At this moment, my kids are seven, four, two and a half, and three months. My life is crazy. The days are blending together into this messy soup and I barely have an idea what is going on most of the time. I returned to work from maternity leave so I feel even busier in some ways because all of that stuff that needed done, I couldn’t do because I was at work. When I’m home, it’s a constant stream of putting out fires. Between the bickering over toys, the toddler tantruming over no candy before dinner, the baby needing fed and put down for nap, figuring out what in the world to make for dinner, and getting everyone bathed and ready for bed, my evenings are exhausted. All of that isn’t even counting the laundry and dishes and general household maintenance that everyone has to do.
Last night I had a little cry sesh in my room because I got overwhelmed. This week, all four kids have come down with croup and RSV A. Both of those viruses can be dangerous for babies, and in light of what happened to Brittani, I’m so nervous and scared of putting Noa down for naps without checking on her every few minutes. I honestly prefer to just wear her for naps through this to be safe. Her poor little nose gets so congested and her cough is definitely wet and productive. Then the big kids got too rowdy and they started coughing which lead to Amalia puking all over the couch and carpet. Ivan threw up in the living room when Javier was home earlier that day too. So at 6:30 at night I had to strip the cushion covers off the couch and wash them, shampoo the carpet for the hundredth time since having children and scrub the back of the couch in desperation to get the vomit smell out, to no avail. I also had to bathe Amalia a second time. While trying to get the clean water canister off the vacuum to fill it with cleaner, I hit myself in the face pulling on it. It was stuck in there and I had to use full strength to get it to come off of the vacuum and when it finally let loose, I hit myself with it, and that hard plastic hurt pretty bad. Then I smashed my finger in the latch when I put the water tank back on. I was so over it. Shampooing the carpet was the last thing I wanted to do last night. The kids were either fighting or crying or both and I just had to walk myself to my room with Noa and shut the door.
It usually takes a lot for me to get this overwhelmed. It makes me feel guilty. Javier was supposed to be off last evening but because the kids are all sick and feverish, they have to stay home from my parents house so dad doesn’t get sick. So Javier and I had to rearrange the schedule a bit so that he could stay home with them today while I’m at work It’s my holiday and there’s nobody to cover me. I just felt like “of course this would all happen tonight when I shouldn’t have been alone but now I am” sort of pity party. I’m tired and don’t have help when the kids are sick. Most of the time it’s just me at home with them because we work opposites. I get them during the hard part of the day when they’re tired, hungry and been together all day and now they’re bickering. I’ve been sick since going back to work, the kids have too. I haven’t slept well because I’ve been congested at night and Noa needs fed and somebody puked in the bed or has a bloody nose because the house is dry despite running a humidifier.
I’m not saying that Javier doesn’t help because he absolutely does. He is the one to rock sick kids in the middle of the night. He is way better at that than me. And he knows that I have to get up several hours earlier than he does, even when he does go to work in the morning those couple days. He will pack my lunch for work when I forget or run out of time, and he washes baby bottles for me to pump in at work so I don’t have to.
Despite that, it still feels like single parenting sometimes because we aren’t together when we are parenting more often than not. I know that we do it this way so that we don’t have to pay for daycare, but it’s so HARD. Mad props to single parents doing it ALL on their own because just doing half of it takes its toll on me sometimes.
I cried for a minute, nursed Noa to sleep, composed myself and got back at it. Straightened the living room back up, manhandled the cushions back into their covers – that’s an Olympic sport by the way – and threw in a couple more loads of laundry because there’s puke on everything at this point. Finally got the kids to bed and laid down myself, way later than I had intended. I had to get up this morning an hour earlier so that I can leave work early for Javier to go to work as soon as I get home.
Raising kids is so hard y’all. It is the most taxing, most stressful, most self-sacrificing thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it’s also the most rewarding, most fun (most of the time), most humbling, most precious time of my life too. I hope that some mama, somewhere, who is maybe having a rough time right now, or maybe even my future self, can read this post and know that it gets better, that this is a season, that it won’t last forever, that they aren’t alone.