“Mommy, what did we do today?”
Well, Little Bear, you woke up extra early today and had breakfast with daddy because Teddy Bear and Mommy were up all night. Teddy Bear finally went back to sleep, so Mommy went back to bed to rest, but it didn’t last long. When daddy left for work, Mommy and Teddy joined you in the living room for breakfast and cartoons. Mommy chugged her coffee because Teddy needed to be fed, which takes a while. She ate her bagel while nursing him as you played with your toys. You’re very happy about your new ride on toy, even though it’s a little loud for Teddy and wakes him up a lot. After breakfast, Teddy was ready to go back to bed, so Mommy held him and walked him around. This hurt her back. He fell asleep pretty quick, as he does in the mornings with little fussing. Thank goodness, but he woke up and fell asleep a few times because you’re a little noisy when you play, and because sometimes Mommy needs a break from holding him. Because Teddy slept so well this morning, Mommy was able to clean a lot downstairs and spend time with you, but her back hurts now.
“What else did we do today, Mommy?”
Teddy was fussy and Mommy was struggling to get you lunch because you were hungry. I’m sorry you have to wait sometimes for Teddy to be taken care of. It upsets Mommy too that I can’t take care of you immediately anymore. I worry about you. I worry you don’t get enough one-on-one time with me. That you’re upset sometimes. Around lunch time, you took a nap. Thankfully, you went down without too much of a fight because it was just in time for Teddy to wake up to be fed. I walked him all around the living room until I couldn’t take it anymore. Magically, he took a long nap after that, so Mommy could finish cleaning and finally jump into editing for a client. But, her computer kept freezing and cutting off. Then she had to run upstairs and put Teddy back to sleep again. As far as sleep went today, you both did okay… Until 3’oclock.
“What did we do today, Mommy?”
Mommy realized she tried too hard. Her back hurts too much. She did too much. There are still toys on the floor she picked up a dozen times. There are dishes that still need to be cleaned, she only got halfway into the kitchen after cleaning the living room, dining room, and floors. She put away all the junk that was thrown on the tables and surfaces. She piled things to take upstairs, hoping to get to some laundry, but that didn’t happen, did it? The trash is piling up in the bathrooms upstairs, and they need to be cleaned. There’s a pile of clothes Mommy needs to go through and put away for Teddy. She made a list of things she needs at the store, including groceries, but she didn’t have time to go anywhere. Mommy had a running list, but you and Teddy woke up and she had to stop for a while. Her computer stopped working on her three times and she gave up on her editing for the day.
“What’s wrong, Mommy? Why are you crying? I’m crying too.”
I’m okay, baby. Mommy’s back just hurts a lot now. I’m really tired and you didn’t listen to me the rest of the evening. You woke Teddy up four times for attention. He screamed and cried, made Mommy walk him around even though her back was giving out at this point and she needed to lay down. And when Mommy disciplined you for not listening, you threw an even bigger fit. Slammed your hands against the doors, cried and screamed, even though Mommy said she would come in and read to you if you were calm and quiet. You weren’t. So, Mommy had to shut you in your room long enough to get Teddy calmed back down and asleep. This upsets Mommy just as much, if not more than it upsets you. I’m sorry Mommy had to do that. I’m sorry you’re crying. I’m sorry if I yelled tonight. It breaks my heart.
“Are you happy, Mommy?”
Not right now, Bear.
“It’s okay, Mommy. Why are you not happy, Mommy?
Why do you think Mommy is mad and sad?
“Because I didn’t listen?”
“I don’t know.”
Because Mommy’s back hurts and she needs to lay down. Because you woke Teddy up a lot. Because you screamed and cried and hit the door. Mommy was too hard on herself because she wants to do everything, but can’t. She wanted to clean the downstairs. She wanted to finish cleaning the kitchen. She needed to drink more water and eat more today. She wanted a shower, to get dressed, to look and feel normal. She wanted to do laundry and clean upstairs too. She wanted something better for dinner, but ordered food instead because she ran out of time and Teddy was screaming. She wanted to do it all. Mommy’s tired, baby. Mommy doesn’t sleep very well right now, and that’s okay, but it’s just hard on Mommy. We love Teddy Bear, don’t we? You’re a good big brother.
“Yeah. I love you, Mommy. Are you happy now? Lay down with me for a little while.”
I love you too, Bear. Go to sleep. I can’t lay with you to help you fall asleep right now. I can’t read to you tonight. I’m so sorry. I have to go take care of Teddy and my back. Please don’t cry. It hurts Mommy when you cry in your bed all alone. Let me wrap you up in your blanket like a Jedi. Here’s lovey-bear and paci. I will watch you on the camera. I’ll leave your door open if you stay in bed and are quiet.
“Okay. I love you, Mommy.”
I love you too, Bear. Lay still and close your eyes. I’ll come back in a few minutes and lay with you before I have to take care of Teddy again and finish some editing work on my phone.
“Okay. What did we do today, Mommy?”
We had fun today, Bear. We did our best.
Being a mom is hard. It doesn’t matter if you stay-at-home, work-from-home, or go to work every day and come home to your babies. Being a mom is hard. There are so many things we want to do, we need to do, that we just can’t get to and it’s frustrating. However, sometimes we need to chill out. We need a break. We need to stop worrying about it and rest. Just rest. Do something for ourselves. Have something for ourselves. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to not get everything done. It’s okay to take care of yourself after taking care of everything and everyone else all day. It’s okay to want something that’s yours and not share it after sharing your being with everyone all day long, every day, every night. It’s okay to celebrate when you’re happy, when you get something for yourself, when you accomplish something. Don’t let mom-guilt overtake you. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re worthless, convince you that you don’t do anything all day. It’s OKAY.
And if you have to explain WHY it’s okay to anyone, then you might as well throw every gift and card you got for Mother’s Day away because they don’t mean jack-shit if others don’t already know WHY.
I see you, tired Mommy, and I’m with you.
(Little Bear is almost 3. Teddy Bear is almost 2 months)