Some would call this being in the thick of it. I would call it, “Could I catch a break someday?” Either way, it feels heavy, like walking through thick paste while accumulating more and more nasty boy smells.
The past eight days have been the most trying for me as a mom. Joe has been sick, then Noah caught what he had. (Does anyone with multiple kids ever escape the entire household getting sick?)
We are remodeling our bathroom and haven’t had a bathtub or shower for 7 days.
It’s hard having sick kids and not being able to bathe them. I constantly feel like Joe is just accumulating more sickness on his body because I can’t scrub it off. Does that even make sense? We have all been taking sink baths, toy pool baths, or using wipes in all crevices. It has been one glamorous week.
The boys and I left last Friday during that day to let the bathroom have its day. DAY. Hahaha I am so very naive when it comes to remodeling anything. I should always take my time frame expectation and multiply it by about a month. Then, I’d have a realistic expectation.
So, minus the one day away, there are people in our home often and unexpectedly making lots of noise and messing up sleep for sick kids. Not a good combo, but sometimes you just have to suck it up so shit can get done.
If it had been my first go around at playing mom, I would have flipped out by now, but I am learning to roll with it much more often than I ever thought I’d be able to handle.
That said, it hasn’t been easy and every single relationship in this household has been strained to the max. Every day I thought, tomorrow it will be better. And then it wasn’t. In fact, it just kept piling and piling. Mounds of sickness and stress and more work.
The phrase, “This too shall pass” was ever-present in my mind. I have thought every night when putting Noah to sleep, “This too shall pass”. For eight nights I have thought this. Honestly, I’m over it. This isn’t passing and when it does, I won’t be aware because this shitstorm has become our new normal.
What I’m really blabbering on about is the phrase “This too shall pass”. I feel like it is one of the top 10 phrases that we are supposed to use as mothers. You see it everywhere. It is used over and over as advice that mothers are given and give to each other.
Kid teething? This too shall pass. Kid not sleeping? This too shall pass. Dogs shitting in your living room? This too shall pass.
I have thought hard for over a week about “This too shall pass” and I no longer agree with it. Yes, most things pass. But when you are in the thick of it and are seeking solace, I, personally, don’t want a phrase telling me that I’m going to get to perfection or a normal sometime soon. Because once you get there, another annoying thing pops up. Always.
It’s not sound advice. You end up disappointed and in my case, pissed.
Scenario: I just got the kids feeling better after 5 days of no sleep, insane amounts of Tylenol and ibuprofen, 45 episodes of Little Bear, millions of cans of chicken noodle soup, and attempting to sterilize my house and then we find out the bathroom floor is rotted. We get that fixed and Joe has a new rash all over his stomach and Noah has a rash on his face.
Stop telling me “This too shall pass” because once it does, we will just be onto resolving the next crisis.
And that’s got to be ok in my mind. As long as I’m not always waiting for something to pass and just focusing on everyone being relatively ok in the present, I can stop constantly looking to the future for this mythical time where things will be perfect.
My expectations as a mom are lowered and then lowered and then hit rock bottom and I somehow drill a hole into the abyss to lower them even more. “This too shall pass” makes me angry because it sets me up for false expectations that things will someday be really easy. I don’t think any stage of parenthood is easy. Not one.
Before “The No Good Very Bad Terrible Week” happened, I was bitching about Noah’s colic and in reality, I was impatiently waiting for that to pass. I have become aware that I was in a perpetual state of waiting for things to pass.
I had resolved that once his colic was done, everything would be back to normal. And then shit really hit the fan.
I am learning that I don’t want to parent with mindset “This too shall pass” or in general live in that mindset.
I don’t want to constantly be waiting for this false time where things are “normal”. I don’t want to wait around for my life to pass. I want to attempt to enjoy things even when they are difficult. Granted that is much easier said than done, but for me, I need to be aware that this motherhood thing is never going to enter a state where everything is finally sunshine and daisies.
Motherhood has more amazing moments than difficult ones, but kids getting sick, dogs vomiting on my coffee table, bathroom floors being rotted, are just things that are inevitably always going to happen. Because life is going to happen. And we shouldn’t be waiting for it to pass.
So, please pass me the wine instead. I’ve got dog vomit to clean up.