The older I get and the more children I have, the more I realize that my parents were right. About most everything! If only I would have really listened to them then. It seems like when you are at the age to absorb and make use of the words of wisdom older people impart on you, you are completely incapable of doing it. I already think of all the things I am going to tell my children to make their lives easier, knowing all the while that they won't listen until they have learned it for themselves. So goes the circle of life!
I was thinking today about how once you become a mom life changes in so many more ways then anyone tells you. Well, had I listened to my mom while growing up I would know, but as previously mentioned I was incapable with my stupid teenage mind. So it all feels like brand new to me. Like, I knew I wouldn't get much sleep, my time wouldn't be my own, my priorities would change. This I knew going into it. I didn't fully get it, but I knew. What I didn't really realize is that as a mom, and a wife actually, you lose the ability to give in to whatever you are feeling. Sure some moms do, but I'm talking about if you actually want things to go smoothly.
For example: lately I have not been able to sleep through an entire night. I would say in the last 6 weeks I slept completely through the night once. A big contributing factor is that I am now 22 weeks pregnant and having to pee several times. But another factor is my children. My 2 year old has taken to waking up crying once or twice in the middle of the night and requiring my attention. Then my 3 year old is up by 5:45 like clockwork each day. Now he gets brother up too and they cause all kinds of nonsense so I can't really sleep too soundly once they are up. Anyone who has gone for periods of time with low quality sleep knows that it begins to wear on you. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I am at the point where I get up in the morning and want to cry because I am so tired. Then I am faced with whatever mess my children have already made at that early hour. The day continues with two little people demanding constant attention usually communicating this by whining and flailing themselves around like a fish out of water (what is that about anyway?). Not only that but this tired cranky combination makes it hard to find any motivation to get the stuff around the house done like I should. So guilt starts to creep in. I feel like a crazy mess!
This brings me to the part of not being able to give into your feelings if you want the household to go smoothly. See my brain tells me "these children are the reason you are so tired and cranky, of course you are going to be a little more short with them then usual, of course housework can wait when you feel like a walking zombie." In my mind I know I am justified. My kids act in whatever manner suits their current emotional state. For that matter, so does my husband. But if I do, if I give in to that urge to act in the way I feel like I should, things would fall apart. As these last few days have gotten the best of me I see my children start to fall apart too. My crankiness has warn off on them and they are beginning to whine and fight on a nearly constant basis. And neglecting housework only means there is more for me to face tomorrow, which makes me even crankier. So the only real solution is to suck it up. To dig down deep and find that patience with my children that makes the day go smoothly and allows me to be around them without wanting to strangle them. To trudge through the housework, even if at a slower pace, so that it doesn't become unbearable at the end of the week. This way of thinking, this is not me. Not the me I grew up being. This is the mom in me. Because you see as soon as those little people entered the world they took a piece of me with them. The piece that is allowed to act on whatever I am feeling. That was replaced with a never ending quest to make life peaceful at all costs. It may not be fair, but it's life. My life anyway. And as I have come to realize now that I am actually capable of listening, this is the life my mom and many other moms know too.
In a way it makes me proud. I have joined the club...that club that most women become a part of. I guess the true triumph will be when I learn to do it happily and not out of obligation. The ultimate goal is to not let it make me bitter but to let it make me stronger. I also hold onto the hope that one day it will all be worth it and I will hear my children say, "you were so right!" and "now I get it!". I have a feeling that with all boys this day may not come as soon as it would with girls. Men always take longer to get it. But still I will pray that it comes!