The weather has been rather showy this September. The Plateau looks like a Bob Ross painting—“Happy little trees!” Orange and yellows; the crunch beneath my boots; the sun shining through frozen breath—it’s enough to make a woman punch drunk. As a result, this autumn booze hound is making efforts to do more outside (because summer wasn't enough), even though my work-from-home schedule is overloaded and seems impossible.
I had the kids bundled and out the door early yesterday. I’ll drink coffee, answer client emails, and let the kids free range at the park, I thought to myself. Sounds mildly ambitious, but promising. Angus insisted on riding his bike, so Isla then insisted on riding her bike. Then Otto jumped on that bandwagon. No problem—a little more wrangling on my part—but no problem.
It took us 40 damn minutes to walk 5 blocks. I had to jerk my daughter out of the middle of the cross walk because her sock needed to be fixed right this second, while my toddler got off his bike and pushed it into traffic. I’m now carrying two kids and dragging two bikes while dropping eff bombs under my breath like the Mother of the Year. Then Angus mumbles something about being low and as I look up, I see him tip over on his bike—like a tree falling after someone yelling “Timber!”
We made it to the park, but a punk bee flew by the slide, so no child would approach any type of playground equipment and instead cried and shrieked and used me as a human shield. My toddler then improvised and felt that hucking gravel at strangers was an acceptable slide alternative.
Right now—in this moment—I am overwhelmed with motherhood.
Recently, the kids have been taking a toll on me. God, I hate myself for even writing that. Why am I blaming them? It’s my reaction to their needs that has been taking the toll. That, coupled with managing a chronic illness and running a small business, I’m left doubting whether or not I was cut out for this Mom of Three gig. At the end of the day, the hiccups and failures seem to overshadow the joy and successes—as if the bad carried more weight than the good. I hate that. Bad attitudes are like quicksand and lately this quicksand is reoccurring like Groundhog's Day. Remember that movie? Same day; same mishaps; same crappy attitude.
If Bill Murray can figure it out, surely I can, too.
Having three young children is hard.
Let me rephrase that—having young children is hard.
Nope, still not accurate… Having children is hard. Period.
I'm constantly stretching and contorting, trying to meet the needs of three very different human beings—leaving myself feeling drained and unaccomplished. Something has to change; I have to change. Grace, not judgment. Pliability, not rigidity. Empathy and forgiveness. If I can give this to other mothers, why do I deny myself of it?
It’s time for a refocus. It’s time to reexamine what motherhood means to me. It’s a chance to fix what is broken and strengthen what is right. I owe this to my children. I owe this to myself.