It’s 5:30 am Wednesday, I just woke up in hopes of getting out for a run before the kids rise. It’s my only quiet time of the day, that is solely for me. I think back to yesterday and a smirk escapes my mouth as I remember the chaos that unfolded, not even 8 hours ago. Let me fill you in on what a day in the Rust Household is like.
I’m woken at 4 am by a child standing by my bed side who has had a nightmare and needs a bit of reassurance to get back to sleep. I reluctantly crawl out of bed to tuck him back in, and plant a comforting kiss on his forehead.
As I leave his room, my youngest starts moaning. I find her bed wet. I get her up, change the sheets and her, all while she shrieks bloody murder as she is only half awake. After getting her back into bed with a few rubs on the back, I walk back to my room to find that my space in bed is now filled with two sleeping cats.
It’s 6:30 am, I reach over to give my hubby a squeeze to find a child between us. She of course squeals with glee as a I turn to give her a kiss.
After a tumultuous breakfast that included whining and complaining about what was served, we head out for the day to swim at our local pond club. The kids play hard with friends and I manage to snap a few pictures.
We arrive home in the afternoon at 3 pm. I carry my youngest in the house to use the bathroom. After she finishes she refuses to wash her hands (typical behavior) and throws herself on the floor to continue her dramatic tantrum in which no amount of kindness from my mouth makes the slightest difference. My head hurts.
I leave her to her screaming to hang up wet suits and towels in the garage. Here I find my oldest and middle child arguing over who is going to shower first. Hmm, I think to myself, “How can I diffuse this before it escalates beyond repair?” But it’s too late, my daughter lashes out and hits her brother. We don’t tolerate hitting and I ask her to take a break in her room, which she refuses. I end up carrying her up to her room kicking and screaming.
I walk downstairs to check on the youngest. I walk into the bathroom where I left her, to find poo all over the floor and her.
I begin cleaning up the bathroom mess all the while hearing my middle screeching her protests of being in her room. It sounds like someone is ripping her hair out, the neighbors 5 doors down can probably hear her. My ears are ringing.
It’s 4:45 pm, the screaming from all parties has subsided. Dinner, hmm, I knew I was forgetting something. I quickly scour the fridge and pantry for anything edible. Cheese quesadillas, raw veggies, and fruit. Ok, I can handle this. Then the whining, clinging, and moaning begins, “I’m hungry!” they all repeatedly exclaim. It’s the “witching hour” as it is commonly called. It should be called, “Teeth gnashing monster hour.”
After dinner, in which my husband and I can’t get a single word in edge wise to even ask how each other’s days were, my son starts asking for candy. We only eat desserts on the weekends in an effort to lower our sugar consumption. It’s Tuesday. I politely reply, “It’s not a weekend night.” To which he complains and uses his peer’s dessert habits as reason for why he should get candy. I repeat myself, “It’s not a weekend night.” He precedes by yelling at me, “You are so mean.” Ugh, I simply walk away.
Bedtime finally arrives. My husband reads books to all the kids and I tuck them in, sing songs, and say their prayers, each separately. When I finish with my youngest she gives me the tightest squeeze and a slobbery kiss goodnight. My middle asks me to run my fingers through her hair, and sweetly tells me she loves me. My son, asks me to cuddle with him for a few minutes in his bed before I go. It’s 8 pm and I walk into the hallway exhausted knowing I have to do it all over again tomorrow. Yet, those cuddles and I love you’s is all that’s on my mind.
Sound familiar? I’m sure a lot of it does. You aren’t alone. Motherhood is full of highs and lows. But no one ever really tells you what those lows are. It’s just not talked about. I mean, scan your Facebook or Instagram feed and all you’ll see is pictures of happy children and families and not of moms crouched against the wall with their head in their hands.
When you are pregnant with your first child, everyone is more than willing to give you advice on how to get your baby to sleep through the night, what baby products you should register for, and how to treat diaper rash, teething, acid reflux, and all other baby ailments.
No one ever tells you how and to what extent motherhood will change your life. They never mention the emotional toll motherhood has on you. Or that you may not love it like you thought you would. Or that some days you may want to crawl into a box and hide from your children. Or that your call to motherhood may fade at times. That motherhood is a labor of love, pain, and sacrifice. Or that having multiple children leaves you feeling like a triage nurse as one catastrophe after another occurs. Or that you may lose or even forget who you are as an individual. And not to mention the mom guilt you will most definitely feel for not being enough for your children.
But why are these lows never shared? Why are moms so afraid of being vulnerable with one another about the tough aspects of motherhood?
We need to know that we aren’t alone with these often-terrifying feelings. I’m here to share both the highs and the lows. It’s important to me to not feel alone. Are you ready to be vulnerable?
I’m reminded of Gretchen Rubin’s quote and video, “The days are long, but the years are short.” In the future, I’m sure I will look back to these long days and miss the highs and lows. But in this season, let’s be sure to share it all.
Your fellow traveler,
- along the yellow brick road / https://alongtheyellowbrickroad.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/mothersday.jpg
- Andrea Rust