. Unlike most jobs, with ebbs and flows of business – new business, a large project, the beginning of the year – whatever your position, there is almost always a down time or a slower time. Not in motherhood. Each moment of the day requires a full-circle to be completed, or you will never catch up. And you second guess yourself with every move because you know you’re effecting/affecting and shaping their little lives as adults. Putting on your game face is necessary when staying at home. It is a full-time job. Just because you aren’t performing for a boss or a client, you are on at all times and you have six little eyeballs watching your every move, imitating you and and your habits, your daily vocabulary, expecting nothing but the most attention you could ever give. Watching moments of their frustration play out in their roleplaying and hearing things like, “It’s okay you did that, just make sure he is not hurt and say you are sorry, Carson. Give him a hug.” or “You did an amazing job, Maxton. I am proud of you.” (hearing my two year old say those things) makes me feel like she is listening and maybe I am saying the right things. But can I just say, THIS IS SO HARD. Can I say it again? THIS IS SO FREAKING HARD. It’s physically and mentally EXHAUSTING. And I haven’t even gotten into the social aspect of motherhood when I have pick-up lines at schools, after school activities, little kid birthday parties…I’m still in the just had babies and still not showering enough mode. But in less than two months, we will have a 3 year old and all will change. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the gift I’ve been given to stay home a watch my children grow. An opportunity I didn’t know I wanted until after I had Mattelyn. But that doesn’t negate the fact that this is THE HARDEST job I’ve ever had.
The morning routine requires changing three diapers, taking off pajamas and the task of finding outfits (including socks) for three under three. This has to happen in the morning – when they’re HUNGRY anyway – because if not in the morning, it’s suddenly 5pm and everyone’s still in pajamas! So I sing a lot and we talk about what we’re going to have for breakfast. To complete this full-circle, you have to collect the dirty diapers for the trash, fill the empty diaper drawer, fill the wipes that are always out, pick up everyone’s dirty jammies, put away everything in the room they all dragged out (because if you don’t do it then, it won’t get done and will be there each time you walk by the room). This always ends with the twins crying.
Then I have to encourage everyone to get to the kitchen. Pullout the highchairs (while someone inevitably is crying), put everyone in, put on bibs, fill everyone’s sippy cups, begin breakfast – which has to begin with bananas all cut in little pieces. Let them eat. Clean their faces and hands afterwards and I always have to wash Carson’s hair because he pulls his little buttery or ooey-gooey hands through his hair. Then to complete the full-circle of breakfast, I have to wipe down everyone’s trays, wash the bibs, put the food away, wash the griddle or pan or dishes I used to cook with. Put away the waffle iron or the toaster. Wash everyone’s area, vacuum all of the food on the floor, put the high chairs away, mop the eating area of the floor where the dog has licked every morsel that fell (because the babies still all crawl around the dirty floor), empty the dishwasher from the dishes the night before and fill with the days first dishes. Head into the other room to pick up the family room and the toy room with all the books they’ve pulled out and let the dog outside.
Now it’s time to put Mattelyn on the potty chair again to go poo. In the meantime, I change two poopy diapers. Take diapers to the garage. Hop on my computer (I’m not on my phone until naptime) and check my mom group, my photography course syllabus, answer any messages I’ve received and look at my GIANT to-do list that is constantly looming – in about 15 minutes. Naptime for the boys and time for Mattelyn to have a morning snack and to begin a project – coloring, working with her magnet building set, watching a show of her choice, toddler and mommy yoga, playing with her little toys that she can’t play with when the boys are awake, ABC Mouse, Mother Goose Rhymes time on YouTube (during the summer we go outside to catch frogs and work in the garden while the boys nap) – once we determine her project, we head to the basement and I workout. Maxton (usually) takes a good 1.5 hour nap and Carson is usually almost 1 hour. So my workout has to be half an hour. Then we truck it back upstairs and I try to strip off my sports bra and throw something else on. Now it’s lunchtime and babies are all awake. The ½ hour before lunch, we play music and we all dance. Mondays are always 60s and 70s – Mattelyn calls it her grandparents music, Tuesday is Tchaikovsky, Mozart or Show Tunes, Wednesday is Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Thursday is Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Katy, Taylor, Madonna, J-Lo, Janet Jackson, Arianna, One Direction or Michale Buble’, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Friday is mommy and daddy’s 2000s music. Directly following lunch is dance party and we always listen to their play list and dance for 30 minutes. Then it’s brush teeth time – three under three, yes, it’s intense. They play for a little bit and I clean up all the messes and it’s naptime for everyone.
I get everyone down for their naps and hurry to straighten the house – pick up all of the extraneous toys under the kitchen table, around all the floors, empty sippy cups, wash them and refill with water and put in fridge. Time to prep dinner in crockpot or think about what I’m going to make. Get snack in mind and start a load of laundry – pull out load in dryer and try to fold it. Complete laundry by at least getting it into a basket folded and into the spare bedroom before it gets put away. Carson is always first up and crying, now it’s snack time.
You get the picture. If not one thing is done full-circle, then the house is in complete chaos. There isn’t any leaving the dishes until later, doing a load of laundry at a different time, picking up the dirty diapers and the dirty clothes later, washing off bibs and breakfast or lunch highchair trays after I sit down to rest. Nothing can be done later, because there is already something that needs to be dealt with later. I do not sit down during the day and if I do, it’s on the floor with the babies to play during their playtime.
When the babies are up all night like they have been lately teething, in the morning I literally feel like I have a hang over. I’m completely exhausted, I have a headache and my energy is on zero. But I never complain, I always think positive thoughts, I drink my coffee when I can and a ton of water, and sometimes very, very rarely, I will sit down and write (like today) or read one of my books or download and edit a photo or two. But 97% of the time, I do this after 10pm. I always try to be the best for the babes and for Matt. I can’t depend on anyone but myself for my happiness – it begins and ends with me and I have a lot of little hearts that need filled with love and souls with nurturing. This is why I always work out. If I don’t take that small amount of time everyday for me, I don’t refill that energy and I don’t feel like my day is complete.
I think this does get easier. I think I will find my groove and it will then ALL CHANGE. But to all of you moms that used to be a business professional or a teacher or a nurse or a social worker or a lawyer – – I feel your pain. And to my mom and my mother-in-law, aunts and to all my mommy friends that have already done this – – please excuse me as I sloppily take on this adventure, phase by phase, and talk about what you’ve already experienced and endured. It’s therapeutic to share with others who have been there or are there in the midst of it now. It’s really hard to be a personal nutritionist, chef, baker, teacher, mom, friend, daughter, wife, housekeeper, nurse, chauffer, routine organizer, entertainer, dancer, social planner, wagon-puller, stroller-pusher, singer, crafter, dishwasher, bath-giver, lotion-applier, bottle-maker, mommy memory maker, photographer – and still find time for personal growth and development, new mommy training, working on a new passion in life, getting body after baby back, adjusting to yoga pants and t-shirts and hair in ponytail when it used to be heels, laptops and makeup everyday. Life is so different and it’s all for the better, but man, THIS IS HARD. THIS IS SO HARD. Rewarding but HARD. And to do it all without losing your mind? Well, this is motherhood!