It’s been a little quiet around here lately. Not quiet at home or work, but quiet here because of how busy it’s been there.
I’ve been a bit at war with myself. Maybe you working mommas will get this, but I rush around at work to get everything accomplished so I can just get home. I eat lunch at my desk and reply to e-mails while listening to multi-party conference calls. I am efficient.
Then, I fight traffic, and get home. I throw my arms around my little people, kiss my hubby, and sit down to digest all they have to say about their day.
But there’s homework to be done. There’s dinner to be made. People need showers and reading time and there’s three of them and only two of us. From every corner of the house shouts of “mommy, mommy” ricochet.
Within minutes, I’m exasperated and losing patience. I haven’t had time to change out of my work clothes, so I can’t work on dinner or I’ll ruin them. Even though I ran to the bathroom on my way out of work, I sat in traffic for almost an hour and need to go again but I can’t even get to the bathroom in my house. I’m not sure which kid to prioritize with my first response, and whoever doesn’t receive adequate attention is sure to fall to the floor in protest. (Creating what I’m sure will be thousands of dollars in therapy bills. Kidding. Sort of.)
For maybe the first time ever, I ‘fessed up to my husband, “I rush home desperate to get here, and then I get here and…,” I trailed off. “You want to leave?,” he replied dryly. “Kind of…,” I shrugged sheepishly.
Let me say what I know. I know what a miracle it is we have a family. We could have gone on with just the two of us and we both would have been heartbroken. I know what a gift it is to have triplets. They are beautiful and healthy and we are immeasurably blessed. I know this is a stage and we will be so sad when our house is quiet. They will eventually stop hollering for our help, and we’ll be back to the two of us longing for homework and mandatory reading time from first grade.
I truly know and believe all this.
However, it doesn’t make the season we are in any easier. I have a demanding job which requires thoughtfulness and attentiveness and multi-tasking. I arrive at work about 7:30 in the morning which means I wake up before 6 am every morning. By the time I arrive back on my doorstep, I’m a tiny bit fried.
But then I have another demanding job which requires thoughtfulness and attentiveness and multi-tasking. I need to read notes from school to make sure they wear theme colors and take pictures of their veteran grandparents and send treats for the holiday and make my mystery reader time. I need to run to the grocery store and schedule their well visits (which I forgot have to be done 2 months in advance) and make sure I know when games are scheduled and tag team the gymnastics carpool and shower. (Not kidding. I need to put that on my list. It’s no wonder I’m not blogging more. Showering has to make it on the list!)
This is not ingratitude. This is just the occasional overwhelmed working mom moment.
Now keep in mind, none of these things are the “extras” I’ve long talked about setting boundaries around. These are not board commitments (I have one this year), or parties (I’m throwing a casual holiday one), or volunteering (I teach Sunday School). Those I set serious boundaries around and am far more limited with those commitments than in years past.
This is simply life in modern day American with a husband and a set of three first graders. God bless every single one of you amazing women who are doing this solo. I know it is ten times harder for you.
This is not a post with a three point plan for how to combat fatigue and loss of patience. Though if you have one, I’ll certainly take it.
It’s just me pretending we’re sitting at a table over coffee telling each other to hang in there. We’re doing a good job. The best we can. We’ll catch up on our sleep in about 11 years, okay friend? And until then, I’ll bring then triple grande nonfat latte on Saturday mornings while we let the kids run off their energy in the backyard.
Keep up the good work mom. It’s hard. But it will pay off in the end.