The morning was filled with usual mummy-moments; a little humor, a little policing, a little work, a little play, all before 9am. Tori was constantly trying to order Eadie around, Anabel was being her usual baby self, and Eadie was trying to see how far she could push me before I cracked. I had just finished cleaning off the pen art-work Eadie had scribbled on two couch arms, and decided it was time to get ready to go to the shops. What used to take 15 minutes as a single person now takes over an hour most days, between feeding, dressing, preparing, changing, and ordering everyone around. Just putting us in the car takes 10 minutes. Finally we find a park and I unpack everyone and everything. With two kids in the pram and one walking beside me, I'm standing in line with my products in hand ready to purchase. When I pull out my wallet though, I notice something is missing. My bank card. It wasn't there. Without having to think too deeply about it I knew Eadith was to blame. I explained the situation, left the products, and slowly pushed the pram and led the way back to the car, the usual comments by passers-by filling my ears; "looks like you've got your hands full there!". But it was all a blur. I piled everyone back into the car and drove home.
I still haven't found my card. Just like I couldn't find two other cards that have been lost by my children over the years. So far it's $45 in card replacement fees.
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Motherhood is such a whirl-wind roller coaster of moments and emotions. It's like an exhausting ride you just want to get off, but at the same time you're having such a thrilling time you are afraid it will end all too soon. It's so tiring, for a number of reasons. Not just the fact that you are no longer allowed to have an uninterrupted sleep-in -- or just sleep, for that matter. And it's not just that you are bending down and picking up things all day long, carrying around 20lb babies on your hip up and down stairs, or that you have to repeat yourself saying the same thing day after day after endless day, over and over and over again and again. But it's that, even when you are relaxing, you're not even relaxing. The moment that once really was an effortless, thoughtless, wondrous space of time spent laying on a blanket under the sun just letting the world slip by, is no longer. Its gone. Even if you do get a chance to lay on a blanket with the sun shining down on you, it's not your time. Your mind is still, still, still ticking, ticking over and over and over; "Where are the kids?", "What's that smell?", "Do they need more sunscreen?", "What time is it?", "Get that out of your mouth", "What do you mean your hungry again?", "But I don't want to lift you..", "ouch, stop kicking me", "It's just a dog, don't worry", "Put that down, that's disgusting...", "Come back here please", "I said put that down", "Leave her alone", "We don't throw sand", "Ugh I just changed you", "Are you ok, what happened?".... And so the day continues. Day after day after day after day.
But how is it that the smallest of good moments somehow overshadow the moments that weary you? A kiss, a hug, an 'I Love You'. A prayer, an apology, a handmade gift. Why do they make up for all of the constant, exhausting overwhelmingness of it all? How is that possible?
I don't know how, but I just know that it does. I'm sitting here on my couch writing this and I'm really tired. It's 12.45am but I'm still awake. I'm awake because I CAN be awake. There is no one telling me what to do or disobeying or yelling at me. No one is begging for my attention or pulling at my leg, literally. No one is climbing on me or dobbing on someone else. I have the choice to stay awake or go to sleep. It's a choice that I have. And this is what I miss. Choice is taken away when you become a mum. You day is consumed by your children and their needs. Your day becomes their day. Their day becomes your day. They win. The moment they are born and you hold them as that tiny newborn in your arms, they have won. Your day is no longer yours. Your time is no longer yours. And your heart is no longer yours. Serving them becomes what you do and what you do becomes who you are. You are a mother. And, despite it all, despite the fatigue, the yuck, the smell, the yelling, the tantrums and the tears, the ride is worth it. Somehow. In some weird, twisted yet understandable way, it is all worth it. And you go to bed and wake up the next day and hug your babies good morning with a smile and a kiss, as if the day before never even happened. And you do another day all over again.
Yes, I am tired. But, I am happy. I am a Mother. And on that note, I choose to now go to sleep. Goodnight.