She's come undone

It's late.

I have worked 14 straight hours and am trying to just make the day stop.

They're exhausted and since I am already in my state of hell, the patience has run out and I quickly come undone.

It always starts the same. Me telling myself that I have the situation under control and I realize in my mind that they react to me and my short temper but at a certain point, it always ends the same too. I start by saying three or four times in a row to do something, or put something away, or stop making each other cry, or stop touching that, or it's time to go, or to pick up, clean up, or answering the same "mom" question over and over. And to stop fighting, stop throwing, stop stop stop!

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And then my temper takes over and my reaction is always something I regret, almost immediately. Here's the thing, of course I realize it's going to make things worse. Of course I realize she is only going to dig her heals in farther. Of course I realize that he's going to cry louder, she's going to start throwing a tantrum, of course I realize my out of control feeling is going to get worse. Of course I realize all of it. But the day has been long, the week has been longer and I am done.

I am done being rational and trying to negotiate our day, I am done talking and being pulled at, and climbed on, and breaking them up.

This is mother, this is parenting, this is what they do to us, to all of us. They bring us to our knees and put us in a state of mind that we didn't think was possible. They push, they know the buttons, they make us into people we don't recognize.

The unraveling is tearing me apart. It pulls at me and makes me feel like I am coming undone, at every stitch. And the guilt is so heavy. They are so small, tomorrow they are one day older, I will never have this moment again, I will never have this day again, it's all slipping out of my hands...they are growing up.

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But, the exhaustion, it washes over you. It takes control and you realize they remove joy, make you feel unloving, unwanted, irrational, crazy and the exhaustion just continues to wash over you.

And the noise, there is so much noise, so much constant noise. Our house is a new kind of loud, a new kind of remarkably loud.

And it feels lonely.

It feels lonely because people keep telling you they understand, they have been there too, but they still make you feel judged and wrong. Flat out wrong in how you parent. It feels lonely because they tell you that if they could go back in time, they would give anything to have them and it to do all over again and it makes you feel guilty for wishing it away. It feels lonely because they forget that when they had little ones, it didn't look like a Pampers commercial, it looked just like this, just like the messy this that we have created. It feels lonely because you and your partner are trying to figure it out, each and every single day. You are changing and molding, you are fighting and yelling, you are tired and unsure of yourself, of them, you are scared, you are living in constant messy change.

And it is messy because it's mixed with love and frustration and such overwhelming joy that it makes you cry but such incredible pain that it makes you want to give it all up, even for just five minutes.

And it feels exhausting. A kind of exhausted that makes you so aware of every part of your body. Your hair, your teeth, your eyes, you are completely aware of your body. It feels exhausting because you are draining me, you are making me old, you are aging me in a way that I didn't realize would happen.

But, through all of the pain, and tired, and cries, and timeouts and tantrums, and tears, and sibling crazy, we find our way back to love.

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Quiet and content love. Love that keeps us warm, and allows us to feel whole again. Love that allows us to close our eyes and know we have come back.

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Because, the day has come to an end. And our nighttime routine is here and the peace and comfort we know and have defined as us, it makes its way back. We share books and special messages. We tell each other how much we love, how much we will miss one another when the lights are out. We kiss and squeeze and run fingers through soft sweet hair. We hold hands and talk about tomorrow and all we have to do, how we are going to start over, how we're all going to try our hardest. How love will take care of tomorrow.


  1. Jennifer Harris says:

    Beautifully written and something all us moms experience

    1. childhood says:

      Thanks for following the journey.

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