This morning, my sweet toddler came running into the kitchen with nothing on but a pull-up and rain boots. “Mama, it’s raining outside!” He banged on the sliding doors. “Mazie, go outside!” He wanted to take the dog out with me. The baby was asleep and fidgety in the living room. I DID need to take the dog out, but she hates the rain… “OK,” I said, “but you need to stay on the deck.”
Let me insert here that of all the humans in all the world, my animal and my child enjoy listening to me THE LEAST.
I took them both outside. Logan immediately sprinted off the deck to his “cool house” (the little playhouse in the backyard) and Mazin made a beeline to try and get UNDER the deck. Frustrated, I kept bending down to pull her back out. She refused to pee. Logan started running toward the swing set which was covered with water. I started to stress about the baby inside. I picked them both up in a football hold since neither would come back to the house, the dog with a full bladder, the toddler with tears streaming down his face.
I felt like a real asshole.
The thing is, as a child I LOVED the rain and playing in it. I had an awesome pair of yellow rain boots, covered in stickers, that my cousin gave to me when she outgrew them and I looked for any chance I could to stick them on my feet. I remember as a child going out into a downpour in those boots and swinging around the basketball hoop singing, “I’m singing in the rain!” all alone with a smile on my face. So when I saw how disappointed Logan looked to be dragged inside, I felt mad. I wanted him to go out and have fun. I also wanted the dog to pee. I also didn’t want to leave my newborn alone. How in the world is anyone supposed to stay happy when our household ratio during the day is 3:1? So to my firstborn, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that there are a hundred moments in a day where I sigh heavily or tell you to wait or tell you not right now. I know you are just a little boy and you have energy to burn and a big world to explore, but your mama’s hands are almost always filled with a ten pound snuggle bug who prefers to be held, is ravenous all the time, and who has very little neck control. She relies on me for everything but up until 6 weeks ago it was just you and me, so I’m sorry. I’m sorry that right now, in a lot of ways, she needs me more. I still love you just as fiercely and want to make every moment special for you… but sometimes we have to come inside early or watch the same movie three times so that I can feed her, calm her, hold her, change her. I love you, my sweet Logan, and only hope that you forget all that I couldn’t do with you during this time period and remember all that we DID do. And I will be forever grateful for how hard you make me laugh and how big you smile when you tell me “Had fun!” after just about every single thing we do, right down to helping me change Isla’s diaper.
Mazin, my sweet pup? I’m sorry to you as well. Half the time we spend together right now is me yelling, “hurry up and pee!” because you are taking too long to sniff out a perfect spot and everyone is crying, or complaining about how badly you smell (allergies and constant licking be damned). The truth is, you are my most loyal companion. You follow me everywhere, beg to come on rides now whenever I pick up the car seat and my keys, and love to snuggle right next to me. I hope you know that I love you, all 20 pounds of your stinky, mischievous, adorable self. For as much as I complain about having no space in the bed, I dread the day your warm little body ISN’T curled up against mine while I sleep.
Chris? I’m sorry that I become a total “momster”when you walk in the door. I expel every second of my pent up frustration onto you when you get home and shoot you daggers if you so much as leave a dirty dish in the sink. I scream that I didn’t get two degrees to stay home and clean and do laundry all day, even though I am lucky to be home on an extended maternity leave with this amazing little girl and my sweet guy. Before these three, it was just you and me… we watched shows together, went to the movies, met friends for drinks, sent love letters, made each other care packages and riddles to solve… but now you and I have been pushed to the bottom rungs of a totem pole that can seem pretty daunting some days. I’m mostly exhausted and mostly tackling to do lists and sometimes I just wish you lived inside my brain so you could see the mental load I’m trying to carry for this family – the one that gets very few accolades or acknowledgement from anyone because no one truly knows about all of them except for me. I want to thank you because for every dish you leave in the sink, there is a car you’ve cleaned, or a wall you’ve painted, or a mortgage you’ve paid or spare batteries, light bulbs, toilet paper and paper towels that you have made sure we have handy. I realize you have your own mental load and are doing a million little things to contribute to our family as well. Being a mom can be tough and sometimes thankless and when you throw in a few hormones that are still settling postpartum, it can make for a brutal emotional cocktail.
Family and friends? I’m sorry. I’m sorry if it takes me five days to respond to your text or if I forget all together. I’m sorry if I raincheck on plans or tell you it’s not a good day – sometimes it’s true and sometimes everything about the day is just fine except for me. Because the unfortunate thing is, although I preach about moms supporting moms and being your authentic, messy self, there are days when I am too afraid to let anyone see my unraveled chaos. Deep down, I shudder at the thought of people seeing my house a mess, or watching my toddler throw a tantrum, or hearing my baby wail with gas pains. Sometimes I don’t want to apologize for my dog’s incessant itching and licking, or explain why we haven’t mowed the lawn, or have to whip out my boob six times in front of you to nurse a baby. There are a lot of days I don’t mind quietly panicking while smiling at you and other days when I want to be able to scream or have a cry or lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes. Please understand that. It won’t always be like this. But I’m still learning my new role and getting acclimated.
And self? I’m sorry. I’m sorry I am feeding you crap and that I mindlessly snack on cookies and donuts five times a week. I’m sorry I find myself cringing at your stretch marks right now, even though I simultaneously give thanks that I was able to grow and deliver two healthy babies. I’m sorry I forget to floss or wash my face at night sometimes. I know I need to take care of you and keep you healthy, but right now you are so far down the rungs you may as well be underground.
And most of all, I’m sorry that I’m even saying I’m sorry because it implies that I should feel bad for feeling and doing all these things when really as moms we are just trying to get through the day and keep everyone alive. So if you are out there, feeling a little apologetic but perhaps a little too “ragey” to admit it, just copy and paste. People will get it.
From my mama heart to yours.