The Exhausting Reality of Children

I woke up this morning like I wake up every morning: ready to go, planning the things we would do through the day, excited to try to make my (and our) day a good one.

Then it happened.

“Mooooom, carry me!!!”

“Moooom, she’s playing with my car!”

Mooooom, I need you!”

This all took place within the first 15 minutes of coming downstairs. The conflicting yells for me and for me to give the kids breakfast always hit me hard because it’s not humanly possible to make breakfast in the kitchen if I’m sitting next to the kids at the dining table!!”

But make them understand that. Make them understand that I only have 2 arms and hands and not 8. I do frequently joke to my older child that I could do everything she asks for in the minute she asks if I was an octopus.

This means though that this great, exciting, fun-filled day we were going to have is over as my mood goes south by the end of breakfast time. Then, I’m playing catch up all day to feel like I actually have control of something, anything.

I know these are 2 little humans with their set of needs and wants and incapable of completely regulating their emotional well-being. I know they depend on me for a lot of things (although I do try to make them as independent for certain tasks as quickly as I can). But all of this knowledge disappears when I end up arguing with them over which shirt they want to wear or which plate they get to use.

Oh my gosh, it is exhausting. It’s mentally draining. It’s emotionally draining. And even though I have now been a parent for over 5 years, I have no idea on how to thrive. I’m surviving sure. I will never be a Pinterest mom and I have long accepted that. But I’d like to be better. I’d like to at least be a Berenstein Bear Mom.

I’m not, though. Unfortunately, I get rude and sarcastic and mean. My goodwill melts away into impatience. My requests become orders. Honestly, I’m just trying to get through the day.

Is it possible? Is it possible to not be so exhausted by these little humans?

Or is it just reality?

How Do You Break Out of That Funk?

Yesterday, I had a friend text me. She was going through something I have way too much experience with. There is a point where you feel like you’re alone and nothing is going right and you have no idea how to get out of it. It’s a hard feeling to break out of and it definitely takes a lot strength to do it. 

When it feels like you aren’t headed anywhere and that no one understands you, it’s important to try to remember that this is how you feel in the moment. It will pass. As someone once told me “it will get better”. Then, it’s good to distract yourself with something that will at least temporarily alleviate that feeling. A few things that work for me are reading through inspirational stories on a few websites (makesmethink.com, The Secret website), communicating with people, and some sort of exercise. Trying to picture my future,writing, and making gratitude lists also help a lot. 

Emotions often cloud our common sense. And while it’s definitely a good thing to be in touch with what you are feeling (it’s what makes us human), it does help to put things into perspective where you know that this is something temporary. I really respect those that are eternally optimistic. It must be amazing to always have hope and feel that way. I also know that I am not that person. I have the days where I can’t imagine that anything is going to get better. It’s hard because my logical brain tells me things have already gotten better for me. I just need to recognize and appreciate them. 

Yesterday, I made a wish. I wished that I could appreciate all the positive things in my life. And that’s my goal. There are things that could improve but there are so many things that are already the best they could be. I have to trust that the things that need improvement will get better because I want them to, because I work hard at appreciating everything else. 

Getting out of that funk isn’t going to happen because the world owes you something. Getting out of it is going to happen because you owe it to yourself. Enjoying life is something we should do seeing as we only have one (unless you’re Hindu and reincarnate). So try to enjoy the little things today. Try to see the good in the madness of this world. And share it with the person next to you. Sometimes, all it takes to change gears, is someone acknowledging that you’re there.