Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sunday Confession: Little

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Something little just changed my entire world. And by “just”, I mean, literally less than 24 hours ago.

 

I had this gut feeling it was a girl. Every time I said the girls name out loud that I had chosen, I got a small chill. My soul knew my someday daughter was on her way home. Finally.

The 5 year old knew as well. He informed me one day that the baby in my belly had a vagina and would be named “Girl He-Man.”

Let’s just say he was half right.

I won’t go into all of the details of the labor part. Only to say it was long and hard. The boys were all phenomenal during the laboring at home. They helped out so much and were all so eager to see the baby be born. I felt badly that they missed that part when I transferred. Start to finish my water had been broken  16 hours and I spent nearly 3 solid hours dealing with HARD contractions approximately 1-2 minutes apart, sometimes even closer than that. Between not sleeping in 2 days and almost no break between contractions for that much time I was exhausted. And still had a long time to go as far as dilation. And signs of a possible infection from prolonged rupture of membranes……

So, off to the hospital we went.

I’m not thrilled it worked out that way. But I know it was the best choice to be made for the well being of myself and my baby.

I still did do most of my laboring at home. Daddy was a phenomenal support. Above and beyond what I even expected of him. He was my rock. I spent much of early labor walking and singing. I kicked labor off with a walk around the block with all 6 of my Littles in the sunshine, feeling blessed and ready. Did my hypnobirthing meditation in bed with the fat chihuahua curled up by my side. Vocalized my contractions in the bathtub while the toddler lay in his crib in the next room and mimicked me.

At 9:49 I started to push.

At 9:51 my baby was born.

I’m not kidding.

The deal was, Daddy was going to be the one to announce the sex of the baby to me. But I got first glimpse from my vantage point. The nurse lifted the umbilical cord and I saw the most perfect tiny vulva ever. 🙂 Then Daddy announced it. “It’s a girl.”

And I bawled…..like a ….well, yeah. Like a baby. Bawled through a huge smile. Reached my finger out and she grabbed right a hold of it. Held on tightly to her mama for a moment til they swooped her away to check out her vitals and all that jazz. She had to go to the NICU for an elevated temp from the infection from prolonged rupture of membranes but they let me hold her a moment and I bawled again and called her “Princess” and she was so little and perfect.

And here I am. Officially the mother to a daughter. I cant believe how blessed I am. How honored. How humbled. How overwhelmed with love.Her six big brothers will be here later today to meet her for the first time. This is my life now. A wonderful new dimension to the controlled chaos.

It’s funny how something so very little can flip your entire world upside down.

