Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mommy Burnout

There's an old adage that I'm sure you've heard; "the days are long but the years are short." I get it. I really do. But allow me to explain why I'm getting really tired of hearing it.

Somewhere after we brought Zoe home from China in December of 2012, a time warp seemed to happen. In the span of 13 months we went from one to three kids with a fourth on the way (Ethiopia adoption), moved houses, and changed jobs. And those are just the highlights. I'm still trying to grasp the fact that it's 2014, and I heard this rumor that it's already September. So yeah, I get the "years are short" part.

Occasionally our "days are long." Somehow a 10 minute tantrum can feel like a whole afternoon, and I have been known to beg my husband for an ETA post work to begin a survival countdown. Those days definitely happen.

As the girls have gotten older though, they can play more independently with less refereeing and melt downs. Our days generally go by fairly quickly and are filled with less tears and more giggles. 

Arella and Zoe taking a silly selfie.

However, recently our nights feel like Ground Hog's Day- a constant repeat every hour of crying, screaming, coughing, and whining. I sleep like an elephant- about four hours a night and not consecutive. (Thank you Wild Kratts for my new found animal knowledge.) Plagued with a teething and runny-nosed infant, a congested toddler who is already a light sleeper and needy at night, and a big girl that now wakes us to go to the potty, well, you get the idea. 

Hubby and I are great at "divide and conquer," but that's not the way these kids are playing the game. They have honed in on their etiquette early and are each giving the other the courtesy of bellowing their very own howling wake up call to the parents via the monitor.

One parent will go check on shrieking child, do a little please-I'm-begging-you-to-go-to-sleep-dance, then eventually make his/her way back downstairs to bed where the other half-awake parent attempts a middle-of-the-night encouragement with a "good job honey," although they have no idea what just happened, what time it is or if they're even awake. Both parents lay back down and quickly fall asleep. Ten minutes later (just long enough to fall into a deep stupor) a different child sounds the alarm. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Wake up for the day. Or sometimes, still up for the day.

He puts on a cute face, but you can see our tired eyes, well, definitely mine.

I know "it's just a season." I know the "days are long but the years are short." I know I should "cherish every moment because it's gone in the blink of an eye." I know. I get it. In just three short years of being a parent I can see that very clearly. But knowing all those things doesn't give me a good night's rest which is basically what I'm whining about here.

I adore my children. I love staying home with them. I cherish every second I can. But right now I. Am. T-I-R-E-D. I've been running on fumes for nearly 2 months, and I think my mommy engine is overheating. I've been trying to write 3 blog entries for a week now, but there is no down time, no rest for the weary.

How then am I writing this tonight? Well, it started on my phone last night when I was up with the baby (the second time I think), and I'm finishing it right now as Hubby is up with spicy peanut. Oh, and did I mention that our AC went out? Just the upstairs. Just where our poor, sweet, already non-sleeping children lay in bed. Somehow we managed to concoct a plan B that consists of an air mattress and baby swing next to our bed downstairs. I'm sure that'll help us all get a good night's slumber. Slumber PARTY maybe.

Even though my eyes are bleary, my mind is fairly disconnected and I'm approaching full-on mommy burnout, I see my girls' imaginations coming to life. They break out into song (usually made up with no real words) throughout the day and they play everything together. This morning Arella marched outside and announced that she wanted to be alone. Zoe said, "I want be alone, too!" and followed Arella. They enjoyed some alone time together.

And they way they love Zadok blows my mind. They want him to be a part of everything. And they want to be a part of his everything. Arella lives to make him laugh, and Zoe always makes sure his paci is in, the swing is going or he has a toy to play with.

Sweet angels by day, evil geniuses at night. But oh how I love those exhausting little souls. The nights are long, but our joy is full.

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