“The days are long, but the years are short.” Said every mom ever, for all the days, for the rest of eternity. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot tell you how many times that phrase has soothed my anxiety-induced soul, made me wistful for the day we brought our oldest home from the hospital, and given me hope for all moms, everywhere. But, dang, sometimes the days are just sooooo long.
Just today, for instance, after nursing my five month old all night, full disclosure, we co-sleep and it’s the only way I can get any sleep, I wake up to the family rooster. No, not the rooster who lives outback and is semi self-sufficient, but the potty trained 3.5 year old who silently sneaks into your bedroom at 5 a.m. and whispers the ultimate pillow talk – “Mama, I think I pooped in my overnight thingy.” And no, that’s not code for the potty or something sensible, but rather his overnight pull-up. From his crib, the 2 year old is yelling at the top of his lungs, “Get me outta here, Maaammaaa!” And pretty sure the five month old is long past the blissful sleep-through-anything newborn stage, and startles from all the sudden cacophony. Hey world! Did you know? We’re awake!
So, hooray! We’re all awake! And, it’s pitch black. And, it’s February in New England, so it’s like 2 degrees outside. And, worst of all, I have to change a 3.5 year old size poop, while trying to keep my 2 year old from losing his marbles because he hasn’t had his “mama milky” yet…all. before. coffee.
It’s a tragedy, I know. And yet, for some reason, it is in that moment, in that acknowledgement of the crazy, that I start to smile. I may even laugh. Maybe it’s a deranged person laughter, but still, laughter. Laughter that makes the baby smile the biggest toothless grin, laughter that cracks up the three old, and laughter that encourages the two year old to start howling like a coyote (we’re in an animal noise phase).
And yet, for some reason, it is in that moment, in that acknowledgement of the crazy, that I start to smile. I may even laugh. Maybe it’s a deranged person laughter, but still, laughter.
Now, I’m not saying we wake up to chaos every morning, and I’m not saying we always laugh our way through it; however, three kids later, I’m learning that the less I fight the frustration, the calmer I become. Sometimes, just by throwing our hands in the air, taking a deep breath of surrender, and looking, truly looking around and in front of us, we realize that this moment doesn’t define us. Nor will the next moment, or the next. We have an amazing ability to rebound – never forget the power of your resiliency.