hey mama

11:00 AM

Hey mama! Yeah, you, the one wearing sunglasses inside a grocery store at 2 pm with yogurt, spit up and deodorant stains on the sweatshirt you've been wearing for three days in a row. The one who has become so well acquainted with the bathroom in your house you practically consider it a spa at this point. The one who loses count of the number of cups of coffee she drinks throughout the day to ensure she doesn't fall asleep standing up. The one who raises her voice at two precious angels that try her patience more than she thought humanly possible and then guilt trips herself into a dreamless sleep every night. The one that hasn't eaten a hot meal since her mama left when baby number two was a week old. The one that utters the prayer "God bless topknots for being in right now" every single morning religiously, without fail.

It's going to get easier, I swear.

One day the baby will feed himself a bottle as he goes down for his morning two hour nap. One day your toddler will play with blocks for hour and only occasionally request a snack. One day you will hear silence again and remember just how wonderful it sounds. One day you will have clean hair and will wear something other than sweatpants because you will actually have more than thirty six seconds to get dressed. One day you will cook yourself lunch and eat it while it's still hot. Your toddler will be able to do things like give the baby his pacifier and tell you that he's eating the crayons, again. One day you won't feel like you're climbing mount everest and crying all the way up only to wake up and it's groundhog day - you're back at the bottom again.
One day you will wear a pretty bra again that makes you feel sexy. And speaking of which, one day you won't be too tired for sex. One day you will buy a book and read it before it accumulates a thick layer of dust. You will write again and dream again and feel like yourself again. You will even have thoughts enter your mind like "Hmmm... I wonder if this candidate is really fit to be president" interject itself into the usually barrage of "laundry, do dishes, did I defrost the meat, put your panties back on birdie, teddy no you can't eat dog food, did I pay the electric bill, get wipes to clean up spill, no baby please don't paint your hands purple, teddy no..."
One day you will look at your two children playing and your dog snoring next to them and you will think to yourself "We survived!!! We made it!!" You will have confetti spraying out of your eyes in the form of tears. You will want to buy balloons and toot a horn but instead you will pour yourself a generous amount of m&m's in a bowl and watch the Barefoot Contessa chop an onion and you will feel like you won the lottery. Because that day, many moons ago, is never far from your mind....
The day you called your mum from the car with two screaming babies in the backseat. You sobbed and sobbed and she just listened. Finally you managed to croak through the tears "I can't... I caaaan't... I can't do this muuuuuummmmmyyyyyy" Your tears have completely soaked your pajama pants and you hear a strong and calming voice tell you through the phone "Don't cry baby. You're fine. Call Kevin, immediately. Come home. Step away. Take a breath. Get a sitter. You're fine. You're doing great." You somehow get home. You hand over the keys to your husband, hands shaking. You walk around the block. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. You come home. He's still screaming. You turn on the sound machine and lock yourself in the guest room. More deep breaths. Your mind is blank. You see nothing. Hear nothing. A gentle knock shocks you back to reality. He has to go back to work. You take his now quiet and heavy body and pull him close. He's hot and sweaty from all the screaming and blinks, innocently at you. You squeeze him tighter. You're sorry, you'll figure this out together. We'll try again. It's ok. We'll be ok. I think.
And so every day you all cry just a little less. Then one day you stop crying. You feel a little stronger, a little taller. You're doing this. One day your toddler stops crying too. She gets it. She's trying too. Fairly soon he just cries when he's tired or hungry, doesn't scream any more, and those cries can be quelled easily. You're doing this. You're really doing this. One day you find yourself smiling, you're having fun. You're laughing and playing. You're having dance parties and giggles start to replace the screaming and the crying. You're doing this!!! We're doing this!
Then one day you realize you did it. You reached the light at the end of the tunnel one tear, dirty diaper, m&m, nap and bottle at a time. You feel like a champion. You begin planning birthday parties and you know that you'll be celebrating more than just the passage of time. You'll be celebrating the fact that together we did the seemingly impossible. And you know what? We're all better for it. I learned that I can be more patient, forgiving, strong and resilient than I thought. My toddler learned that sometimes she has to wait and she will [GASP] live ever if she doesn't get what she wants "wight nawwwww!!!" And baby? Well I hope he learned that we're all just trying our best and love him more than he'll ever know.
And so mama I see you. In my mind I'm giving you a fist bump because YOU ARE DOING IT. It may not feel like it right now, you may even feel like you're drowning, but I'm on the other side of the river and I can tell you from where I stand you are not drowining at all - you are swimming. You are swimming so beautifully it's a practically a work of art. Yes, dirty sweatpants and all. Head down you swim lap after lap making sure your babies are fed, clothed and yes even happy!! So remember, you'll reach the other side sooner than you think and trust me you feel more satisfaction and accomplishment than you've ever experienced. So keep going and know that you've done good. So, so good. Just look at those babies. They ADORE you!!

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