The kids are all nestled, tucked into bed. Little gummy snacks are dancing in their heads…time for wine!
My husband is at a four-day-long training for work, my MIL just left, and I successfully completed my first glass of wine. Oh how wine has helped me through some of the major poop storms—literally and figuratively (when I wasn't pregnant, of course)—of my mommying of three boys, three and under, life. >> Insert a Kevin McCallister-sized, just slapped after-shave on, AHHH! <<
Warren is the oldest—grumpiest by far and the Branch troll of his time. AJ—Adam Joseph—is the fearless and tiny stinker. His talent is making a mess of even the least-suspecting foods. Eli is the sweet, seven-month-old, angel baby that can do no wrong—for now at least. They complete their father and me, but also test us like no one else can.
Skeptical Warren, monkey AJ, and smiley Eli make every day interesting. The other day, AJ made his finger disappear, then reappear with something stinky (I was mortified)…luckily my husband, Guy, was with him—mom win (for once). Warren has a tendency to scream demands about something cray cray that shouldn't matter—this morning was about the surplus toilet paper rolls. He DID NOT want to use the roll that was already out and in use. Heaven forbid he use that roll to wipe himself because the extra roll holder on the side of the toilet (wait for it) wasn't full. I walked away from this battle (because, lawwwwd, everything is a battle), and it eventually improved. We ran out of size three diapers for Eli and naturally started piggy-backing off of AJ's size fours…talk about a large, 5x-blowout mistake. These all happened within a few days of one another. Saying my life is a roller coaster of twists and turns comes close to summing it up.
There are days where I feel I successfully mommed, and then 10 minutes later I'm pulling my hair out and doing everything I can to fight back the cuss words. Toys I step on make me want to hurl them across the house and scream, “whyyyyyyyyy are you the way that you are?!?!?” Shout-out to Michael Scott from The Office for the perfect in-my-head response (never to be said aloud) to almost any crazy, toddler-related episode.
A clingy child that wants to "hold you" makes me trip and lose my balance more often than I care to admit. Both the clingy child and grumpy child are constantly screaming my name for their cup, a certain toy, a snack, something being taken from the other, someone doing something malicious…you name it. When they are not constantly hovering around me and crawling through my legs, I am hyperaware of this fact and must find the hidden toddler to make sure his mischief hasn't gotten the best of him or our house. All of this coupled with a 7-month-old sweet potato attached to my breast and whining whenever I'm near and not holding him—which of course melts my heart, but also makes me feel like I cannot have one moment to myself—leaves me with the weight of constantly giving my mind and my body to everyone. I have little-to-no quiet time or down time when I'm not prepping something, working, or catering to a need/preparing to cater to a need. The house is a wreck five-out-of-seven days of the week (ok, more like 7/7). Our beds unmade, dirty clothes strewn all over the house, and the boys are a day overdue for baths… but we keep on keeping on.
Something I've learned about parenthood in the past four years, if you think you are constantly struggling or never good enough, you are probably a really good parent. No one is perfect. We do everything in our power to maintain the household and spend quality time as a family and with each kid, individually. Meals are constant uphill battles of who will eat what and when, and can we sneak a veggie in that? The clean-up from one meal is as if cookie monster has had a smorgasbord of every possible cookie known-to-man and couldn’t help himself from excitedly throwing crumbs in the air like he just don’t care. Seriously, AJ can AND WILL teach you how to “mess,” then smile deviously as your jaw drops for the 10th time that day. But I digress, every good parent feels like they aren’t very good parents at one point or another.
The cure you ask? This is right about the time I <<insert my glass of wine>> or inconspicuously snatch my favorite snack (depending on the hour and responsibilities), as I run around looking like Billy from Hocus Pocus, because you best believe that small treat of happiness is mine…muahhaha!
Life. Is. Hard. Kids make it even harder, but holding on tightly to the advice I have always been given—having children is the most beautifully complex thing you will ever do—helps me to take some deep breaths, coupled with a few moments alone, grab my cape, and do it all again the next day.