When I was young I wanted to be many of things when I grew up. One of which was never a juggler. Little did I know that I would not only learn how to juggle, but juggling would be come a necessity. My ability to juggle would sometimes mean sink or swim. Juggling would equal survival.
In the last 48 hours I have been put to the Mommy test and have gone through several emotions. Sitting on my couch in silence, I realize I've learned several things.
1. I hate when my kids are sick. If I could trade places with them in an instant, I would. It is a helpless feeling looking at your child who is normally full of energy and life laying pathetically on her bed shivering, crying, and burning up with a fever.
2. When my child is sick with a high grade fever that keeps rising after I've given fever reducing medicine and I call the doctor's office for advice, I want advice immediately. Telling me I'll receive a call back and I haven't in 10 minutes will ensure that I call you back. Irrational yes, but my high level of patience and rationale is out the window at this point. I will bitch, yell, moan, call you a thousand times if I must to get some help NOW. Call it the Mama Bear in me.
3. Potty training a healthy kid that is bouncing off the walls while tending to the sick child and attempting to work is not recommended. In fact, it's downright stupid.
4. Dealing with customer service lines regarding a credit that is owed you while doing all of the above #3 is again, stupid. Completely idiotic.
5. It is inevitable that during the 1 hour that you have an important conference call for work the healthy child who is suppose to be napping will be terrorizing his room and yelling for you to "wet me downstairs Mommy! No take a nap! Mommy!!! Hewoo! Ewias no take a nap!". It is also inevitable that the sick child who is laying next to you on the couch's temperature will skyrocket at that exact same moment. All while you are being asked questions on this conference call. When you realize you've been asked a question and you didn't hear it over the cries and screams, you un-mute the phone and ask politely, "can you please repeat that?" to which the response by said asker is an annoyed laugh as if you're screwing around. It takes all of your willpower at that moment to re-mute your phone for the 2.3 seconds to compose yourself and bite your tongue so you don't A)bite off this man's head and spill your guts about what a horrible, trying day you're having and B)cry.
6. Attempting all of the above #3 makes you have horrible Mommy guilt and you feel like a big fat failure.
7. You find yourself being super irritated by your husband when he comes home from work. Even the sound of his breathing makes you want to smack him upside the head and say, "DO you KNOW what kind of day I've had?!" You realize that this is another beyond irrational emotion and then feel wife guilt and like a big fat failure.
8. You're never too old to need your Mommy. Especially when your Mom is Grammy and you call her for advice.
9. Keeping a healthy 3 year old that has enough energy to power a city away from his sick sister that he adores is a full time job. An exhausting full time job.
10. Priorities quickly fall into place when juggling.
The last 48 hours tested my juggling ability. Some days I feel like a rock star Mom where everything seems be organized and managed just so. My ability to juggle is quite efficient. And then there are days like yesterday and today where there seems to be too many balls in the air and too many being thrown at me at lightening speed. Where I can't quite keep them all up in the air and start dropping them. I feel overwhelmed and like throwing my arms up in defeat. Mommy guilt. Wife guilt. Woman guilt. Those are horrible things.
Why is it that we expect perfection of ourselves? As I sit here tonight in the quiet of my house I decided to look back over the last 48 hours and instead of dissecting them for my moments of failure, I've decided to look for my accomplishments. My daughter knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how much I love her and want her well. I monitored her temperature religiously and did everything in my power to keep her fever under control. My son did not break his neck, escape the house, pee or poop anywhere but in the toilet (sans one pee accident) or a pull-up during his nap. Both children were fed, played with, cuddled, and kissed numerous times. No one was screamed at, not even my poor breathing husband. I managed to contribute to and participate in a conference call while dealing with absolute chaos, and even changed a poopy pull-up while on mute. I ordered groceries online and had them delivered today since we were in need. Both of my children are sound asleep and secure in their beds. I've handled 3/4 of their care the last 48 hours alone while Hubby was at work, running errands, and out with his brother at a seminar.
I'm not perfect. There are numerous things over the last 48 hours that I wish I could have accomplished or accomplished better. I reject the feelings of guilt that plague most every mom at some point. I choose today to embrace self acceptance. I may not be a super woman, but I'm a juggler. A damn good juggler. I drop a ball, or three, sometimes. But I'm getting better every day, and that ain't bad.