One morning I was laying on the couch and the sun was barely peeking through the clouds, and I was hating my life and hating the fact that I had to endure another day with two kids at home and one at school, and juggle everyone and try to get thru the day without losing it.
My body was exhausted, and my mind was in a permanent state of cranky.
I was drowning in housework day in day out, trying to get the kids out the door to school/kindy on time (never happened two days in a row), trying to run a fledgling biz on no longer than 3hrs of sleep at a time, feeling like I was walking in mud all day long, dealing with total food intolerance and being on a permanent Elimination Diet ( which meant I ate mostly air, as anything else I ate gave me hives or aching muscles or a headache or IBS.) I really was at a low point in my life, and I was fairly certain that it couldn’t get any worse.
Their father had already left for work (he later informed me that he was so tired that he tended to leave early and then park his car on the side of the road and have a sleep on the way to work …. did I mention I am now divorced from this man?)
On this particular morning I had stopped trying to tell the kids to go back to sleep, or to wait until Mr Sun pops thru the clouds (which I say in a gritted teeth “sing song voice”) – resigned to the fact that my sleep time was over and I knew there was no alternative but to get up. I thought I would be smart and clever and put the t.v on for them to sit quietly and watch for another 3 hours so I could lay on the couch and sleep right near them, whilst they sat transfixed by Teletubbies or Dora the Bloody Explorer. Except at their age, they wouldn’t watch the damned thing, but terrorize the house from the moment they woke up until the time they were ordered into their room after 7pm.
My eyes just wouldn’t stay open and I was somewhere in that zone between sleep and awake and could hear everything my kids were doing far far off in the distance. I could hear rustling of cereal boxes in the kitchen (good, Yes I know they are in the next room and not wandering out the front door). I can hear talking in muffled voices and giggling ( good, yes they are planning a terrorist attack on me for later in the morning, but for now I will listen to their “naughty laugh” and prepare myself accordingly) and I did think for a moment “I should get up and investigate and get them some food”, but my body just wouldn’t move.
Besides I knew EXACTLY what they were up to, for I am super mum and my ears are awake and my brain is functioning, even though this dream I am having feels awfully real too.
Another thirty minutes on the couch couldn’t hurt. Right?
I had completely nodded off and was woken by my darling one year old girl patting my face and sticking her fingers into my nose and mouth. This went on for a while. I was able to zone out and steal those last few minutes of rest/sleep before I had to sit up and let the day officially begin. However I could smell the sweetness of the cereal on her fingers and my mind started becoming more alert and I was thinking “what cereal has she got into?” I prided myself on only giving my youngest oats for breakky, and I was feeling a little disappointed that she had tried her first commercial cereal while I was sleeping, and this made me an inferior mother, and I had probably let her down, and ruined her future success (I did mention I was incredibly tired and my brain didn’t think logically or straight in this time of my life).
Try as I might, I just couldn’t remember which cereal it could be. Mainly because the ones I usually bought weren’t that sweet. But then I remembered that I had put the cereal up high on the shelf the night before, because I was trying to limit what the older kids were getting into each day when I was laying on the couch, catching those last minutes of sleep. (I did this a lot!)
And then I sniffed a little, and her fingers pushed into my mouth and then I opened one eye and saw my baby girl was putting one hand into her nappy and then pulling it out again saying “yuck yuck yuck” and then poking me in the face with the same finger!
Suddenly I was wide awake and I realised that she hadn’t been eating cereal at all, (and yes my idea to hide the cereal had worked! She hadn’t gotten into it – result!) and that her fingers had been in her nappy and then up my nose and in my mouth.
Eyes open wide awake! Run to the sink and wash my face and mouth out. Gagging. Blowing my nose. Yes I am bloody awake now! Washing some more. Making guttural sounds that started to scare the children. Washing hands. Blowing nose. Gagging again.
So when I mentioned earlier, I was at a low point and life couldn’t get much worse….well I guess I was wrong. The moral of this story?
Shit happens. And then you wash yourself off, and get on with it. And live to tell the story five years later to your new husband and his children, and have them in fits of laughter and gross-out, and realise that you are stronger than what you think you are in the moment. And that all things happen for a reason (still waiting for that reason) and that you can literally eat a shit sandwich and still go on to have a great life.
Never give up. This “young children” season you are in, will only last a few years.