When my oldest was a baby, he never slept. Several months into motherhood, I got my first full hour of sleep and I thought that was surely what the people that vacation in Bali felt like. He was constantly moving, never sleeping, and lots of screaming. I tried everything. Car rides, swinging, dietary changes, Dr visits…I heard that babies like white noise which could easily be replicated by a hair dryer. My husband had to break it to me that it didn’t work when he found me at 2 in the morning. My son was screaming bloody murder in his crib, I was sobbing…on the floor…in the pitch black…holding a hair dryer. I swear I would have rubbed Cheetos on my eyeballs if someone told me it might work.
My husband’s favorite story was the day I met him at the garage door. I was holding our precious son out at arm’s length, waiting to pass the baton. I couldn’t do it another second. He! Never! Stopped! Crying! I was inconsolable because I was exhausted from sleep deprivation. I was devastated that I couldn’t comfort my own child. I felt like a failure as a mom, as a wife. Hubs got out of the car as I’m crying, “I can’t do it! I need help!” He smiled, took our son, and said, “Baby, where are your pants?” I vaguely remembered in my stupor that our son had spit up, or pooped, or some form of baby excrement on my pants. I don’t really remember taking them off, and quite honestly, he should just be happy that he parked in the garage rather than in the front of the house. I would have just as easily been the crazy, pantless neighbor in the front yard.
Last Thursday was another one of those days, sans the no pants part. I was tired…no exhausted, at the end of my rope, drowning, losing my ever lovin mind. Everything made me angry. My kids didn’t like me, my husband didn’t like me. I didn’t like myself. Friday was better. I met with my bible study girls and told them of my shortcomings. We (metaphorically) high fived Jesus and I decided I would remember to only think on things that were true, noble, just, pure, lovely, trustworthy (Philippians 4 something or other…don’t hold me to that). Truth be told, nothing I was thinking fit into any of those categories. Try as I may, I felt dread, exhaustion, and anger. It was like a filter was placed over my eyes. If the kids would just listen…If my husband would just help me more…
Saturday morning the kids were playing loudly in the kitchen, kicking around a roll of duck tape like it was a soccer ball. Nothing out of the ordinary. It sounded like a stampede of water buffalos running for their lives. I don’t know what that sounds like but I am thinking it’s loud. As I was screaming like a wild banshee, it hit me like a ton if bricks. It’s me. They aren’t really doing anything different than they do any other day. They are always loud. They are hardly ever still. But it was me that couldn’t handle it. My fog was getting thicker. I went to bed for the rest of the day.
I am completely aware that some of you can not relate. You may even be clutching your pearls at the fact that I can’t get myself together to perform normal human functions, like wear clothes. But that’s just it. I do not always have it together. If I’m being honest, I don’t have it together most of the time. My house is a wreck, my youngest ate a bowl of shredded cheese for dinner the other night, my husband has long ago come to terms with the fact that cooking, “isn’t my thing” (read: I can’t cook), and my kids have broken 5 bones between the two of them. No Mother of the Year awards will ever line my mantle. But I think it’s important that we can say, “I’m a hot mess. I don’t have it all together. I need help. Pray for me.” I am thankful for the women I have in my life that I can be authentic with. That hold me accountable but offer an abundance of grace. I promise I am trying. I love that God is not finished with me yet. I love that He gave me the exact children I needed and the best daddy to help raise them (and send me to bed for the rest of the day when I act like a lunatic). Momming is hard. Most of the time, I feel ill equipped to do the job. But when my son runs through and says, “Love you Momma! You’re the best Momma ever!” I won’t remind myself that he has nothing to compare it to. I’ll cherish it, and let it hold me over until my next crazy episode.