I see you. I see you waking up in the middle of the night. I see you cleaning up that puke over here and dosing out tylenol over there. I see you buckling all those kids into the car. Fighting battles day in and day out … to get homework done, enough sleep, fights broken up, the house clean, the laundry folded, and the poop-splosion wiped clean – again.
I’m right there with ya.
Parenting is unquestionably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. You too?
We’ve all faced challenging jobs and things in our lives …but unlike other careers, there’s no “I’m looking for a new job.” Or “I give up.”
These tiny humans are ours to care for, raise, and pour into . . . UNTIL THE END OF TIME.
This task has felt so daunting to me at times through the years. We had three kids in less than three and a half years. We’ve got a sensory processing disorder kiddo and another that’s strong willed. Actually, make that three strong willed. Maybe yours are special needs or reckless, rebellious, non-verbal. Maybe you’re a single mom. Or grieving. Or going through secondary infertility. Or foster parenting. Or bonding with your newly adopted little one.
Maybe everything is completely “normal” and it’s still freakin’ hard, because it is!
Despite going through multiple losses on our journey to become parents and our acute awareness of how miraculous each child is, it doesn’t change this fact:
Parenting is not for the fainthearted.
As you know, the days when its gross outside or they won’t stop fighting, making messes, and talking back … D R A G. O N. A N D. O N. The end of your rope is near. I feel you, girl.
If I’m honest, there are days I simply want to give up. And when I stumble upon that dreadful, unwelcome feeling, these are the things I do:
- Go somewhere in the house where I can lock the door to find feverish seconds of muted noise. (They can pick our crappy locks already.)
- Scroll instagram. See other parents building block towers with and reading to their kids. Feel even worse.
- Look into daycare. Realize how long the wait lists are and how much they actually cost.
- Melt down.
- Call the husband, beg for a pep talk.
- When this fails because he has meetings and can’t talk, I send a Voxer message to a friend (or three) and beg for prayers and encouragement.
- While I wait for their responses, I try to close my eyes, breathe deeply, and pray.
Guess what happens when I get to number six and seven? My heart settles. My blood pressure lowers. And as their responses come back, the truth of their words floods over me.
“You are not a failure.”
“Parenting is hard for all of us.”
“You are not in this alone.”
“Screen time certainly won’t ruin your kids forever.”
“No one cares if your laundry is folded.”
“Everyone is behind on their housework.”
“Not every five/four/two year old does what Suzie Instagram’s kid is doing.”
“I’m feeding my kids nuggets for dinner too.”
“YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO IT ALL!”
Girls. We know these things, but in the moment, we forget.
So in those moments where you aren’t sure you’ll make it another moment, and you feel like this level of hard could not be real. . . . just breathe.
That’s what I do. I breathe. And I survive the next minute. And the next. And the next. And sometimes when Kevin gets home, I get under the covers for a few minutes of total and complete silence in fetal position.
You, too, can breathe into your belly. You, too, can call someone who can send help or coffee or remind you that you’re more than cut out for this. You were CHOSEN to be your child(ren)’s mommy.
You, too, can feed your child(ren) dry cereal when you’re out of milk and energy.
You, too, can blast your favorite playlist and make everyone pick up, (even if you’re the only one actually cleaning.)
You, too, can throw them in the bathtub (gently) and let them make a water mess while you read a chapter of your favorite book.
You, too, can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, even if you’re eating leftovers again like me. 😀
You, too, can, and WILL survive. Because you’re a mom. You’re a badass. And quitting isn’t an option.
We got this, babe.