As I type this my 2.5 year old twins are having meltdowns because Peppa Pig is on the TV rather than their beloved Bubble Guppies. Not only that, but how dare Nick Jr. play commercials to interrupt their viewing pleasure. You would think someone ripped the head off their favorite stuffed animal.
The cliche mantra “You’ll miss this. Soak it in.” isn’t working today. It’s not working in this season. During the meltdowns and the tantrums and the moment my daughter spat water on my laptop because she thought it was funny… I’m not thinking about how much I want to relive these moments. Because they are draining my fuel tank.
What’s getting me through this season are moments of seeing them grow, learning new things, speaking in full sentences, exploring the world through their eyes. Along with nightly bubble baths, daily coffee, and locking myself in the bathroom for 20 minutes to catch a breath. They bang on the door, and I try to convince them that I’m pooping and teach them that we don’t bother people while they’re pooping.
My kids must think I have severe IBS. Nope. Just finishing my already cold cup of coffee sitting next to the toilet. Glamorous.
But knowing that I’m not alone helps me make it. Having a community of moms that offer me fist bumps of solidarity helps make this journey feel not so lonely. They are women who cry with me during the sad times, laugh with me during the good times, and help me find the hope and humor in the times I don’t think I’ll make it one more inch.
So I want to take this post to talk to you, mom who is running on empty.
To the mom whose toddler popped a vein from the tantrum she threw because you had to take the sunscreen out of her hand to pay for it at Wal-Mart. I see you, and I’m telepathically telling you that “You’ve got this” as you carry her kicking and screaming to the car.
Hey mom whose son refuses to eat any protein on his plate, demanding animal crackers instead – I’m standing with you in agreement that he must eat nutrients before processed junk lest he wants an early bedtime.
To you, mom who’s hiding in the bathroom drinking her morning coffee to take a necessary breath while simultaneously dealing with guilt for giving them more screen time than the internet says should be allowed – I cheers our cold cups of coffee, give you permission to let go of that guilt, and am sitting next to you searching for a small moment of silence as well.
To the mom who woke up with a headache and lays on the couch trying to rest while your kids jump and climb on top of you – well, this one’s tough. I feel for you.
Mom whose child pooped in his underwear despite asking him one hundred billion times if he had to go potty – I will guard the bathroom while you do cleanup, direct people away, and blame the smell on the dog. I’ve got your back.
To the mom working by the light of her laptop late into the night while everyone is fast asleep, I understand. I offer you my fist bumps and support to let you know that you can do this and what you are working on means something.
To the mom who feels guilt for loving her kids so much yet needing to be away from them for an amount of time, I tell you – me too. Reprieves are necessary to refuel us to be the best moms we can be.
So to the mom running on empty, let us try to remember that this is only for an amount of time. Even though I want to clothesline those cliches in this season, there is an amount of truth to them. Our tanks won’t be on E forever. Let’s chant that. I’ll even make t-shirts.
And may we find the humor in the ridiculousness and shenanigans our toddlers provide. They’re incredible little people…even when they don’t let us poop in peace.