Eight years ago, I got married. Yesterday was our official wedding anniversary and I didn't even have time to sit down and think about it much. Granted we were elated to have the opportunity to go out for dinner over last weekend to celebrate a bit early (the husband's parents offered to come put the kids to bed so we could leave!), but things have remained busy as usual since and there's little time left for pondering in all that. So I just have to claim my crazy life and keep moving on.
Sometimes I get a bit upset because I don't have many spare minutes during the day. Other than nap time and bedtime, I'm with the kids most of the time, doing a lesson with them, reading books, working puzzles, refereeing bicker matches or showing them how to share toys. It's a rat race—I run the same maze over and over again, day in and day out. Sometimes it doesn't bother me and other times it does. Even during the one brief break I get in the day while they nap or play (semi-quietly) in their rooms, I feel like I should be doing approximately 26 different tasks and making the most of my alone time. I think the pressure gets to be so much that sometimes I just lay on my back on the couch and stare at the ceiling and feel my mind go blank.
Please tell me I'm not the only one!!
It's a constant, frantic effort to find balance. Even trying to find the balance will stress me out sometimes. When the quads were just over a year old, they reached that sweet spot where they had enough mobility to get around nicely, and any and all toys occupied them. They played so well in their play room in between meals, naps and activities and I could accomplish things during naps and even, gasp, daytime hours. Now that they're nearly two-and-a-half, they require so much more involvement, just like any toddler! And I get so tired!
I've talked to other quad mommas, and converse daily with some of my BFF quad mommas, about the level of exhaustion we battle each day. And I know it's not just quads. Other moms with kids of various ages, working moms, moms who work and stay at home, whatever combination it is, it's always such a challenge to find a harmonious blend of all your responsibilities. Granted, I have my good days where I feel like I've got it all together and wish the entire world could witness my grandeur, and other days I'm a basket case and you don't see any new posts on the blog for two weeks because the only news going on in my house is how long it's been since I've washed my hair. Ick.
Then there's Pinterest, Facebook and, yes, blogs (even like mine!) that all share everyone's most picture-perfect moments—or seconds in my case, when one of the kids actually poses for a photo and everyone thinks my crew is made of angels. Those pictures and posts can smack you down and leave a bruise on your cheek because you didn't DIY your holiday ornaments or make an organic dinner from scratch for your kids or curl your hair into beautiful wavy tresses while your toddler sits calmly at your feet. Leave it to our online entities to inspire and encourage us while simultaneously driving us batty at the same time! I'm not hatin', either. I've had people tell me they envy my ability to cook yummy meals, make cute crafts or do pre-school lessons with my kids and how do I keep it so together!? And I try to assure them that my house is crazy and I'm partially crazy and those were just some good photos I snapped, and then I try to remember to share a post on this blog so that none of you think I have it all together all the time, either. True story.
Basically, it's like this. When I exchanged vows with the love of my life eight years ago, I never in a million years could have possibly even crazy-dreamed that this would be my life today!! And every once in awhile I'll get five seconds where I sort of zone out and I'll try to remember what my life was like before quadruplets and it seems so foreign. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pine for the days again when I'll actually have time. It's a constant challenge not to lose myself in all the chaos of our "new normal" these days. How do you find the ability to maintain who you are as a person? To not let yourself become the last priority?
So far, I've learned that I can't have control over everything. I just can't and if I try, it'll drive me to insanity. Sometimes it's best/easiest to just let things go. I've also set more specific short-term goals rather than broad ones, which results in a quicker feeling of accomplishment. And most importantly, I'm constantly trying to keep things in perspective. Like yesterday, when I had a flashback to when the babies had just come home from the NICU and we were feeding them 32 bottles every 24 hours and sleeping in 45 minute increments every two days. Exhausting. I remember the husband and I telling each other we couldn't wait for the day when they could feed themselves and there would be no more bottles. And I realized we were there. We had surpassed that enviable milestone and were barreling toward more and I needed to remember nothing lasts forever. One day, my kids will be teenagers and dealing with life lessons, and I'll long for the time when all we had to do was change their diapers and cut their food into bite-sized pieces!
Yesterday was a long day and left me completely drained. Today has been reasonably better. And tomorrow could even be great, with a chance of possibility. Claiming my crazy life, 24 hours at a time...