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A Talk With God

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Hey, god. It’s me again, your girl, Tonia. Sorry I haven’t been in touch much lately. Sometimes I’m really good at staying in touch, at bringing my worries right to you, at lifting my hands in praise for the good stuff. It’s not that I don’t still fully trust you with the details or thank you for the blessings..I just…forget to tell you.Look, there really isn’t any point in me making fumbling excuses here. I’m your girl, always have been. You know my heart. Right?
It’s true too, we both know it. I HAVE always been your girl. Through every messy step of this journey.
The day I entered this world. Came in all red-faced pulled out by forceps, the cord wrapped around my neck. You were there. Through every uncertain wobbling step forward throughmy childhood and into adulthood. You were there. watching. waiting. loving.
That day that man touched me. Made me freeze like a deer in headlights with his large hand on my barely-budded breast under my shirt, lifted my hair up and licked my neck….the memory still makes my skin crawl. You were there. raging for your daughter.
The day I was told my second child had died in my womb. My echoing aching sobs in that awful doctors office with the too-white everything, my face pressed into my husbands strong shoulder. And the next night, after the D&C operation….when I fell to the cold pavement outside of the exit and was wheeled back in and had to argue with a doctor to NOT give me a blood transfusion because i just wanted to go HOME…..and the next night…when my husband had to go back to work and I was all alone with only my toddler son asleep in the other room. I remember sitting by the window in the living room and looking way up at those stars and making an official proclamation of how very deeply and truly I hated you, how I would never ever forgive you for allowing this terrible thing to happen. I vowed to never speak to you again. Because I felt like you had failed me.
You hadn’t though, had you? Not really. Life happens. I realize now I wouldn’t want to believe in a God who treated us all like puppets.I respect your respect for the ebb and flow of consequences and living and circumstance. I don’t always agree with it….but I respect it.
Not always right away though.
The day the police came to my door and ushered me outside and I closed the door on my children who I had just been having a wonderful happy day with and we were right in the midst of baking cookies…..and he told me “Tonia…we have some bad news….Ken passed away last night.” And my knees hit the wooden walkway without me even realizing I had dropped down and the sobs wrenched from me…..I didn’t respect you so much then, I admit it. Not then. I couldn’t see beyond the black void of pain. And then that next day….standing in the pouring, drenching rain behind my moms house, wondering stupidly why my damn cigarette wouldn’t stay burning until it fell apart in the rain and it dawned on my it was raining and then it dawned on me Ken would never ever ever not ever see another rainstorm….never see Spring come…would miss the Superbowl….and I hated you with fiery passion in that moment. I raged at you, didn’t I? Like throwing fists at a solid cement wall. But still I did it. Cussed at you. Spat your name out to the ground. Demanded an explanation.
You were there though…weren’t you? When I took that bus across the country to bury him in his hometown. When I met his family for the very first time. When I kissed his lips and they felt like ice….when I touched his hand and it felt like velvet over stone but yet still so familear…you were there in that hushed room of ache.
When my ex threw fists and kicks in my direction…when bones cracked within me, when flesh popped beneath his teeth, when I was curled up in a ball weeping in fear and resignment as he battled out his demons on my body…you were there, crying with me. I know that now. You were there too, the night I finally found my voice and used it to tell him to go, stood on teh porch and watched him back out of the drive in the van and realized I would miss the van a heck of a lot more than I would miss him. You were there to keep me strong, to help me heal.
You’ve been my one constant. even when I myself have been a perpetual whirlwind of indecision and mistakes and wrong turns and running smack-dab into trees and walls and wasting ages and ages of time treading water…still you waited for me. every hurtful word I hurled at you you saw for what it really was….just your girl, having a tantrum….easing out the hurt in her heart the only way her humanity knew how.
I would say I’m sorry. But like I said, you already know my heart. I would say thank you…but again…..what are words in the face of my very soul song singing out to you with every heart beat? You are my all in all, my Father, my lover, my savior…I am overwhelmed.
It’s funny, how we humans cant see the big picture so we get to questioning every single stupid puzzle piece….shaking fists at the great big sky demanding some sort of closure or answer or something that we think would satiate our hurt and ease the grief…..but nothing really ever could anyway. You know that. We often forget. But you never do.
I love you,God.
Always.
Your girl,
Tonia

On The Raising Of Men

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It was never my intention to be the mother of six sons. I didn’t plan it that way.
In fact, if I HAD, that would make me substantially MORE certifiably insane than people already assume I am.
Did I always want a large family? Yes. Yes I did. Six kids, 3 boys, 3 girls. Girl first. I had it all figured out.
But apparently God didn’t give a crap about my plans.
When I went in for an ultrasound for my first baby and discovered I was having a boy, I cried. I didn’t WANT a son. Not first. I wanted a daughter. I didn’t know anything about raising a boy. after all, I myself was a girl. How could I ever bond with a boy? The baby would hate me and love my husband simply on the basis I did not have a penis. I was sure of it.
And for awhile I was sort of right. My sons (that first one and the two who came after) preferred daddy most of the time unless they were jonesing for some Mama Milk. I was mainly just the lady with the boobs. Til daddy decided to fly the coop, leaving me knocked up with son number 4.Suddenly I was in uncharted territory all on my own. Suddenly I had to learn the names of all of the Pokemon and star wars characters and teach them how to pee standing up and how to properly clean an uncirced penis and how to behave like gentlemen and how to tie a tie……I was lost in a sea of testosterone. Drowning.
So, I started treading water. I started learning. I learned how to build badass lego spaceships. I watched all 6 of the StarWars movies, and every single Superhero movie. I learned what Bakugan and Ninjagos were. I taught them how to throw a proper kick and punch, how to do a pushup, how to climb a tree, how to make a slingshot. I learned about cars. I made official proclamation of rules like “No bathroom words at the dinner table” and “Keep your hand out of your pants in front of other people”.
And through it all I managed to cling ferociously to my own female status. I still wore dresses and liked flowers and romance and dancing. I was determined to show my boys what a true lady is. Because I wanted them to grow up to find a decent woman to marry, not a hoochie.
In 2009 my 5th son was born. And he was a daddy’s Boy all the way. My fiance was not his biological father but the way they got along from day one, you sure would have thought that man birthed him straight out of himself. I was demoted back to “lady with boobs’ once more. Drezdyn would only fall asleep if nestled into Kens chest. He would smile so huge every time Ken came home. He would laugh so hard with his head thrown back whenever Ken was being silly with him. He used to love chasing him around the house while giggling like they shared the greatest secret in the world.

