Friday, January 9, 2015


Dear Olive,
Today, I felt like I was in the Bermuda Triangle of parenting.  You know the routine, wash the dishes just in time to make another meal, wash the floor only to have it immediately peed on.  I felt like I was working all day but didn't get anywhere.

A disciple of productivity, this parenting thing sometimes makes me feel like I've lost my way.  Why are we so tired all the time?  It's not as if the individual tasks are so particularly demanding.  And I'm basically spending time with my favorite people.  So, why do I feel like I'm walking through cotton everyday?

And then I read this article.  It made perfect sense.  Hyper-vigilance!  Yes!  The perils of motherhood often feel like combat fatigue to me.  No sleep and constant alert to ensure that no one sticks their head in the oven.  This is what depletes my energy and makes me wonder why I can't even bother to pick up my own socks off the floor.

I remember telling my mom that I was shocked that parenting was so easy one and two months in.  I could carry my child all day, bathe him, change his diapers, and make him the primary focus.  I had been mentally preparing myself for the trauma of parenthood and I felt relieved that I was traversing it without much pain.  It was at month three of having a newborn that I realized, "oh, this is everyday all day."  You might have an afternoon off or a night away, but then you come back and the demands are there with no respite.  And that day off doesn't sustain you for the month or two until you get another.  It pretty much wears off at the end of that day.  It is the marathon that is taxing, not the individual steps.

Now that the kids are two and four, we're starting to reap some of the benefits of having two.  They play together, we can just monitor for screams while working in another room.  Though I know you're about to go underground with baby #2, I'm here to tell you not to doubt that the exhaustion is real.  Also don't fret because it won't last forever.  Hang in there mama.  Oh, and a manual for raising them, this comes pretty close.

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