Motherhood is the strangest collection of emotions, it is the most overwhelming love for someone mixed with so much frustration, guilt, stress and sometimes anger. In one of my other posts I spoke about my mom guilt, the guilt I feel when I think I can’t be at my best and am too tired to be the best mommy I can be. But the last week and a half I have had the kind of guilt when you are so frustrated with your littles that you need to walk away.
The demands of a sick baby or toddler (and even husband) are constant and when you mix in a sick mommy, it really is a recipe for a long day(s). I was lucky that my husband, Marco did not catch a cold quite as bad as ours so I was certainly leaning on him for some major support. Taking care of Madison and Mila sick at the same time was really only one word : a shit show. Pardon my french and my lack of professionalism here but this really is the only way I could describe last Sunday-Monday. Today there is already a mood switch in the air, I can feel the tension and stress lift in our home and get the sense of health on the mend, we already had a bit of a better night last night.
Madison has been going through what I have been calling a ‘reclaiming’ phase. I have no idea what this is all about and will be doing some research on this and do a separate post all about it. But she has a new found need for me all-the-TIME! It is like the second coming of when she turned one and was stuck to me at every moment of the day and wanted nothing to do with anyone else. She will not allow daddy to come near her at ALL, not even for a hug – super anti dad which is breaking his heart and breaking my back. She wants to be held and picked up, wines about things she normally wouldn’t and has been reverting back to these terrible-two like temper tantrums. Granted, she hasn’t been 3 for that long, but she matured so much after she turned 3 this past summer and I saw such a change in her behavior. And while she still has these beautiful moments of maturity, wisdom (for a 3 year old) and growth, these little ‘tantrums’ have been popping up and making my days very long and very hard. I am getting the sense that it is her “reclaiming” me from her now 1 year old sister who is a lot more aware of everything and everyone. Mila knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it and take it, steal it even right out of her sisters hands sometimes. Yup, i’m at this point of motherhood.
Mila is absolutely doing the same thing Madison did when she turned one. She is alllllll about mom all the time. She likes to fall asleep with me by her side, loves mommy cuddles and is always looking for me. Always. The only difference I can see so far is that Madison loved and still loves playing by herself. But Mila loves the company, all the time, it’s impossible to eat, pee, clean, brush my teeth (even now as I type this she is in my arms-it sucks typing with my left hand.) You get the picture.
So trying to juggle their constant demanding and conflicting needs takes patience that I don’t have right now – hey I’m sick too…, so onto the next best thing : time management. If I could busy one with something I could cuddle up and clean the nose of the other and once the other needed me – switch. Madison is super independent and when she is into her activities she doesn’t notice anything else. I can usually distract her with coloring, her paw patrol pup toys or paw patrol on tv. Mila would be Mickey Mouse clubhouse anything – the show or the toys, and books. I can put a stack of books in front of her and she will go through them one by one until she’s done.
Now this is not bulletproof, sometimes life hands you lemons and I decide to take them to my bed (this is my lemonade), close the blinds and bring a bunch of books, read them all until they are too tired to listen to me anymore…and all this does come at the expensive of me taking care of myself, that’s why try and bring the activities to bed to keep them there so you can all get some rest or at least sit down. I’m not saying they will fall asleep, but if you can at least be in a place you can all feel a little more comfortable, it helps a little.
And while typing all this sounds so simple to me now that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, last week was very challenging, more mentally then physically. I felt as defeated as I ever have, being so exhausted and sick and not feeling able to be there for my girls just ate away at me. My husband is gone for work before sunrise and back right before sunset, so I am a one women show all day – everyday. The frustration of being pulled back and forth definitely gets to me sometimes and I feel the anger, frustration and overwhelming emotions just like any of you. When I feel like I need a moment to gather myself, I put the girls in their rooms for ‘quiet time’ or together in Madison’s room for a little sister bonding time. Don’t be afraid the steal moments for yourself to take a breath. After all, if you’re not well then who is going to care for them?!
I felt absolutely overwhelmed, defeated and full on deflated! How do you mama’s cope with these feelings? How do you deal with one or more littles needing you when you feel you can’t go on?
Keep pushing forward mama’s!
Michelle and the minis xo