Then Ken passed away. One week after Drezdyn turned 2. And suddenly the boy noticed I existed. And we clung to each other like life rafts on an ocean of pain. He spent the next 3 years sleeping in bed with me. Its only been in the past few weeks he has slept independently in his own bed ion his own room.
Turns out, I’m not too bad at this whole raising boys gig. I have a strong stomach. I don’t freak out when I see blood. I don’t panic when I walk outside and find my son perched on the roof preparing to leap into a mountain of pillows. I know all the X-Men powers and Star Wars storylines and I’ve even read one of the “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” books. To myself. (Don’t judge. there were no other books in our house at the time and it was actually sort of funny.) I’ve introduced my sons to movies like “Goonies”, “The Dark Crystal” and “Never Ending Story”. I taught them how to throw a spiral in football. I expect them to be respectful and well mannered and helpful and chivalrous. People often comment on how helpful or polite or behaved my sons are in public. I guess when you have six young boys people imagine your life to be like a scene out of “Overboard”. You know, when the kids run rampant and are just as filthy as the house and the mom snaps finally and turns into a blubbering mass of helplessness and succumbs to the chaos.
Although, okay, yes, some days I Do feel a bit like THIS:
http://movieclips.com/Lci9q-overboard-movie-annie-is-catatonic/

But it doesn’t last.
Because my boys are rockstars. And I’ve got this. Even the tough stuff. And as much as a part of me still longs for a someday daughter, it turns out this raising of men thing really isn’t such a bad hand to be dealt. It’s FUN. It’s noisy and silly and crazy.And some times I catch a boy holding a door open for a lady at the store or offering their table to a couple women when we are all eating breakfast in the hotel lobby on our vacation or replying to my request with an automatic “Yes mam”, and I realize I’m doing okay at this.
So far.
There are many hurdles left. A whole lot of uncharted territory.
But, we’ve come this far, so….I’ll roll my sleeves up and march on.
The highest honor I have ever had bestowed on me is the duty of raising these 6 young men.
I couldn’t be any more proud.

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A Letter To My Unborn Child,

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Dear Baby,

They say time flies when you’re having fun but I can’t really say this ride has been all that fun thus far. Seems life kept getting in the way of you and I really getting in some solid bonding time together despite my best intentions. Thats life as a single pregnant mother of six young boys. Prenatal yoga, hypnobirthing recordings, love letter journaling….it was a lot of stuff that I kept setting on the back burner because so many other things called for and demanded my attention rightthisverymoment. And now, here i am, awaiting your arrival any day now and I realize how un-ready I feel.

I mean, not the logical and responsible stuff. The adorable cloth diapers are all stacked, The baby clothes and blankets and such are all freshly laundered and folded and waiting on their shelves. The bin with all of my home birth supplies is stocked.

It’s the emotional side that feels like it was tossed in to this ill-prepared. And it dawned on me tonight that perhaps the delay in your birth comes more from my emotional side holding on to some things. Because often in birth, emotions and physical reaction are so very closely entwined. So, I thought I would take this time to write to you and clear the air of some tings and perhaps pave an easier entrance for you.

