I woke up this morning and there it was. The wall. I had finally hit it.
I honestly didn’t think I could face another day of caring for those four little people I have created. Our eleven year old daughter is pubescent and hormonal. Our seven year old son has been unusually poorly this week with an unexplained virus resulting in some time in the Children’s Hospital. Our three year old’s needs seem to increase daily thanks to his partial sight and autism. Our eleven month old has taken to copying her brother’s meltdowns and decided sudden blood curdling screams are a good way to protest when she doesn’t get what she wants. Another day of dealing with all that just seemed impossible at 7am this morning. I mean, how long until the cracks in my sanity really gain some ground and I end up in a corner, rocking? I can feel them there; the cracks, splintering through the carefully cultured patience and calming defusing skills I have relentlessly taught myself these last few years.
The three year old takes so much of my time and attention that the baby has to wait a lot more than she should (no doubt that’s why she started the screaming), the eleven year old has the freedom and independence of a much older child and the seven year old has a fully established case of middle child syndrome. My husband works his ass off all week then comes home to the chaos of four children all battling for his attention.
Me? I just long for an hour where no one wants to touch me, talk to me, or needs me. At all. No, more than that, an hour without my brain. An hour when I can shut off the relentless theories in my mind of how to help our three year old eat more than just beige foods, stay calm, and deal with everyday experiences without having a full scale meltdown. Stop searching my mental calendar for when I can squeeze in an hour to play video games with our seven year old because he’s been asking all week. Cease psychoanalysing our eleven year old and her overflowing hormones. Let go of the fear that the baby will mimic her autistic brother’s behaviour and become that kid in the supermarket with no actual issues except a penchant for dramatic screaming tantrums.
You see I could grab an hour off here and there and go for a coffee, catch up with a friend, wander around the shops. But it’s all still there in my head. How do you turn it off?
My husband left for work this morning and I just led there. The baby was trying to escape the bed, the three year old wanted his cartoons on downstairs. So up I got. Began the routine.
Then something magical happened. All four children were sat together, nicely, in the lounge. I took a chance and went for a shower. Those beautiful little creatures not only played nicely but they took care of each other. No arguments, no screaming, no crying.
I took my shower, dried my hair and got half dressed before the three year old appeared, wanting to watch his favourite cartoon on his iPad. It was amazing. Just what I needed right at that moment to get me through another day.
There is hope. There is. I’ve got this. Keep going. Stay strong. Keep going. Keep. Going.
Thanks kids. I love you.