"This is survival mode at its best. It's temporary. You will get through this," I repeated anxiously to myself, while rocking two extremely overtired, cranky 10 week old babies.
That was over 4 years ago with the little twins and I'm still repeating that same damn phrase to myself when life gets challenging.
Will I ever graduate out of survival mode? Right now, it's truly hard to imagine.
Today, I found myself locked in the bathroom upstairs, sitting on the floor with my knees pressed to my chest, muttering, "Good Lord, please give me strength to deal with all this noise!"
Yes, I was on noise overload. But that's nothing new around here. With 4 children who have booming voices, constantly trying to yell above one another, I was quickly crumbling.
Every 2 seconds, it was...
"Moooommmmyyyyy, he won't let me have the Wii controller"
"Moooommmmyyyyy, I need a snack"
"Moooommmmyyyyy, I want a different pair of socks"
"Moooommmmyyyyy, I need you to wipe my butt"
I found myself running around as if I was their personal servant.
"What can I get you, Master? Shall I shine your shoes with my clean shirt? Wipe your ass with my bare hands? My life means nothing if I can't satisfy your every need."
Please. What bullshit.
Since when did the responsibility of Mommy mean I had to be at their beck and call every minute of the day? If I had realized 7 years ago that I would basically be signing my life away as I knew it, would I still have tried so desperately to become a mother?
I know, shame on me for not actually deleting that last sentence. But it's true. And if I'm anything on this blog, it's raw and honest.
Rest assured that I realize when my kids are older, they may stumble upon this blog post. And my reaction will be, "When you have kids, you'll understand. It doesn't mean I don't love you. It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy being your mother. It just means I wasn't very good at balancing motherhood with...well, ME".
I've completely lost myself in this whole motherhood gig. Even when I should be sitting down force feeding myself a healthy meal, I'm standing up...anticipating yet another interruption because the kids might need something. Why bother sitting down?
Oh I know...I'm the pot calling the kettle black. I'm the first one to preach, "You need to take care of yourself because if you crumble, the entire family crumbles."
Yet, when it comes to myself and my family, I tend to forget that phrase. I just yell, cry and hide. A total wimp in Mother's clothing, trying to pull off the grand charade on a daily basis and failing miserably, I might add.
I allow my kids to suck the life out of me. I use the word "allow" because I know there's an ability within me to throw my hands in the air and say, "You guys fend for yourself...being more self-sufficient will be good for you."
But I don't do it. I haven't figured out why as of yet.
Oh, wait...I'm pretty sure it stems back to unresolved childhood issues but I don't want to dive into that heavy shit right now.
I've poured my heart and soul into being a mother to these 4 little gifts which God has bestowed upon me. Yes, they are blessings. Yes, I am grateful.
But. they. are. completely. sucking. the. life. out. of. me.
Crap, I already said that, didn't I? Well, then, I'll just leave it in here for emphasis.
You want to hear my real fear?
I fear that, for me, survival mode may not be temporary. I fear I may be stuck in this mode until the last of my kids leaves the house to begin their own lives apart from me.
You want me to be even more truthful? To give you my God's honest truth?
I fear I won't ever be able to recover. Will I even recognize myself in the mirror once this home is void of young children? What ever will I do with myself when I don't have 4 children hanging on me, whining at me, arguing over me?
Well, I certainly don't have the answers to those questions. At least not yet. And perhaps I never will.
For now, I'll just continue to survive. To cope with the stress and exhaustion the best I can. To say no more often. To encourage my kids to be more self-reliant when appropriate. To not burden myself with guilt if I can't call a friend back immediately. To just be the best mother, wife and friend I can be and pray that it's enough.
Because, really....what other choice do I have?
What do you fear?
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