Let me begin by saying that although your existence has certainly complicated my life in some major ways, I cannot feasibly see how this really is a bad thing. At first, the loss of your father seemed to me to be the true loss. But the fact is, I would have eventually discovered his true colors anyway. And my determination to protect you and fight for you led to me making a major move, and finding myself smack dab in the dead center of stability and security and peace and happiness and hope. I don’t know if steps this drastic would have been taken if not for you. Your existence basically forced me to step straight out of my comfort zone. I often look back at my past, at things I could very easily say I regret, and instead I find them to be blessings. So, I am wise enough at this point to see how your life within me already has, and shall continue to bring me down uncharted pathways that may possibly be nothing but better than anything I could ever have imagined fir my own self.

Maybe you are another son. I joke about how I would lose my mind if so….and though yes, I think I would find a small art of me saddened at the prospect of never having a daughter…..well, I also know the joy and love and spirit that your 6 brothers have brought to my life. If there already happen to be 6 young men here who are all so very unique…well, it is exciting to imagine what YOU will be like.

Or perhaps you are finally my “someday daughter”. The one I have waited my entire life to come home to me.

What I do know, is that right now , a part of me feels very ashamed as a mother to admit I do not feel as bonded to you as I have to my previous babes in utero. But looking back at the past 9 months it is an understandable situation. I can’t blame myself nor can I beat myself up over it. All I really can do  is take this moment right now to tell you I love you,

I do.

I love you so much I would move your brothers and myself halfway across a country to ensure that I can keep you away from harm and threats. I love you so much I would do anything for you. It is what  a mother DOES, what a mother IS. Even with storms raging all around, a mother stands up to face it all with LOVE. That is my gift to you.

This birth…this entire process of bringing you into our world, out family, at home…..I have my moments of fear or daunting worry. Not really about YOUR well being. Hell, I have planned for this my entire life and am so very thankful I finally have the proper circumstances to be able to labor and birthe freely at home. I worry more for my own weaknesses. That I might reach a point of self doubt and want to quit. Because honest to God, this birth will bring TWO people into being. One is you, the other is the mother and woman I have always known deep down I could be. I need you t believe in me just as much as i am believing in you. We are in this together.

You’re rolling and stretching as I type this to you. I pause every few moments to watch my stomach ripple and bump up. The awesome miracle of life never ceases to amaze me. I said “Holy shit!” with my first child, I still say “holy shit!” when I see YOU move within me. I am humbled with gratitude that god finds me worthy of being your mother.

I don’t have any doubt that the love and bonding will grow with invincible power and fire after you are here. You and I, we are two parts of one whole right now. You listen all day to my heart beat. I am the only person on earth aware of every single hiccup you have or kick you make. We are each others greatest secrets.

Come forth soon, sweet child. Not only because I have had some very long tiring days recently. But also, I long to look deep into your sage, watery eyes and catch a glimpse of God, and smell the sent of heaven on your skin, and finally meet another sliver of my future face-to-face.

I love you.

Hear my heart beating it out to you? All day long.

It speaks nothing but the truth.

Because the heart can never lie.

I love you.

xoxoxoxox

Love Always and Beyond,

Mommy

 

Sunday Confession: Never Again

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<a href=” http://morethancheeseandbeer.blogspot.com/p/how-to-participate-in-sunday-confession.html&#8221; target=”_self”><img src=” http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J7XQD43LK5g/Un_8ilzhjzI/AAAAAAAAAV4/0SKAca2aKMI/s1600/confessions+button.jpg&#8221; alt=”MoreThanCheeseandBeer ” alt=”MoreThanCheeseandBeer” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

 
 

Todays blog topic couldn’t apply any better to my current affairs if Ashley over at More Than Cheese And Beer (The mastermind of Sunday Confessions.) had asked me “Hey, Tonia, what could you write the easiest about today?”

