It’s 8:15 pm and I am laying in bed exhausted and unable to turn my mind off. These past two days have been so hard. Not just because I’m sick, but because it was such an emotional couple of days.
As a mother to my two littles I find I’m quite good at putting my own personal, physical, ailments to the side. When they reach for me I pick them up without second thought to my twitchy back. I wore my son in the ergo for hours when it hurt my hips because it was the only way he would sleep. I’ve spent countless nights in an uncomfortable position so to not wake a dozing baby laying in my arms. I stayed up all night with him when he was throwing up, even though I was in and out of the bathroom too. I’ve had my hair pulled, my chest scratched, my eyes poked and have had more things thrown at me than I care to count.
These things do not keep me up at night. I just accept that it’s part of the package and move on. Such a martyr, I know.
But the emotional stuff, it’s the emotional stuff that I can’t handle. Not only do I not know what to do with my sons temperament, which when he’s sick is just so incredibly trying, but more importantly I don’t know what to do with my anger that rises so quickly when the outbursts just don’t stop.
I’m laying in bed right now feeling so much guilt. So much sadness. He’s sick. He needed me and I couldn’t be there for him in the way he needed me.
Today he was exhausted but wouldn’t nap. My one year old is also sick – we all are – and needed to be in my arms all day. I managed to get him in his bed. He wanted me to cuddle, but he didn’t want his sister in the room. I was torn. I couldn’t do two things at once, be two places at once. One of the babies was going to be unhappy. I put her down and she screamed and screamed. He seemed placated by this, happy even. Once he was calm, I told him I have to pick her up, and he screamed. I even tried nursing her laying down in his bed but she just wanted to crawl on him, which, you guessed it, made him angry.
There are no options here. I don’t know what the loving thing to do would have been. The more he cried the angrier I got.
God I feel like shit about that. Here I was getting angry when all my sick baby needed was me.
Things had been building all day. My daughter was extremely clingy (which can be trying all on it’s own) and the more she clung to me the more upset he got. He threw his food (and grinned at me after he did it), he hit his sister, he scream cried when I gave him a smoothie that he didn’t like and then threw that across the room.
I find this stage to actually be harder than when she was a newborn. At least then she slept or would just lay contently on his floor while I gave him the attention he needed. I mean, how do you discipline a sick child who is clearly lashing out because he wants my attention?
Having two kids under the age of two is hard. It’s really fucking hard.
[Cue self talk: I am doing my best. I am doing my best. I am doing my best.]
Usually wanting to be better is a good thing. It can really fuel you. But when it comes to motherhood, it never feels enough, it just feels suffocating. Especially when you add it to the pile of all the other stuff that’s not working right now.
I opened up my computer tonight to remind myself that I am a good mom. I am a good person. I love my babies so much it hurts sometimes. I am capable of having so much compassion, but when I’m strung out, as I am now, it’s impossible.
So instead of sitting here wracked with guilt and other not so helpful emotions right before bed, I’m trying to cultivate a little self love. A little forgiveness. A little compassion.
And when the babes wake in the night, which the inevitably will, I will go to them and cuddle them and kiss them and whisper in their soft heads how much I love them. And pray that we all get over this awful cold/flu soon!!!
Side note: how fitting is it that my husbands vasectomy is tomorrow? More about that another day….