Just Do The Next Thing

Unrelated Gross Dead Bird Skull that Accurately Depicts How I Feel When I Wake Up In The Morning

Today I called my mom and asked her for the International Mom Resignation Hotline number because it was 11:44am and after a 4am wake up call with #4; a tearful drop off for #3; and a nerve wracking doctor appointment for #1, I had had it. I was through.

She laughed, which made me laugh, which made it all bearable.

But seriously.

Four kids, plus the cats, a husband and a house, and I feel like I am drowning. It's like as Carly has gotten older, the struggle has gotten worse, not better.  I thought it would get easier (and my mom, in her infinite wisdom has told me it will -- or she lied, which is also fine. Whatever it takes to keep me carrying on, right??-- maybe when Carly is three.  When she can stay with an activity for a period of time, not destroy the house like a hurricane, and not run into the street for a good time... things like that.  Then it will be easier. Not easy. But easier. That's all I'm looking for.) but for now, it's hard. Like, really hard.

Maybe I'm not giving the transition back to School Time enough credit. Maybe I am just a little extra tired and fried from keeping track of all the backpacks and binders and homework, oh my!  But really, it just feels like a different sort of crazy from the summer, but crazy all the same.

My mom has always said, "The work is never done." Which I told her today, quite frankly, is the rudest thing I have ever had someone say to me.  

What?!? The work is NEVER done? 

Ha! But as time has passed and I continue parenting four kids and running a house, I see exactly what she meant. I shouldn't wait to do the fun things until the chores are done, because they aren't ever REALLY done. Sure, the laundry is finished for TODAY. Or for THIS WEEK. But not forever. Because tomorrow, the kids will all want to wear clothes again (sigh) even though that means more laundry for me.  And tonight they'll make messes and take showers, which will require towels and washrags, which will make more laundry still.

So I have currently adapted this mantra for Week Two of "Back to School":
Do what I can RIGHT NOW.

That's it. Just look at what's in front of me (the pile of bills, or the poopy baby, or the messy floor) and pay the bills, change the diaper or sweep the floor.  Just do the next thing that comes up and take it a minute at a time. 

I can't even take it a day at a time because I have no idea what the next hour may hold.  So I am just plugging along, one task at a time, praying that I stop feeling so weepy and drowning and overwhelmed.  And if  you feel this way, too, let me offer you a, "Me, too Sister. Me, too," complete with a sad little wave and a bit of a smile that says, "Carry on. We got this."



Andie Grenz said...

Same! So beautifully said. Thank you! -A mom in Arizona

Nuts about food said...

In the summer, after many months off, we all think of the school year as being less crazy than summer (and even look forward to getting back into that routine to a certain degree), until back to school hits, with all the craziness that ensues... plus the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, groceries,the dealing with homework, a job in my case, organising their activities... I hear you sister.
P.S. It will be easier when Carly turns 3... you know it, you have been there with the others, it is just hard to remember now. Hang in there! Fiona

Ashley said...

Solidarity, mama! It's definitely not just you. I naively thought that since we'd spent all summer together and then were homeschooling, we'd just smoothly blend right over. HAHAHAHAH. Laugh with me. It's been crazy! We're slowing finding our groove and each day is a little bit better. Wishing the same for you!

Jerri-Lynn Peterson said...

When my kids were little it was all I could do just to try and keep up with meals, laundry and dishes. Never mind anything else. Oh and keep them from self destruct mode!