There have been a lot of epiphanies and discoveries in my life over this past year. A lot of changes for the better. Cycles broken. Two years with a man who did little more than tear me down and break me physically, emotionally, verbally. Gone. Told him to leave with shaky hands I hid in pockets. He hasn’t been back since. I know how lucky I am. I know how good it feels to say “Never again.” Never again will a man raise a hand to me. Never again will a man make me cry, curled up in a ball on the floor, weak and broken. I’ve spent a lot of years with battered souls disguised as men, who handed me their demons and basically said “Here, battle with this for awhile.”

Never again.

Never again will I have to answer for the sins of another, or feel obligated to carry old baggage, or be blamed for others issues. I am learning to shut doors and hang up phones like a boss these days. I had a short stint of a casual dating relationship with a guy last year. Lasted just long enough for me to discover birth control is never a sure thing. The minute I announced I was pregnant he changed, began playing little mind games. I did the grovel-on-my-knees bit for a short stint. Tried to be all full of dazzle and sexy and flair because maybe THAT would change his mind. Til the day he informed me he didn’t give a shit about my children and planned on fighting me for full custody of our baby. He called me some names as well, said some other stuff, but none of that mattered. The minute he said one single derogatory thing about my children, I was done. Piled all of his shit at the curb the next day while he was at work. Gone. Done. I cried for about 45 seconds watching him pack it all up into his car. Then I dusted myself off and moved on. Because that’s life. That’s life as a mom. There are meals to cook and laundry to wash and boo-boos to soothe, there is no time for grieving over shitheads.

I’ve spent the last 4 years living in a shithole.

There’s really no other word for it.

I had enough money to pay my bills, to provide neccesities for my sons, but nothing left over for extra. Combine that with  a slumlord who didn’t give a crap and you can see where Im coming from. If stuff broke, it stayed broke. I took the place because it was better than being homeless and losing my kids. I did my very best with limited resources to make it a home for my children. But it really never was. Couldn’t be. I tried my damndest though. Nailed down wood where the floors were caving in. Hung layers of plastic and blankets where windows should have been. Prayed every day that that stupid leak in the kitchen ceiling didn’t just cave in one day on our heads. When I found blackmold growing in a closet behind the laundry room, I nailed that door shut, at a loss for anything else to do, but knowing we had to get OUT, that life had to get better. My kids found syringes at the bus stop and came home carrying them. I freaked out and yelled and lectured and then called the police and yelled some more at them and made such a fuss that finally (finally) one of the biggest meth producers in our area was locked up. But there were still other neighbors. I lay awake some nights listening to gun shots, watching police lights flash by. I went out in my pajamas one night at the sound of a woman screaming and saw her laying in her front yard yelling at a man to let her up, to get off of her. Not one damn other neighbor gave a shit or reacted. I yelled out “Get the fuck off of her before I call the cops.” He did. Got up and drove off. The mentality of “Its none of your business”, didn’t apply to me. I’d been in that same situation, screaming for help and hearing only my own echoes in reply when I knew full well SOMEONE had to hear me. Never again would a woman be hit if I could help.My neighbors basically all hated me. I didn’t give two shits. I wasn’t out to make friends. I was protecting my sons, providing for them a safe haven sohelpmegod.

Back in November I began a tentative relationship with a man. I won’t share many details of this. Only to say, I spent the first  month or so arguing with him about the fact we were even IN a relationship. Because eff that. Men are all assholes. Useless. Douchebags. Liars. Cheaters. Theives. Nope. I wasn’t going to have one single solitary minute of that crap. I had my sons to focus on. No thank you kind sir, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, thankyouverymuchgoodbye.

But I’ll be damned if he wasn’t a stubborn pain in my ass.

Turns out he actually had a job. A good job. A good job that he liked. I mean, really enjoyed. I’d spent so many years with men who hated the entire concept of work. And now here was this guy who busted his ass, made good money, and loved what he did every day. Weird.

And then he tells me he loves kids. I mean, really loves kids. Has always wanted a large family but medically speaking his chance of ever having even one child is slim to none. So, all of my experience with men who use my kids as an excuse to take off don’t apply either. Because where most guys would run in fear he marched face first into this mess, all full of bravado and eagerness.

