I made it.
Kindergarten starts on Monday, Mother’s Day Out begins the following week, and I joined a ladies-only gym that offers two hours of childcare per day. I’ve reached the end of a two-week-long tunnel and the light is so, so bright.
When I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom I did not understand what I was choosing to do. I mean, yeah, I wanted to be the one taking care of my kids. I wanted to be there for it all — the wonderful and the horrible. As I began this journey fresh off the working woman boat, those were just abstract ideas. And now, I’m in the thick of it. The wonderful and the horrible. And let me tell you … it’s terrifying.
Today, the usual chaos was whirling around me: baby crying as I tried to feed her, shouting over her head for Maverick to SHUT THE DOOR BEFORE YOUR BROTHER ESCAPES! as water was poured all over the floor and hot pink handprints, the product of ground-up sidewalk chalk mixed with water and made into a paste, were plastered all over our walls. I set the baby down and locked my oldest outside until I could help him get cleaned up, much to his displeasure. My middle child threw a tantrum in the middle of the kitchen, banging his head in frustration against the linoleum floor.
All three of them were crying, and I felt tears begin to prick at my own eyes as I thought, “I can’t do this. I don’t WANT to do this.”
But as the chaos slowly, gradually petered out and I gathered my wits, I was able to settle each of them down while mulling over two thoughts. First, I think parenting solo would be much easier if I was numb. Like, heavily medicated. Or very drunk. Second, I realized that just like I to wake up every day and make the conscious choice to love my husband and honor him, I also have a choice to make when it comes to my children. I could go back to work if I wanted to, but is that truly what I want? The grass always seems greener on the other side when you’re locked in a pasture with small, loud, tyrants. Truthfully, I love taking care of my tyrants and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to deal with their wonderful, horrible ways because they might not yell at them as lovingly as I do.
Nothing about this life is glamorous or easy. The grass here is so beaten down and strewn with toys that I couldn’t tell you if it’s green or not. But when it’s quiet, and I lie down in it, it sure feels cozy.
Now that Husband and I have found ourselves in this place, the place of having three little kids, one income, and not enough time or money, we are just trying to carry on. He carries on, I carry on, and the children … well … they persist. Day by day, hour by hour, we inch forward. I brush their teeth and load them into grocery carts and make sure no one is sitting in poop by nothing but sheer will.
Thank God for maternal determination, guardian angels, coffee, and the world wide web.