I have been truly exhausted recently. This is a busy season of life. And I just haven’t had a chance to take any kind of down time.
Mothering littles is hard work. Its rewarding, no doubt. To see their little faces light up when they see me is definitely heart-warming. I know that I will never again be this needed or this loved. So I’m trying to soak in the love, even if it looks like neediness.
But the truth is that sometimes the constant “mama mama mama” refrain is excruciating. Sometimes I just want to run away and sit in peace and quiet for a while. But the truth is that I’d probably fall asleep. And then I’d miss out on equal amounts of “mama play with me!” sweetness and “mama I need chocolate milk” weariness.
The kids have grown and changed so much this past month. Jax doesn’t walk anymore, he RUNS. EVERYWHERE. He’s always going as fast as he possibly can. And he says a ton of words. Yesterday the words “eat” and “girl” appeared for the first time, which can be added to his ever-growing repertoire of: airplane, pa-pop, bu-bye, ewwwwww, malk (milk), Gigi (blanket), mama, dada, ball, shoe, kay (okay), uh-huh, mine!, etc. He’s got a lot of words and isn’t afraid to express himself. He is often the king and dictator of Fit-ville. Population: 1.
Jaylee is in an extremely social stage. She’s still shy of adults, but she LOVES other kids. She’s not afraid to walk up to other kids (at the playground, park, play-place, doctor’s office, etc) and ask them to play. We joined a gym with childcare, and she cries whenever I pick her up because she doesn’t want to leave – she’s having too much fun playing with her friends. She loves to tell me that her friends need to come over to her house “for 5 minutes”. Right now, those friends are Aimlee and Bella. And Jaylee is very into My Little Pony right now. She’s collected almost all the ponies and loves to pretend play with them – giving them little dialogues and acting out stories. Of course, she prefers to do this with a partner (either me or a friend). But it is nice to be driving in the car and listening to the little story going on in the back seat. We still act out our share of Anna & Elsa and disney princess scenes, but My Little Pony and Shopkins seem to be the big thing right now.
Part of my struggle with my exhaustion is that we really do have the best support system. My parents and Jordan’s mom both watch our kids during the week, and we go over to each of their homes to eat and hang out at least once a week. Beth even takes the kids for a couple extra hours on Wednesday so that I can have some time to myself (which, naturally, I spend trying to remove the grime from my house and keep up with my masters course work). So many parents are not as fortunate as us – I know we’re lucky to have our families right here and willing/able to help us out. Its a true blessing.
In addition, there is a lot going on in the middle east right now. A Facebook photographer I follow called “Humans of New York” is currently in Greece taking photos and recording the stories of immigrants who have escaped from the violence in Syria and Iraq. Nothing wakes you up like looking into their faces and reading their stories of incredible violence and heartbreak mixed with intense hope. Its easy to forget how sheltered and safe we are here in suburbia USA. And reading their stories has helped to keep my feet grounded and helped me to hug my children a little tighter.
But after all is said and done, I’m still just so exhausted. Its all worth it, but its definitely not easy. Part of the problem is just the sheer business of this season. Working and teaching, mothering, training for my half marathon, cooking and cleaning, working on my masters, washing diapers, keeping up with friends, hanging out with family, trying to make it to church, trying not to miss these special memories… Its just a lot.
Lord, help me make it through this. There’s light at the end of the tunnel: Fall Break is two weeks away, fall break for my masters is 4 weeks away, my marathon is in 3 weeks, and the holidays are coming up. And surely sometime this fall, Jaylee will finally be potty trained. I just have to hold on, even if its by my fingertips.
This past weekend was an especially busy one for us. I was at a math teachers’ conference on Friday, and then went to a mom’s night out with my mom’s group friends Friday night. On Saturday I had to do a long run for my marathon while Jordan and Bucky did some aerating, and then we went out and tried to get household errands done. Jordan’s grandmother Betty was in town from Oklahoma, so we went over to spend some time with her. And then Jordan and I went out Saturday night to a painting date night with 2 other couples who are long-time friends of ours (though we missed the Adekunles!).
On Sunday, we got up super early to catch the light rail downtown and walk in the Race for the Cure. A coworker of mine is currently battling breast cancer, so a lot of the staff got together to do the walk. But taking two small children out of bed at 5:45am, and then hauling them and two strollers on a crowded light rail train so that you can walk a 5k in the sun and heat with 40,000 of your closest friends is quite the feat.
We enjoyed it, but it was definitely exhausting. And then we had Sunday football, followed by a membership class at church, and then a late televised Broncos game. This left no time on the weekend for me to plan any of my lessons for the week, or make any headway on my masters course work (which, of course, I won’t have a chance to do on Wednesday due to changing schedules). And now its into the work week, and we just haven’t had any chance to rest.
But again, we are very fortunate to be here. And while that’s not really a shot of caffeine in my arm to provide instant energy, it does help me to keep my sights on the long game: we have wonderful children and a beautiful life.
Now to go drink more coffee.