As I sit here nursing for what feels like the hundredth time today, I stare at the laundry pile on the chair across from me, trying to remember when it was that I washed it. 3 days ago? 4? Why in the hell is it still sitting on that chair? How have I not found time in 3-4 days to fold it and put it away? I’m already due to do more laundry, yet I haven’t even put the last batch of laundry away.
But the thing is, motherhood is just a bit much sometimes. I know from the outside it might seem ridiculous that I should struggle so much keeping up with basic chores, but I seriously don’t know how to cram any more into my days.
And this isn’t something you fully grasp until baby snot flies out of the booger sucker thing, ricochets off of the Kleenex and into your unsuspecting open mouth.
Or until you are breastfeeding on the toilet because the baby doesn’t care that the take out gave you life threatening diarrhea.
Or until you catch the 2 year old wiping diaper cream onto the kitchen cabinets, straight from her vagina.
Take yesterday, for example:
The kids come bounding up the stairs sounding like wild animals stampeding through a jungle, asking in their loudest voices if they can pretty please go outside. Since their arrival woke up the baby AGAIN, I happily say, ‘Yes’. Despite being woken up, baby is surprisingly cool with life and accepts my transfer of her to her chair.
I then have to start the process of getting winter gear on the 4 and 2 year olds. If that statement doesn’t instantly make you cringe with sympathy for me, it’s because you have never had to do this before. Now I love winter, but going through it with young children is… An experience. There are so many layers, and they can put very little of it on themselves. The 2 particular children I’m talking about happen to prefer living life in the nude, so getting them dressed to go out in cold weather is a true time consuming struggle.
The 4 year old kept throwing her body on the ground because of various bumps assaulting her toes, tummy, and arms. No matter how I rearrange the clothing, the bumps are still there. “But I don’t want socks!” “I don’t need pants because I’ll just wear my snow pants!” “I don’t need mittens; I just won’t touch the snow!” “I want to wear my kitty shoes!” (The kitty shoes she’s referring to, by the way, are slip on flats that are completely inappropriate for walking in snow.) I finally get to the point where I can zip up her jacket and the zipper breaks.
“Where’s your other jacket, Arya?”
“It’s lost; I think ET stole it.”
It was on the floor by the front door.
The 2 year old is nowhere near as difficult, but she still needs help putting on the 50 layers required for snow. And the mittens. Dear God on high, the mittens. I know having thumbs is one of the main things that separates us from the animals, but you don’t understand what a true curse those damned appendages are until you have to try to get a 2 year old’s thumb into the right slot inside a snow mitten. And I specify the type of mitten, because there is an important distinction to be made between a snow mitten and a regular just-to-keep-warm mitten. Because the material used to ensure the snow mittens are water proof is stiffer than the tax man, making the already impossible task of putting a mitten on a toddler even more impossible. I finally gave up and just shoved the mittens on her pudgy toddler hands with all her phalanges in the main compartment of the mitten, because I know she’s just going to take the damned things off after 2 minutes anyways.
After what feels like half an hour, they are finally dressed and I send them out into the frozen tundra to play with the 6 year old, who has already been out there for 5 minutes because she can get herself dressed now, thank sweet baby Jesus.
The baby is somehow still cool in her chair, so I decide to savor the temporary quiet of my house over a bowl of soup. It’s lunch time and I’m starving. Two bites into my soup, the children come back inside. They’re done playing in the snow.
After 5 minutes, they are done playing in the snow.
Taking all the snow gear off is a sight easier than putting it all on, but the challenge here is to contain all the wetness. Because they were somehow able to get drenched in the 5 minutes of play, and the last thing I need is to mop up puddles all over the house because I didn’t catch them before they sloshed their wet selves through the house.
Then it was my 6 year old’s turn to lose her mind because she had accidentally touched dog poop with her mittens and now doesn’t want to touch the contaminated things. But I need her to bring them inside because I refuse to put on my boots to go get them in my pajamas (yes–still in my pj’s, because that is my life).
While that’s happening, the 2 year old is whining about the “Ew”, being the snot that is being pushed in and out of her nose with every breath. Fun fact: cold weather makes snotty noses even snottier. There’s no time to run for a Kleenex because she is actively bending over to wipe it on the bench cushion, so I sacrifice my shirt sleeve and wipe up her face. I can throw my shirt in the washer; I’d have to clean the cushion by hand.
After what feels like another 20 minutes, everyone is inside and stripped of their wet clothes. I’m wiping off the poop mittens and they all decide that they are hungry, including the baby, who is now crying. I swear they JUST ate. The 6 year old wants Doritos, which I immediately shut down because she eats way too much of that crap. She settles for peanut butter toast. The 2 year old wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The 4 year old says she wants buttered toast, but she actually hates toasted bread. She means that she wants buttered bread. She requests this crustless, but I shut that down as well and tell her she can eat around the crust. Mama is no short order cook. Except I kind of am, seeing as I’m somehow once again in the position of making 3 different things.
So there I am, buttering non-toasted bread, spreading peanut butter and honey on toasted bread, spreading peanut butter and jelly on a cut in half piece of bread, and rocking the baby chair with my foot. And I can’t help but think, this is just a little much. But there’s no time to ponder my life in that moment because the baby is now screaming and I still need to fill up 3 water cups.
The 3 eat in a flurry and are done by the time I finish putting the ingredients away. Which might have given me a chance to finally exhale, except now I must quickly grab a damp paper towel to get the peanut butter and jelly off of the toddler’s face and hands before she takes off and wipes it all over existence.
After I finished cleaning her off, she then asks for more food.
I shut that shit down Negan style and declare the kitchen closed with a click of the baby proof lock on the pantry door.
Now the 2 year old is losing her mind because she’s still starving. After the sandwich that she inhaled.
“Go play downstairs! Don’t bug me for anything for at least an hour!” I yell over the baby’s screams.
“How long is an hour?”
“It’s like 2 TV shows.”
“Can we watch TV??”
“Whatever–just leave me alone!”
I finally am able to pick up the baby and she settles her screams into rhythmic, disgruntled moans. She’s crapped herself again though, so I now have to upset her by changing her diaper.
Diaper is in the trash, bowl of soup is in hand, and I get settled on the couch so I can nurse her. And there I sat, nursing again and eating a cold bowl of soup, but grateful for the temporary peace.
Which was promptly broken 2 minutes later, “MOOOOMMMMMMM! Arya pooped but there’s no more toilet paper!”
Like I said before–motherhood is just a bit much sometimes.