If I'm being honest, I feel like I'm failing at life right now.
Ok, maybe not in all aspects...but in lots.
I'm experiencing a level of exhaustion that has settled into my bones and I fear if I utter the words, "I'm just so tired" one more time my husband might start to worry I've lost all ability to communicate any other feeling or emotion. Which, I sort of worry about myself.
Anyway - what this means is...mama's cranky. And the house is messy. And the kids are dirty. And we all stay in pjs more often than not. And I am surviving on green smoothies and coffee which is about all I have time for these days - so you'd think all my baby weight would be long gone on that kind of diet, but it isn't - which is another post for another day.
Here's what I'm learning - don't EVER think, "I'd never do... I'd never say... I'd never feel..."
Because you're bound to end up doing, saying, feeling things you never thought you would.
Today was another one in a long line of days where I have basically relocated myself to our couch in the living room. It's where I slept for a few hours the night I went into labor, it's where I camped out for the first 5 weeks of Declan's life while he screamed into the wee hours of the morning and I watched reruns of Will and Grace & Sex and the City bleary eyed and sometimes crying right along with him. It's where I spend much of my day, holding and nursing this colicky little munchkin of mine who wants to be held and nursed all day and all night long.
Today we made it to the pediatrician, where Declan got his very first shot. (He was a champ by the way) I thought this might perhaps make him sleepy and that he would sleep more than his typical 20 min spurts and maybe I could get a few things done.
It didn't turn out that way, of course, and so I found myself feeling very snappy at Beckett, who knows just when I've camped out for another nursing session and takes off to create mischief somewhere in the house (Daddy's books this time...)
After raising my voice one too many times, I took a deep breath and felt this little nudge to just embrace this.
Embrace this season of my chaotic life. Embrace the toddler who finds joy in pulling books of Daddy's shelf. Embrace the colicky infant who only wants to be held on my chest. Embrace the mess, the crumbs, the toys in every nook & cranny of my increasingly dirty and disorganized house. Embrace my rats nest of a hairstyle, embrace that I haven't had my hair done in over a year, embrace the smear of dirty fingerprints on the mirrors that hang over my love seat. Embrace that lately we see more television than books.
It's just a season.
Watching my husband send his oldest off to college this year - knowing that my oldest will be getting his driver's permit in TWO YEARS...the proof is right here in my own house that this all goes too fast. It's gone in an instant and the chaos will be gone along with it.
So I took a deep breath and grabbed the kids for a cookie making session. It was messy and took longer than it needed to, and even resulted in a temper tantrum over raw cookie dough.
And honestly, at one point Beckett was crying because I'd told him no to the cookie dough and Declan was crying because I wasn't holding him and Logan was crying because (just kidding, Logan wasn't crying...just seeing if you were paying attention still)...I almost threw in the towel. But when Daddy came down the stairs just a few minutes later, I heard Beckett go running across the floor and excitedly exclaim "Beckett help Mommy make cookies!"
In the chaos and the crazy, I am reminded that these moments really are fleeting, as cliche as it sounds, and even when I feel like I'm absolutely drowning in exhaustion and short on patience I need to embrace it. I need to embrace my children in every season of life they are in.
And I need to embrace myself for every season *I* am in. It's ok to cry when I've hit a wall. It's ok to feel frustrated when I step on yet another toy train. But it's also ok to decide not to cry & not to be frustrated and bake cookies for dinner instead.
Not only do my kids deserve it, but so do I. It's ok to cut myself slack. It's more than ok to soak in every second of my children - the good, the bad and the ugly. They all create memories that I know I will treasure for years to come.
Cookies for dinner.
Followed by a banana - that's a complete meal right?
Here's the recipe in case you're interested!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups uncooked regular oats
- 1 package chocolate mega morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add oats and stir well to combine.
- Add to butter mixture and beat on low-speed until mixed in. Gently stir in morsels and pecans.
- Drop by rounded tablespoons on prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until brown around the edges. Cool on pan for several minutes before placing cookies on wire rack.