Yesterday, I made the grave mistake of looking at the school calendar. The realization of how quickly the school year will end and Summer Break will begin threatened to choke off my air supply.
I wish I could be one of those moms who gleefully await summertime. Those are likely the same moms who do fun activities with their (calm, obedient) children while I frantically try to keep my (energetic, experimental) kids from setting the house on fire. I wish I could be more optimistic and just have fun, but the truth is that I am always on pins and needles waiting for one of them to get seriously injured.
I love my children, but they exhaust me. Does that mean that I’m not cut out for motherhood? I chose to be a stay-at-home-mom. WTF IS WRONG WITH ME?! Am I too uptight? Am I doing it all wrong?
I’m admitting out loud, right now, that motherhood is ass hard. That does not mean it’s as hard as my ass, which isn’t hard at all. This is not a literal statement. I mean to say that IT IS SO HARD THAT THERE ISN’T AN ADEQUATE WORD, SO I ADDED “ASS” IN FRONT OF IT. If you can’t get on board with that, then I don’t know what to do with you.
I make this proclamation after a long stretch of parenting issues that individually aren’t that bad, but added all together at once are just a lot. I’m exhausted. I feel like I have nothing else to give, and yet — there it is, another snot bubble on the horizon. There’s another person who can’t figure out how to get his underwear right side in and needs help because he cannot possibly put his underwear on if they are inside out.
At night, when all of the children are tucked in bed asleep, after the middle child has been taken to the bathroom to pee so he doesn’t have an accident in his bed, and I have spent an adequate amount of time with that strange man who lives in the house with me, I insert my ear plugs and pray that whatever rest I get will be enough to get me through the next day.
Today, when I sunk to a low point and looked at the clock for the umpteenth time to see that it was still not 5 p.m., something snapped me out of it. I got a moment of beauty.
Our baby, the same one who tries to stick her head in the oven on an almost-daily basis, learned how to stack blocks.
And I was there to see it.
So yes, I would be lying if all I did was talk about the beauty of motherhood. It’s not mostly beautiful. It’s mostly painful and frustrating and uncomfortable and scary and tiring, with moments of beauty sprinkled in — just enough to make it worth it, but not so much that it’s easy.
Nothing worth doing is easy.
The best part about being a mom is that those sprinkles are all you really need to push you to the next level. My little block-stacker spends most of her time undoing everything I’ve done: she puts important mail in the trash, pulls clothes out of baskets and contents out of cabinets, and tries to systemically empty every box and bin in the house. But damnit, SHE CAN STACK.
I’m a proud, exhausted mama. Now … where are my earplugs?