Freak.

Hell, there are days I get all overwhelmed and say “Holy shitballs, never mind, I don’t want kids….gimme cats…lemme be the crazy cat lady. Cats are easier.”

And this guy, this guy is all “Hells yes, this is going to be awesome.”

Now, before you go and send me private messages saying how concerned you are about me jumping into things, let me reassure you that I am not. Okay, in a sense, I AM. I suppose. But I also am stepping in slowly with my heart and I have a couple different just-in-case backup plans if stuff falls through. Because I’m not that stupid. Never again will I blindly throw myself into anything. In  a way I miss the blind faith in love and life that I once had. But this is called growing up. If this all works out, well….fuck yeah, I will be one happy girl. And damnnit if I don’t deserve it. And my boys too. They deserve the entire mother effing world. Times ten.

A month ago, this guy sends me photos of our new house.

PHOTOS OF OUR NEW HOUSE.

(Its a rental, folks, so relax. Like I said, I’m taking this step by step, with a just in case in my back pocket.)

I looked at those photos and it dawned on me, I was getting the hell out of dodge. I was finally crawling out from under the rubble. No more leaky ceilings and missing windows and caving in floors. No more no-heat-all-winter and being able to see my own breath in the kitchen while I cooked breakfast because it was so cold. I broke down and cried that day. Locked myself in the bathroom and bawled for a solid ten minutes because my brain didnt actually know how to handle the possibility of THIS IS GOING TO GET BETTER THIS IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT.  

Never again would I have to run around the house making sure the plastic was holding upon the windows every time it rained and my sons were  not getting rained on in their beds. Never again would I have to tell my kids to try to walk around the weak spot on the floor in the bathroom so they didn’t fall through one day. Never again would I have to give my kids hats and gloves to wear to bed to keep the cold at bay. Never again would I have to worry about there being enough food at the end of the month. Never again would I have to tell one of my sons he would have to wait another month to get his birthday gift because rent had to be paid. Never again would my son have to walk around with shoes with huge holes in them and their socked toes sticking out. Last week one of my sons came to me to show me their sneaker was falling apart, wearing out, had a hole. I noticed that the other boys all needed new shoes as well. (All except the youngest two.) So, this crazy wonderful guy shuttles us all off to the store and patiently helps my sons pick out new shoes. And buys them. I’ve never been able to buy more than one child shoes at a time. He doesn’t even get what a big DEAL this is to me. How thankful I am for it. For all of it. I’ve grown so accustomed to living/surviving minute to minute…..to have a safe place to fall, to have a partner in this journey, to not have to worry every damn day that the rug is going to be yanked out from under me….its such a srange and surreal, yet pretty damn wonderful feeling.

Do I “love” this man?

No. No I don’t. Not yet. And I hope when he reads this he won’t be too hurt by that. It’s just, I don’t think I’m ready yet to put my whole heart out there. Do, I respect him? Do I care for him? Does he make me happy? Am I grateful for who he is and all he does? Can I see myself someday telling him a love him, spending the rest of my journey growing old with him?

Honestly? Yes.

I’m just taking baby steps in that direction right now. And that’s good enough for me at this point.

If it says anything at all, my kids adore him. I’m pretty sure they like him more than me at this point. Especially the youngest. Even my 10 year old who keeps EVERYONE at arms length and tends to put up his don’t-give-a-shit exterior has gotten to liking him. They’ve basically all sold me out. Little shit heads.

But seriously, Im thankful they have a solid man to look at as a true example of a grown-ass-man and all that that entails.

So, to recap, never again. Never again to a whole lot of bullshit and dead ends and lost hopes. Never again to fear and worry and hurt. Never again to twatwaffles and douchecanoes.

Life is pretty damn good these days.

And for right now, that’s more than enough.

