Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind of day I’m talking about. The kind where your mind is numb from stress. You are so stressed that your stress is stressed and you don’t think you can be anymore stressed, then it happens. Yep, you guessed it, my last several weeks have been that way. Okay, if I’m being honest I’ve been this way for years. I can’t remember a day in the recent, or not so recent past, that I haven’t felt this way.
My husband is a boilermaker so he is gone from home for long hours. We have three boys of our own. They are 15, 8, and 4. We are also adopting a little girl who is 1 1/2 years old. I love my life and wouldn’t change it for anything, but some days it’s hard. Who am I kidding? Every day is hard. My kids are the light of my life, but some days my light burns more like a raging brush fire of stress rather than a pretty twinkling Christmas light. I’m going to give you a little glimpse into my world…
My morning starts at 4:30 every morning when my husband gets for work. He wakes me to let me know he is leaving. Usually before he comes into the bedroom and quietly whispers that he is leaving he’s slammed around in the kitchen, slammed the front door several times going in and out, stomps around some in his muddy work boots and strewn his underwear and towel around the bathroom. When he leaves I get up because my I can no longer sleep due to his noise and the fact that my phone starts ringing every 15 minutes at 5:30. I am a substitute teacher and the automated sub caller wants to know if I want to work that day, even though most days I’ve already accepted a job.
I get up do the dishes if there are any, get the kiddos their clothes set out for the day, feed the cats and nurse our paralyzed dog, who by the way has to be put to sleep in the morning because some terrible person drove by about a month and a half ago and shot him. We held out hope for quite some time that he would get better, but his hind legs never started working again. I wake everyone after all of this is done, dress them, feed them, try to get them loaded in the car by 7:15 and head to school. All the way to school the boys are fighting with one another, fighting over their tablets, begging to use my phone instead of playing their own tablets, and sometimes all the while my 5 year old is having a meltdown because he forgot that he wanted to wear his tennis shoes instead of his boots that day. He insists that we turn around to get them but it’s too late for that because we are already 15 minutes into our 20 minute drive to school when he comes to this revelation.
We finally pull into the school parking lot and my eight year old is chomping at the bit to get out of the car but my five year old isn’t budging from his booster. Now he’s refusing to leave the car. He wants to go to work with me, his stomach hurts, his head hurts, and he’s lonely… finally, I have to get out of the car in the bus loop, unload the baby and drag him kicking and screaming from the car. As we walk up the sidewalk to the school entrance, he is screaming. The teacher at the door knows the drill and rushes out to help me. She takes him and his kicking and screaming through the door inside. He’s screaming that he loves me, that he can’t go to school, that I forgot to buy him the sucker that I promised to a month ago and that he wants a dollar. I get the baby buckled back in as the buses are pulling in and try to get out of their way. Then I drop my 15 year old off at school, the one who wrecked his dirt bike, tore his ACL, and has two cartilage tears so he has to have surgery over spring break. He’s on crutches and as he gets out he bonks the baby with the arm of the crutch, she screams even though he barely touched her, he turns around to console her and smacks me with the crutch. As he exits the car he tells me he loves me and to have a good day. I finally make it daycare to drop off the baby and I’m off to work.
I work from 8:00-3:00, this is the least stressful part of my day.
At three I decide to stop and get the kids a snack because they are always so hungry that they can’t stand it and they might die before we can make it home. If I get a snack then the five year old isn’t hungry, he’s thirsty. If I get a drink, he’s hungry. I can’t win… I get to hear screaming about this for the next hour. After picking all of the boys up I go to daycare and get the baby. We are on the interstate on the way home now and the five year old has to pee. He has to pee so bad that he says he can’t make it home. He can and he does but that just adds to his complaints. I suddenly smell poop in the car and think someone passed gas. When I get home and unbuckle the baby I notice that she shit her pants in the car, it’s up her back, in her seat, it’s bad. When I get home I have to clean up the dog, pick up the house that I picked up the day before all the while wondering how it got so messy in such a short number of hours, especially since we were asleep or gone most of them.
As soon as we walk in the door the kids want some kind of snack again, someone has to poop but someone else is already in there so the screaming begins again, of course no one can just use the other bathroom. The other dog comes in and starts eating out of the cat box. I put the baby in her high chair, give her a snack and fill up her cup. It’s time to make dinner now. While I’m making dinner everyone is starving, no one can wait until it’s done, but when it’s done no one is hungry. I give everyone baths, get them ready for bed, and sit down to do my homework. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that I’m also a full time student… While I’m doing my homework the five year old decides he has to sit on my lap. He falls asleep but I’m afraid to move him because if he wakes I’ll never finish. So, he sits on my lap until I know that he’s been sleeping long enough that I can transfer him to the couch or bed. I sit up for the next several hours and do my homework and get into bed around 12 or 1. I am exhausted, some days I don’t know if I will make it to the next. I wonder how I don’t collapse from pure exhaustion. Then I look at these four kiddos and I l know that it is all worth it. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life and who I share it with. My family is my whole world, even on my crazy days, so every day. I know as they grow and things become easier I’m going to wish for the crazy again, I’m going to beg God to give me back my sweet babies because as hard as it is some days, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I love my crazy.