I think the only time I get real rest is between the hours of 1:00-6:00 a.m. Tossing and turning with random obsessive thoughts keeps me up at night. Most of the remaining time I am running here or there or planning a birthday party or stopping by the store because I forgot something the last time I went. I run on empty a lot. I am constantly drained and my mind is always at full capacity.
I know I am not alone. In fact, I’m not sure if there is another way to parent. Sure I can assume that those Instagram photos of moms doing their daily devotional, sipping an iced latte and their sweet baby quietly playing on the floor are real, but I know that they aren’t. That isn’t real life. I’m sure 10 seconds before those photos are taken, Mom had a meltdown in the kitchen and shoved six Oreos into her mouth and called her husband to hurry and get home from work because “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE”.
THAT is real life.
We come and go like robots nowadays. Our days are tracked on the calendar on our phones. I haven’t had an afternoon “off” in months. Baseball, dance, gymnastics, school … we literally haven’t cooked dinner at our house in quite some time. I wish we had lazy days every now and then, but I have to remember why things are the way they are.
We run here and there and make ourselves crazy for our family. We walk around in a daze because we love them. We fret over the silliest stuff because we want what we think is best for them.
Oftentimes I wish for quiet evenings at home with nothing to do. Nowhere to go, no homework to be done, no deadlines or obligations. Just a nice, quiet, peaceful quiet house. I don’t think our house will ever see those days again.
I have three Bible studies that I have put down and have yet to pick back up. I’d love to have some actual organization SOMEWHERE in my house. If I have to go buy one more pair of dance tights, I am going to scream. Don’t tell anyone, but my car is about 3,000 miles over an oil change.
There are 24 hours a day and I work 9 of them. The rest of the time is spent making choices: quick dinner before baseball or do I dare mess up the kitchen only to have to come back home to clean it up? Spend my lunch hour buying a birthday gift or returning something at the mall? Does Elliot NEED party favors at her party or will anyone even notice? Bank or grocery store?
I do this for them. There are three people that I live with that need me to give it my all. Sure I complain, but inside I am thankful for all of this. This chaos is changing our family and making my kids into who they need to be when they get older. It is strengthening our marriage because we are forced to make time for each other. We realize how little alone time we get and appreciate it more when we get it. My kids are watching two people drive themselves absolutely nuts for their family. That has to mean something.
I’ve been told so many times, “you will miss this one day” and I know that I will. I miss it already, if that makes sense. Days pass by like minutes when your children are young. Sometimes it’s hard to know which way is up. It’s overwhelming and trying. Sometimes it might even seem a little daunting at times. You make yourself crazy because you care.
I can’t think of a better reason to lose my mind.