In only a months time I will have been at this Stay at Home Mom and Wife business for two and a half years. It’s not a ton of time, but it’s certainly enough to expect yourself to be solidly up to speed, no? I understand that it takes time to get your footing and that it’s unreasonable to expect that everything will be smooth if only you work at it really.really hard, but come on. Two and half years.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about all of this lately. Thinking about what seems to come easily for me and the areas in which I fall short. How to get better at the things that I just can’t seem to get better at. Tis the season for intention setting after all.
The hardest thing about staying home with young children is that it is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G. This of course is hardly news. Along with how vaguely magical it is, this is what people seem to say the most about parenting. What I hadn’t really considered when I was imagining all of this pre-Yogi was that there is really no way to imagine it. Not the magic and not the exhaustion. Two and a half years in, I have much more clarity about both. What I don’t have is a way to manage the latter.
I’m all in with this family and that is precisely where I want to be. My wife, Yogi and Monkey are at the top of my list, but I must find a way to get myself and my needs somewhere in the vicinity. Looking out for myself when someone I love needs something (anything) has never been my strong suit and that is really hurting me now. Little people always need something. Unfortunately, accepting the scraps (of which there are so very few) of my own attention is doing nothing but contributing to my exhaustion. I MUST find a way to carve some space for myself somewhere.
At the moment there is no clear way to do this for a few reasons:
1. Monkey, the self-appointed co-sleeper, begins to stir around 5am and if no one is in bed with him that boy is UP. Translation – mornings are not an option
2. Yogi and Monkey both nap in the afternoon, but not at the same time. Translation – I haven’t had a break at nap time for the last 7 months
3. The only time I can find to wrap up chores from the day is when my wife gets home from work and takes over with the boys. Translation – The small window between her arrival and the beginning of the bedtime routine is usually off the table
4. Two Mommies are really needed for bath and bedtime. Translation – I think you’re getting the hang of this
5. By the time the boys are both in bed, I am spent and it’s the first moment in the day that I can focus on my wife. Translation – I’m doomed
Likely owing to the optimism of the new year, I’m feeling less doomed than usual. There is no objective reason to be optimistic about the situation, but I’m doing it anyway. There must be a way to find some Mama time in all of this and I’m committed to finding it. Anyone have any creative ideas?