To the mama who is drinking reheated coffee…I see you, girl.
In fact, let’s be honest. It’s not even reheated, is it? It’s ice cold and it’s nearly a full cup and it tastes like HEAVEN. You’ve had this cup since 6:00 a.m. (it’s now 2 p.m.) and this is the first chance you’ve had all day to truly enjoy it. You are overwhelmed. Between nursing the baby (on demand, of course), feeding the toddler (who, lately, has been living off of strawberries and air), and making sure the geriatric dog gets his medicine and food that he refuses to eat, it’s a miracle this nectar of the gods even made it into your hands. SAVOR IT. This is one of your “me moments” during the day. Enjoy all 30 seconds of it!
To the mama who looks around at her home in despair… Solidarity, Sister.
Mama, do you clean one room only to have your toddler destroy it in 3.86 seconds? Has laundry overtaken your couch, bed, and all flat surfaces in your home? Do you have dirty dishes in the sink and clean ones in the dishwasher (if you are lucky enough to have one)? Has your dining room table been missing for several months? Are you simply overwhelmed by life? If you answered yes to any of the above…
I’m over here, waving to you frantically from the top of Mt. Laundry.
You struggle. You struggle daily and no one seems to hear your cries. Where is the balance? (What balance, you say?) You are overwhelmed.
“Sleep when baby sleeps!” (Uh…this Mama does, thank you very much.)
“Just leave the (laundry/dishes/cleaning/fumigating) for later. Your babies are only little once.”
“Get a cleaning lady!”
“Ask for help.”
Alright, let’s tackle these pearls of wisdom one by one.
Sleep when baby sleeps?
CHECK. People make fun of that piece of advice but it’s freaking genius. ESPECIALLY if you are lucky enough to have BOTH babies sleeping at the same time. Um, can we say clouds parting, cue Hallelujah music? I say, just DO IT.
But…know that there are only so many hours in a day. You can’t clean while you sleep, LOL. (Unless you have a Roomba but that’s only for floors.)
Just leave the daily chores?
Depends on the situation. Leaving chores in favor of attending to babies’ needs? ABSOLUTELY. Fishing out clothes from the hamper and performing the smell test? (No judgment here.) Might be time to set aside a few to do some laundry. Eventually, you will run out of clothes/dishes/space and you will need to handle your business. But you are overwhelmed!
Get a cleaning lady.
If you can afford it, more power to you! What a great burden lifted from your shoulders. You can spend that time doing other things! If you can’t afford it/are not comfortable having someone else clean your home (me), rest assured that the cleaning will still be there where you left off.
Ask for help.
Again, depends on the situation, who you have as part of your tribe, and your personality. You never know unless you ask! You may be surprised by who offers their help.
In my situation, Hubs works 12 hour days and while he helps as much as he can, I do the majority of the housework/cleaning. And, with a baby and a toddler, this translates into…a less than perfect home. And an extremely overwhelmed me!
If you are struggling with trying to find balance between caring for your babies and maintaining a clean home, I have no answers for you. Only solidarity. We are a work in progress over here. Some days, I can actually see the dining room table. Other days, I want to pack up the family and move to an empty house just so I can be free of clutter. One day at a time, one room at a time…
(See my tips for how to clean with 2 under 2.)
To the mama who has been rocking and shushing and bouncing her babies for hours…I am right there with you.
One is teething and the other is on the verge of an ear infection. Both have an internal device that says, “thou shalt not synchronize”. When one goes down, the other wakes up. If you are lucky, the one who is waking up also wakes up the one who just went down. Someone vomits or leaks through the jammies, requiring an entire wardrobe and/or bedding change. Your nipples are sore from nursing and you have massive boob sweat. In fact, you have sweat everywhere, which is great, since you haven’t showered today anyway. You are tired and sad–sad to see your babies unwell and unhappy, and tired. Oh, so very tired. You’re tired but not sleepy. Your bones hurt. “What am I doing wrong?” you ask yourself. You have tried every trick in the book to no avail. The screaming and crying continues and you are at your breaking point. You want to bury your head in your pillow and cry until you have no tears left.
But you don’t. (Or maybe you do. Either way, it’s ok.)
And then, you soldier on. You step away for a minute and compose yourself. Take a few deep breaths, splash some cold water on your face, and head into battle.
And then you stop yourself. You aren’t going into battle??! You are your little ones’ ENTIRE UNIVERSE. (Let that sink in for a moment.) You are comfort and love and safety and nourishment all rolled into one. You are providing them with everything they need at the moment. Even if they can’t tell you what exactly it is.
And so you pick up both of your little ones and hold them simultaneously while bouncing on the magical, mystical yoga ball. Ever so slowly, the yoga ball emanates its sleepy powers and you can feel the heavy slump of your babies while your arms slowly die and become jello. You continue to bounce even though you know they’re both asleep because you are soaking in this moment and all its beauty.
You’re a mama. And a bad*ss one at that.
You may not get the recognition that you deserve or the rest that you require (HA!) but…
I see you, mama. Keep on doing your mama thing!