Does It Ever Get Easier?

Photo by Stacey Rozells. From: http://www.unsplash.com.

Early this morning I glanced at the clock as I carried my sleeping baby from where I had been nursing him in the living room to the bedroom. Thank goodness it is only 1:30 a.m. and I can sleep for a few more hours. I’m so glad it is the weekend. Maybe the kids will even sleep in a little bit today, I hoped, thinking it would be a miracle. I placed the baby in his bed and then I gently slid into mine, trying not to wake my snoring husband.

Two hours later I heard the baby start to wiggle, then coo, then start making louder sounds, and finally start to cry. I moved down to the foot of the bed and stuck his pacifier in his mouth, lay my head on the footboard, and started to doze off again, until he spit the pacifier out and began to cry once more. I gave him the pacifier again, but he was not happy. I got up and held him, swaying back and forth, hopeful that he would soon fall back asleep and I could too. No such luck: he whined and kicked so I took him back to the living room to nurse again.

He latched on hungrily and I nodded off. A few minutes later I woke and placed him on my shoulder to burp before heading back down the hall to the bedroom again. When I was in bed I thought I felt my Garmin watch vibrate so I placed it close enough to my face to be able to read it without rolling over and getting my glasses from the nightstand. No text message, I must have imagined it or dreamed it. 3:40 a.m., good, I can sleep a while longer. I closed my eyes and relaxed, then it hit me. My watch said, “Fri 23,” not “Sat 24.” Crap. No chance of sleeping in today; it is not Saturday.

To make a long story short I once again fell asleep but woke when my alarm sounded at 5:00 a.m. I gave myself a silent pep talk and forced myself to get out of bed. I tried to walk through the room quietly without stepping on any of the creaky floorboards and went to the kitchen to start a fresh pot of coffee. I prepared my breakfast, sat everything out for Abby’s breakfast, poured my coffee and coffee for my husband.

Soon enough the baby woke up again, I had to wake Abby and my husband, and I had to get through the process of getting everyone ready.

Coffee made? Check. Abby’s breakfast? Check. Clothes for both kids? Check. Diaper and pullup changes? Check. Has Abby peed on the potty? Check. Nurse the baby again? Check. Find Abby’s missing shoe? Check. Abby’s allergy medicine? Check. Tylenol for the grumpy teething baby? Check. Make a note to take a new package of diapers to grandma and grandpa’s house and the babysitter needs milk and pullups. Check. I forgot to put the towels in the clothes dryer last night, I’d better go do that. Check. Another diaper change. Check. Don’t forget to write Oscar’s rescheduled five month check up on the calendar. Check. I need to remember to call and make an optometrist appointment later today, I should add a reminder to my phone calendar. Check. Ugh… I know I am forgetting something important, but what? Oh, yeah, I need to add coffee and tin foil to the grocery list. But that wasn’t it. What was it? Fuck! I was supposed to be to work at 7:00 a.m. this morning for a meeting. It’s too late to take a shower and get ready in time. Nice, it is icy this morning; I am definitely not making it in time for the meeting, again.

I pick out clothes to wear while simultaneously singing to the baby so he stops crying in his little chair. I start up a new cartoon on Netflix to keep Abby occupied while I try to make myself presentable for work. Don’t forget to e-mail those project notes to the group first thing this morning, I forgot to do that before five yesterday. I search for clean nursing pads in the basket of clothes that I have been to busy to fold and put away. What day did Mom say my sister was coming home to visit? I will have to ask her again. I fix my hair. God, how much hair am I losing? Is that a new streak of gray? I think as I pull a large clump out of my brush. Abby comes in my room to ask if lady bugs eat toilet paper and I shoo her out but then call her back when I smell poop. I place her on the toilet, clean her up, and redress her when I glance at the clock. Seriously? How is it 7:48 already?

After nixing the twelve toys Abby wanted to take to daycare, I debate with her about why it is not necessary to run through the the house yelling, “Boobies!” As I wrestle her into her coat and the baby into his carseat I notice the sticky note that says, “REMEMBER TO TAKE CLEAN BOTTLES AND PUMP PIECES TO WORK!!!!!” Sighing, I stop and try to locate clean pump supplies, something I meant to do the night before but I had fallen asleep on the couch.

I get the kids to the babysitter and roll in to my desk at 8:22 a.m. Sigh. So much for the meeting at 7:00 a.m. I go to the restroom and realize that I forgot to put on deodorant this morning and I only have mascara on one eye’s lashes. Don’t forget to stop at Walgreens and pick up mascara. And toilet paper. Oh, I need to pay bills tonight.

I am tired. To the bone tired. My brain doesn’t seem to function right any more tired. I have 5 sticky notes of things not to forget tired. I thought life was busy and that I was tired before having a second kid. This is a whole new level of tired. By lunchtime I am mentally done.

How did my mom do this all by herself on one minimum wage paycheck and going to work at 4:00 a.m. when I was a kid? I know I was a kid wrapped up in my own little universe, but how did I not know that she was a superhero? I have so much respect for her and what she did for us.

My husband takes care of a lot and does a lot for us. Still, it seems like there is so much for me to do and remember each day. Is it supposed to be this way? How is it possible to get everything done like I should? I know I don’t.

Is it supposed to be this hard? Does it ever get easier, or does it stay hard, just in a different way? Am I doing something that makes life harder than it has to be?

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