My husband has been gone the past few days and it’s always stressful when he’s away. I don’t really have much to complain about, I know there are mommies all over the world that have it worse and it’s certainly been worse for me in the past. Hubby is only 30 minutes away but he “gets” to stay in a hotel (and not see us) for 3 full days which is nothing compared to the one week a month he was gone while we lived in Ireland or the 13 straight days he was gone when my daughter was a few months old and we had no car and my closest friend was a 20 minute bus ride away and my family was (literally) an ocean away and it was chilly and rainy and miserable all.the.time.
Certainly, 3 days, 2 nights is not a big deal. But it’s reminded me of why I used to yell so much in Dublin. Why I felt so out of control sometimes. Being alone and dealing with an inconsolable, screaming baby and a trying, sassy two-year old. It wears on you, it breaks you down, it pushes you to your limits.
And now there are THREE. Three little people that require everything you've got. One little baby that puts everything he can pick up in his mouth. One temperamental three year old that think she is in charge and can boss everyone else around. One (still) sassy five year old who "hates everything" and doesn't "want to do anything." And you start to lose it.
Moving the baby away from cat food for the 100th time because someone left the gate open kills your back (and your patience). The thought of asking nicely for the millionth time is too much. Telling the baby “no no, not for Doodle” in your cute, playful, baby voice one more time makes you want to run and jump in the lake behind your house.
After a day of doing EVERYTHING and trying to be calm, loving, kind and patient, you start counting down the seconds until bedtime. Until you are finally FREE. Until you can sit down with a glass of…water? Because you don’t drink when you’re home alone with the kids because what if there is an emergency? What if you have to call 911? What will the paramedics think if they show up to an emergency and you’ve been drinking?
So you sit down to relax with your glass of water and the TV remote and you can finally enjoy some adult entertainment. NO! Not like that! The kind that you can't watch with your kids because you never know when they're going to talk about sex or someother adult theme you don't want to discuss yet. You know, the kind that isn’t animated, from a movie or filled with catchy little songs that stick in your head for the rest of eternity. Unless of course you like things like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars and inevitably one of the contestants chooses a song from Frozen (which isn’t really so bad because you secretly love it anyways!)
And then you desperately want, no you NEED, some chocolate ice cream. But, of course, no one has been to the grocery store. YOU haven't been to the store because you've been doing everything else just to make it through the day. Just to make it to bedtime with everyone generally intact, all cuts and scrapes kissed and bandaged (and there are a lot thanks to the big "no more training wheels" plan hubby instituted before abandoning you.)
And then you’re bored, lonely and plain exhausted and even though it’s only 9 you head to bed anyways because the baby didn’t nap well and went to bed early which means he’ll be up early and just MAYBE the extra sleep will get you through tomorrow. But you feel like a fool because it’s only 9, you know, the time when other adults are being productive or spending time with their significant other or going out. But you’re in bed because there is no one to talk to you and you certainly can’t go out without your three little ones.
So you lay there, exhausted but unable to sleep because you can’t stop thinking about tomorrow. About how you’ll probably be up at 5:30 again and how you’ll have to feed everyone, dress everyone and still get your kid to school on time. And you think about how tomorrow morning will be even tougher than today was because your three year old never actually got dressed (nope, not all day, but she did change her pajamas at bedtime). It was a “pick your battles” kind of day and that was the one you chose to let go. “Let it Go! Let it Go! Can’t hold it back anymore…” That song. That damn song (that you secretly love).
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