Mental Health check coming in 5, 4, 3, 2…1…
Let me start this post off by saying, I absolutely believe that being a parent is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs that one can have, especially being a mother. The joys of parenthood are never ending. Here are these little humans with not a care in the world, so much love to give, and so much curiosity for the world they have been born into. I look forward to my daily hugs and kisses, my son to tell me “I love you” before he goes to sleep, and the excitement they have when I walk through the door after not seeing me all day. However, the truth of the matter is, while there are beautiful days, there are a bunch of tireless, frustrating, and exhausting ones as well. I had one of these days yesterday and I found it very tough to hold it together. I believe in transparency so todays post comes from a very honest place.
To my new readers who may not know, I am a proud breast feeding mama. I breastfed my son until he was around six months and my daughter is currently still being breastfed at 16 months. I supplemented with formula with my son so I never experienced breast dependency the way I have with my daughter. At 16 months, she still does not sleep through the night and I cannot actually think of the last time I got a full night of sleep. I would I was still pregnant when that last occurred.
While I have become accustomed to not sleeping, this particular night was different. I found myself way more exhausted than usual. We had taken the kids to Cinema Café to see the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie and the two of them were quite possibly the worst children in the movie theater. By time Sonic was over, all we wanted to do was get them both home and ready for bed. Jayden went down for bed instantly and Jurni had gone to sleep in the car so I thought ok we should be good for the night. Normally at night, we put a Netflix movie on but due to being so tired we just cut off all the lights and prepared to go to bed. One hour into what I thought would be a peaceful night, Jurni was up and standing at my bedside crying. I laid her down with me thinking the body heat would put her back to sleep. When I tell you every 30 minutes, Jurni was back up crying, I exaggerate not. By time she had woken up for the 5th time, I was over it. The last thing I needed was for her to wake her brother. TOO LATE! Before I knew it, Jayden was at my bedside saying he couldn’t go back to sleep. By time everyone was back to sleep in my house it was close to 5:00 a.m.
Somewhere around 7 a.m., my mini alarm clocks were back up and in my face once again. By 8:30, I said forget it and I got up. After situating them with some breakfast, I plopped on the couch next to their dad under a blanket and told them to go play because I needed just 30 minutes of quiet time to myself. I had forgotten that I had promised Jay we would go to the gym, so by 9:30, he was asking me when were we going to go because I had promised. After handing Jurni to her dad, I got myself together and me and Jay headed to the gym. As irritated as I was from the lack of sleep, I was thankful that my five year old reminded me of my promise because a workout was much needed. This was over an hour to myself where Jayden could let off some energy and Jurni could just bond with her dad.
When we got back home, Jurni and her dad were sleep, so I took a shower and decided I would take a nap myself. Jayden occupied himself playing his game so that was a plus. NOPE! Nap was not going to happen. Jurni woke up within five minutes of me being home. Before I knew it, she was standing outside my shower crying for my attention. What I thought would be a long relaxing shower after pushing myself in the gym turned into a less than seven minute shower filled with Jurni’s very dramatic cry and her brother outside the door yelling at me to stop her from crying. She did not want her dad, just me! Once I got out the shower and fed her, because all she wanted was breastmilk, she went off to play with her brother. Again, I thought to myself, ahh a break. For the next 2-3 hours I found myself repeating the same directions, yelling at one or the other to stop, stopping them from fighting, taking things Jurni shouldn’t have, listening to Jayden tattle-tell, listening to their dad, and wishing I was on a secluded island with no children and no partner. Sad right? I know.
Finally, I got up and decided I would go cook dinner. All the way to the kitchen I heard what my son didn’t want for dinner, what he wanted instead, and why he wasn’t going to eat what I was cooking. On my hip was my breast child and stage 5 clinger. There were about six dishes in the sink from breakfast so I decided to start with that. Jayden wanted to help and the little copycat herself was of course going to tag along. He pulled up a chair and the two of them proceeded to help me wash the dishes. This was fine because I enjoy teaching them the responsibility early but they both just make more mess than they do to clean it up. Once we got through dinner and it was time for the bedtime routine, I was ecstatic to say Sunday was coming to an end. I was even more thankful that I did not have any homework assignments or papers to write because I would most likely not be doing them.
Earlier I had logged onto Instagram, where I saw a post of a mom pouring a non-stop bottle of wine while her child proceeded to tell her a story that they could not fully get out so they kept starting over. I sent it to my mom and a few other mom friends for a good laugh. I could truly relate to the picture. While I no longer drink alcohol, I have my days where I miss it and I could see myself being the mom needing the everlasting glass of wine. My kids are at that age where you don’t want to constantly fuss at them and they need your attention more than ever. I cherish this time because when they become teenagers or adults they may not need my attention or time as much and we should always be appreciative of the time that we have.
The thing is, it’s just so exhausting in the process. If you are like me and you are balancing a job, school, trying to run a business, and parenthood, then I am sure you understand my struggles. As someone who is not mentally all the way put together, I struggle sometime with not snapping or having a full mental breakdown when things get to be overwhelming and way too much. If you couple that with lack of sleep, it can be a recipe for disaster some days. I once hid under a blanket and pretended to be sleep so the kids would not bother me. Their dad just sat back laughing at my attempt to get some peace and quiet. I was determined for them not to realize I was actually awake. lol. I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything in the world but if anyone tries to tell you that being a parent is a cakewalk or that stay at home moms/dads don’t do anything all day, tell them Shut up. Until they go through it, they have no idea how mentally draining of a job it really is to be a parent.