Motherhood

The Only Thing That Is Keeping Me Sane

I’m getting that colorful beachball of doom again on my laptop. The spinning wheel that portends potential crashing and loss of many, many precious files. Unless things are backed up, which they mainly are on my laptop, except for, ironically, my pictures, which are practically the only thing I value on here.

My life has felt a lot like that spinning color wheel lately. The reality of all my children being home with me the whole day – except my daughter, who is out of the house from nine to noon – basically means that I can’t keep up with the housework, which means that I often feel like the walls are closing in on me.

The only reason I can even type right now is because I did two or three loads of laundry (I lost track), the dishes have been washed or are in the washer, and the random books, clothes and toys have been cleared from the floor.

In addition to that general stress, my baby has been teething. He is miserable. I am miserable with him. We are miserable together, bonding through the sheer amount of time he needs me to hold him (basically whenever he is conscious).

And in addition to THAT, my phone stopped working, so I needed a new phone, but my carrier stopped carrying my line of phones, so I needed to research different carriers and plans and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?! NOT ME!!!!!

Though, I must say, I felt pretty epic as I spoke with a phone company while wearing my baby and managing my other children. It did give me a heady feeling of being able to do anything. I felt unstoppable! Yes!

apron!!

But then last night, I sat, exhausted and depleted from the day, trying to transfer my cell number from my previous provider to my new one, balanced so closely to the edge of my ability to function that a simple comment from my husband – as I was trying to talk on the phone, mind you – was enough to set me off.

I didn’t feel so unstoppable or capable anymore. I felt tired and overwhelmed. There were still so many dishes, and so much laundry. And an impressive amount of ground beef on the kitchen floor (we had tacos for dinner).

So I called my mother and we talked as I methodically went about the tasks that bring me the calm and order that I need in order to sit here and write these words.

And as I puttered around the kitchen, I remembered a golden moment from earlier, when my daughter was screaming hysterically outside because of an imaginary ant which was preventing her from climbing the ladder to our swingset (no, that wasn’t the golden moment).

I went to her, wiping my wet hands on my skirt as I left the kitchen for the backyard. Walking with her, I held out my hand and she placed her small, warm and delicate one into mine. My heart. Oh, my heart.

That moment of connection transcended all the stress and chaos of the day, the week, this whole post-moving stage. And the feeling of love and wonder carried through into the hectic and bewildering evening that I had been having. It brought me calm and joy and contentment.

joy

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10 thoughts on “The Only Thing That Is Keeping Me Sane

  1. I always feel funny occasionally chiming in here because I’m not really an active participant in the conversation of this blog – but just wanted to say that my situation (and probably many others too :) sounds very similar to yours and you’re not alone :) and neither am I :)

  2. Feel hugged! Sorry if this is a stupid question, but – does it have to be like that? Is there any way you can get help / get rid of your kids for a few hours (aren’t some of them ;-) school/preschool age anyway?)

    1. Thank you for the hug! It isn’t a stupid question at all. It’s a temporary situation, since we moved so close to the end of the school year. The bigger three kids will be in camp in a couple weeks, which will take the edge off. Hooray!

  3. Yeah, I remember those days. Sending a hug. And I’m happy you were able to find the nugget of gold in the heap of junk.

    And if you want advice, I’ve got some. But you might be getting a lot of advice, so be honest if the answer is no.

    1. I’m happy to get advice from you. :) I do already have cleaning help, and there’s a girl who comes once a week, and camp will be starting soon. I was doing okay until the baby started teething and then it was very much downhill from there on account of me getting less sleep than I really need.

  4. I am totally on the same page! From the kids home all day messy house, to the teething baby, right down to the ground beef on the floor (we had tacos Wednesday night)! I enlist help from the kids, count down the days until camp, and go in my room where it is sort of clean. :-)

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