"Parenting is easy. Said no person ever.” Love, my dear friend Christy Cass
This was recently texted to me. I had just gotten done panicking, wanting to know when her kids stopped napping. This is not a joke. Not an exaggeration. In my head the ship was going down and we were all going with it. The entire world was ending and there was nothing to do about it. Life as I knew it was over.
You see, my twin toddlers are just two and a half and they apparently decided to just stop napping.
Kill me. Kill me right now.
Parenting is hard. Scratch that. Not hard. That word does not even begin to do it justice.
You know what it is? It’s like being a Mama T-Rex with baby T-Rex’s. And they are running around like escaped convicts and all you have is your useless little T-Rex arms that do absolutely nothing. So you try and use your obnoxious T-Rex voice to reign them in so that someone doesn’t call social services on you. But you are a T-Rex so you only know how to roar like an angry, crazy, possessed person.
And forget catching them. Just typing that is funny. Because from where I’m sitting all I can see is what I can only describe as a very strategically crafted minefield of stupid baby T-Rex toys everywhere. Any attempt to pursue these tiny convicts and I'm lego and tonka truck soup. That’s okay, I don’t really care what my shins look like anymore (silently weeps into her pillow).
How is it possible for such a tiny human person to be this fast anyways? I’m dead serious. Having twins is like herding cattle. Without a horse. Or a dog. Or other cowboys. Or a freaking clue what I’m doing. Because, oh yeah, I’m not a cowboy. Side note, next time you see a Mama on the run after an escapee, either step in and grab said convict, or smile that smile that let’s her know you are on her team. The T-Rex team.
Meanwhile to all you other dino Mamas. The Triceratops Mamas just watching and laughing, super helpful, thanks. Or the Stegosaurus’s, with all your comparing and judging all the time. Please. Just stop. And I really am saying this in love. All this comparing is not doing us any good. Parenting is hard enough. I don’t need to know whether or not you feed your kid directly from the gluten bucket or let them sleep in a hammock made out of star dust. Why? Because it’s non of my business.
My only job is to love God. Love my kids. And then to love you.
Ugh. Exhale. What was I talking about again?
Every night I just crawl into bed and look at my husband and say, “they’re breathing,” and we high five. JOB DONE.
It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. And this is saying something. You are talking to someone with a very serious mental illness. A recovered addict and alcoholic. A survivor of abuse and neglect. A survivor of two suicide attempts. A survivor of an attempted sexual assault. I could go on but I think you get the picture. Life has been a little less than dreamy for me.
And then I went and got pregnant. With twins. Boys. Who apparently don’t need sleep. At all. Ever anymore. Tonight they decided 10:30 was bedtime. And for all you control freaks out there, you can keep your, “she’s doing it wrong.” Believe me. That is not the case. Even if I make it seem like they are running the ship. THEY ARE NOT. That is not the kind of home I run. I believe that part of loving them is having rules and discipline. They know exactly who is in charge. These two innocent, red cheeked boys will lay in bed awake for hours. And hours. And hours.
And so long as they don’t need sleep they are under the mistaken belief that neither do I. And because I have never been a good sleeper I am aware of every little blip that comes over the monitor. They sing, they chatter, they roll around in their beds. Sometimes I hear these sweet, innocent angels, diabolically whispering and I am convinced they are either plotting world domination or how to get the car started. And I listen to it. All of it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my children. Just like every other parent out there. With that same, I would murder if necessary, touch my baby and you die, throw myself into traffic, break the law kind of fire that we all get. But I also had hope up until now. It was called nap time. Are you listening? That sweet, there is a God, that first sip of coffee in the morning, I just won the lottery, nap time.
That one short reprieve in the middle of the day where there is no noise. No running. No chasing. No chaos. No crying and screaming. No breaking of things. No dirtying of things. Things I will have to fix, wash, clean. Time where I decide what I want to do. No one else decides it for me. I can get a million things done. Or nothing at all. I am in charge. Me. And it’s glorious.
And now it’s gone. And it feels like I’ve lost my best friend. Someone has kidnapped my best friend. There should be a warning system for this type of thing.
I‘ve had to inform the people I know and love that I will be dressing in black for the foreseeable future due to what I believe is an understandable time of grieving. I mean, my husband understands. He gets to go to work everyday. He calls his job his “break.” And he’s not joking. Bless.
Because when people ask me what I do I look them directly in their eyeballs and say, “I have two full time jobs. They are 2 1/2.” I make it clear by the tone of my voice and the setting of my jaw that there is no room for debate in this conversation. My posture and the nervous tick I’ve developed on the right side of my upper lip, let the questioner know further that the only appropriate responses at this time IS NOT, “Oh, so you stay home,” or, “What do you do with all that time?”
The answer to that is easy. I work. I never stop working. From the second I get up until I go to sleep. Even on weekends. And I don’t get any breaks. Nap time was my break. Not the bathroom. You might think the bathroom would be a break. You would be wrong. Sooooo very wrong. That door between you and your children is merely a suggestion. They view it as a challenge and they fully accept each and every time your bladder is filled beyond maximum capacity. Mother of sanity.
So today I raise my coffee mug to all you Mama’s out there. Doing your thing. Day in and day out. Probably still in your pajamas. Un-showered. Hanging on by a thread. Cooking, cleaning and loving with every ounce of energy you have left. Putting your people first. And yourself last.
I see you. I admire you. I adore you. You are perfect. Just as you are.
And with or without nap time, we will get through this. Together.