I didn't get much sleep the night before last. My husband has this alarm issue that I won't go into, but I will just tell you that from 12:30am until 5:30am either his phone or his alarm were going off every ten minutes. I love him dearly and wouldn't want him sleeping anywhere other than right next to me ... but I would have preferred a solid five hours of sleep as opposed to eight minute increments. Last night I didn't get much sleep either - and I was really optimistic about it. I purchased a body pillow which I was confident would help me sleep better and wake up more refreshed (for those who have never slept with me, I'm a tummy sleeper - but with this baby in my belly, that doesn't work so well). The pillow made all the difference in the world and I was snoring, drooling, and dreaming in no time. Weird dreams too ... but again, that's a story for a different day. At nearly 1am I heard screaming from my little guy who is four. I jumped out of bed and ran to his room - or at least I like to think I jumped and ran ... in reality I rolled around like a beached whale, stumbled out of the bed, and waddled down the hall. When I got to Andre's room, I sat down on the bed to assess the situation.
He was warm, but not too terribly warm considering that he was in bed ... but he was crying and said his belly hurt. We headed to the bathroom to see if that would help. I'll leave out the details about him tossing his cookies on the bath mat, all over me, his 1:30am bath, my 1:45am shower, and the two loads of laundry I managed to wash during the middle of the night and hang on the line this morning. I'll leave out the gory details of his apologizing while throwing up all over me and the amazing self control it took for this pregnant mama not to just sit on the floor and cry at the hopelessness of the situation. I pulled myself together and at some point, we both crawled into bed and slept until this morning.
This morning ... yup, the time of day when my first task isn't running to the bathroom ... it's changing my daughter's sheets. The strong scent of urine is awful and this is a job I do not look forward to. Yes, she helps (she's 6) but the fact is that it's my job as the mom to get these sheets washed and dried. Oxyclean helps, but those few moments before I close the lid on the washing machine are deadly ... yuck ... then I spray down her mattress protector and hold my breath ... then finally, it's time for me to hop in the shower. You moms know what this is like - it was once a time you had all to yourself, you could shave your legs, deep condition your hair, stand under the water and dream about a beach vacation, waterfalls, or plot out your next novel - and now that you have children, you are thankful if you get out with clean hair, one shaved armpit, and you've hit all the important parts with the bar soap. Gone are the days of luxurious exfoliation, perfumed body washes, and smooth legs ... not that you would change any of this. After all, in a few years, the children won't need you at all. You will no longer hear "mommy mommy mommy" while you are trying to tune out the world for just 60 seconds ...
Well, this morning my shower was a bit cold because of all the laundry and other cleaning that had been done, but I still took a moment to close my eyes. I thanked God for the chaos I call life and then I tried to envision life without my children, our stinky cows, my handsome husband ... there's no way I would change a single thing - not even last nights events and the lack of sleep. Then it hit me - in 18 weeks we will have an infant in the house. My eyes sprung open wide with that realization and the voice in my head screamed "what are you thinking?". I had to chuckle ... during the day, our two children are potty trained, they make their own beds, they can crawl in and out of the truck, and they can ride their bikes without training wheels. They carry groceries, feed themselves, say please and thank you, and they can tell me how they are feeling and what they are thinking.
I smile as I write this because I know exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking that my life began the moment I became a mother. My children taught me how to love, laugh, and embrace life. I am not going into this blindly. I know all about sleep deprivation, dirty diapers, and I am all too familiar with the smell of souring milk in my hair. I know about the noise, the toys, and the chaos that comes with a house filled with children. I am aware that my house is not spotless, that there are dirty socks shoved under my sons bed, and the laundry is never done. None of this matters and it won't be mentioned at my funeral. What matters is that God has blessed me with the opportunity to love more deeply than I ever thought possible, to put others before myself, and he has filled my life and our home with a kind of joy I didn't understand until I had stretch marks. It seems to me there is a sort of wisdom that comes with those stripes...and I would trade the wisdom, the stripes, or my children for all the money in the world. Now I say to the voice in my head: THAT IS WHAT I WAS THINKING - BRING IT ON!
As if that weren't enough, I am attempting some new parenting strategies that I'll be sharing in future posts. Stay tuned to hear about cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and green parenting. I am going to rock this farm girl mommy thing!
Ta ta til then -
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and plenty of moments that take your breath away!