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Sunday Confessions: Exhaustion

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MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Sometimes Hot Ash over at the ever-awesome More Than Cheese And Beer throws a topic at me for Sunday Confessions that I have no clue how to even begin to cover. But this time, when I was informed the cue was “Exhaust, exhausted, exhausting….” Pffft. I got this in the bag.
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My name is Tonia and I am the mother of 6 young boys. That’s right 6. Boys. The words you’re looking for are “Holy” and “Crap.”
Any parent knows exhaustion though. I can’t play all high and mighty and say “Oh look at me, I win the MOST exhausted mother of the year award!” Because frankly I don’t. I mean, sure, maybe somedays I do. Somedays I swear my kids have this plan set into motion to make Mommy go batshit crazy. One wakes up with a nightmare, and just as I calm him down another wakes up needing a drink and as soon as he settles, another wakes up for no damn reason at all. I’ve done those days where I run more on fumes than anything, when there just isn’t enough coffee in the known universe to make it any easier. I’ve had colicky infants. I’ve dealt with night terrors and bed wetting and monsters in closets.
And I know I’m not alone. I have friends who have kids on the autistic spectrum who need almost no sleep. These mothers and fathers walk through days clutching energy drinks with bleary, glossed-over eyes, desperate for some magic solution. They try meds, they try melatonin, they try lavender and calms forte and herbal tea and warm milk with honey and nightlights with lullabies…..Because the entire world loses its edge when you havent slept a normal night of sleep in 5 years. Or 10. Or more.
I know mothers with newborns babies who confuse nights with days and stay up until the sun begins to rise. I know parents who have colicky infants and who know nothing but long dark lonely nights of screaming babies and helplessness.
There are parents who stay awake all night watching sleeping children, scared to death their child might seize or stop breathing and they won’t be there to help them or save them. There are mothers in hospital rooms beside beeping machines holding vigils by frail babies in the NICU. Fathers sitting with the hall light casting shadows across the room as they pray prayers without words over a child battling with cancer.
Exhaustion. Parenting is all about it. Parenting is so very damn exhausting. It’s harder than we would ever have been able to plan for or expect. Physically, emotionally…it can drain a person down to it’s very core and just when we think we have no more to wring out of depleted souls we find just enough courage and stamina to make it up one more mountain before sunrise.
The funny thing is, I don’t know a single mother or father who would trade a single solitary moment of everything else for the sake of needing sleep. Because having children is primarily about sacrifice. Of uninterrupted peaceful hours of sleep, of peace, of ourselves even. And we do it willingly, without qualms or pause to consider or weigh the pros and cons. Because it truly doesn’t matter. All that matters is this love, this life that walks around outside of our own body but whom we love far beyond our own hearts and souls. It is EVERYTHING. All that matters.
So, yes. I’m tired. Downright exhausted. Circles under my eyes, gulping coffee like air.
But these 6 sons are my heartbeat, my spirit song, my life-worth-living. All that I am is encapsulated in them. Tell me you wold trade me them for 24 straight hours of sleep and I’d tell you to go suck a dong. Or maybe something a little more ladylike, depending on how creative and quick-witted my brain is that day. (Which obviously depends on how much sleep I’ve managed to get the night before.)
The point is, it’s a dance I’ve perfected over the past 13 years. Rising with the sun to cook breakfast, change diapers, settle arguments, answer an endless ream of questions that HAVE no answers. Someday it won’t be this way. Someday my home will be quiet and peaceful and I will go to bed at 8 and wake at 8 and feel wonderfully rested. But right now…..Right now I have these awesome late-night chats with boys who are teetering on the brink of adolescence and who almost never talk to me about anything of any personal depth during the day but will open up to me at night. Right now I snuggle with soapy-smelling toddlers. I nurse babies into milk-induced comas and then just hold them in reverent awe and watch them sleep, their lips pursed into perfect rosebuds. Right now I am so very blessed. And if the cost for such a joy is exhaustion…well so be it. Pour me another cuppa joe, friend. And cheers to motherhood and all of its trials and tribulations,
which always pale in comparison to all of the love and glory it brings.
There will be plenty of time for sleep when I’m dead. For now, I’m too busy enjoying life. ❤