So it’s no surprise that parenting can get hairy at times. And overall, I find it to be the ultimate test of character in life…and of my patience. Don’t get me wrong, there is NO doubt it’s also the most rewarding job you could ever be blessed with, and often leaves you punch drunk in love with those little beasties. Sure, it does leave you certifiably insane most days, but you dive right back into it anyway because of that inexplicable and transcendant love that is so deeply seated in one’s being…And- hell yeah- I’d be the first to stand up and market that shit off to anyone looking into parenthood. But good Gahd…this feels like it’s just getting too much already!
It’s like the hits just coming, and Im not so sure my Rocky Belboa game is so strong anymore. Like if you knock me down one more time, I may just stay there. ..and like curl up and catch a much craved for nap or something. Because seriously, this just feels like an avalanche of turds…an unforgiving, indiscriminate series of misfortune waves that takes everything with it. And right now all we can do is take cover as we try to minimize the damage and survive.
Have no doubt that I am well aware that there are others out there that have far greater challenges than we do, and I still have my silver lining goggles strapped on. But they’re sitting a bit loose as I start to grow weary of the current onslaught of life. And I can’t help but feel that whilst life can be tough as is, when you throw in the extra dimension of parenting, then life’s challenges square up to an nth degree and can sometimes be relentless.
Our current challenge playlist is on shuffle right now: We haven’t even had much chance to deal with our loss, before I was hit with a flu that didn’t want to let up making me feel like I was a one armed man swimming upstream…in a river of peanut butter in my career; followed by my dislocated knee -that I halted physio therapy for during my miscarriage- coming back to remind me that, “hey,knees are important! You cant do much without me!..including manuevre on the bed while cradling sick kids.”; And I was totally going to dedicate time to getting it fixed until I got hit with that emergency phonecall from school to say that my baby is having seizure – a seizure so bad, they cant wait for me and are taking her straight to ER. That was the fastest that I have ever hauled ass across town to get to my car..Which may also explain how my collapsed foot arch from earlier this year managed to collapse again. (Because when your child is so ill, all you need is to be partly disabled. Keeps things interesting apparently. ) Oh….and did I mention, that after I held my baby’s hand in surgery theatre while they gassed her to sleep, I went to grab a bite to eat in hospital cafe, only to bump into my eldest daughter’s best friend and mom…who has mumps! Highly contagious mumps that’s easily spread amongst best friend little girls who love hugging each other. I mean all we need now is the plague to make this complete.
I wont go into the horrid details of Parker’s recent seizure – mostly because we’re still working through it, and if I ever do share it with you, I’d like it to be a useful piece for any parent out there going through a similar thing, could refer to as a reliable resource. But know that it was bad – bad enough for them to suspect stroke-like symptoms post her seizure. So not only was I deprived of sleep for almost 8 days straight after her seizure, but was also marinaded in pure paranoia (we had to check her temp every hour , even throughout the night). And since I take about 45 min to FALL asleep on a good night, it was pretty pointless for me to even trying to go back to sleep. So I just basically waited till the next hour came. Add to that the stressing over all the procedures and tests she’s had to endure- yielding exactly zero answers- and still had a further tests being lined up for my tiny little beast. And despite me being exhausted, I had to still make sure I remained aware and involved to be sure that my little girl didn’t merely get sucked into the hospital conveyor belt of procedure and routine.
I am her advocate, her voice and had to be sure everything being done to her was absolutely in her best interest. (Explain to me the conditions that lead you to believe you need to stick a needle up her spine? Explain the risks of doing it. Explain the risks of me refusing it. List why an MRI is so critical, and whether it’s worth the double dose of anaesthetic her tiny little body would have to undergo in a short space of time.) The list goes on…And eventually this very necessary responsibility (and legal right) on one can show its toll.
I find myself sitting on the edge of my bed some mornings – groggy as if drugged- exhausted and bewildered as to how I am actually going to function at any acceptable level for the rest of the day.(It’s only 5:15am) To accomplish all the things and add the value I really want to within my work space (especially when we no longer have a nanny to turn to), and then to return home to my girls with a clean slate and a full tank of patience. And to be honest it’s started to feel really impossible these past few days, and yet I am faced with the stark reality that it still has to be done. How, though?! How is all to be done, without me actually just, like, spontaneously dropping dead on the floor?!
It’s hard. And it’s a lot. And yes, before you even begin to feel the urge to say it: I know this too shall pass.(So please don’t tell me that – I’m well aware of it.) But I feel like murphy is just being down right ridiculous now. Like I’m face down in the mud, feeling worn thin, too tired to even wave a white flag and unsure of how much I have left; Hoping that which I’ve already done is enough for my mother card not to be revoked.
Because -hot damn -I am shattered.(have i expressed my tiredness enough in this post already?) In fact, words have escaped me to even turn this post into anything eloquent, and at one point I wasn’t even going to write, but this I felt was such a pivotal time for us as a family, that maybe I actually should. I mean, yes, it’s hard, it’s messy and somewhat ugly at times. But also it’s a time that has put so many of our strengths on display. How could I not then document it?!
Morgy with her little mama bear ways, bringing on the nuturing like no other little being does…and her big sister energy always bringing joy to the scene (even if it comes with the current and rather tiring 5 year old attitude that Im truly wrestling to find a middle ground with). And of course, there’s Mike’s amazing manner to act like one giant hug around us when things get hairy, and picking us all up when we stumble. But mostly, Parker-Grace.
Our little Parker’s character takes front and centre stage here. Her courage and braveness are obvious to all who see her amidst this current storm. She’s only but two years old, and yet already bares this indominatable spirit – it floors me everytime I see it in action!
And it’s not just us who noticed it, but every single person who came across her during this troubled season of her’s. Every doctor, every nurse, even some parents in the hospital used the same word to describe her when talking to her, to me about her, or even just to each other (I eavesdropped, ok!)…”Brave“. And that she is…and it has nudged me on to pull up my big panties when I was feeling down about her situation.
Which is why I was feeling especially low about this, as I started to fear that I’m just not measuring up anymore. Like, how am I to keep this all up when physically it feels just impossible. Leaving me to wonder how badly I am failing my children. Failing at motherhood…Failing GOD for the gifts he entrusted onto me…
But…(and it’s a big “but”, because this important)… As I have discovered, when it comes to my children’s health, something else rises from depths within. Something that surpasses any exhaustion and truly encapsulates the notion of altruism. It brings forth the most tender and beautiful moments of motherhood. (And makes me feel like I am just an inch closer to being the incredible mother that my own mother is.)
Even if those “beautiful” moments are not exactly glamorous and include stiff backs from falling asleep whilst pretzeling over the cot because your little sausage -literally scared out of her mind from the pain- wants to hold your hand while your other hand strokes her hair and eyebrows till she calms. Or falling asleep in the nursery chair upright because your feverish little one refuses your bed but you cant fit in her cot…its exactly in these fires of motherhood that we are truly cast and molded.
So for all the times that we blunder and think we’re messing up in this mothering gig or think we are failing and not enough, I want to remind you that it is in these very raw moments of pure vulnerability, that we discover this is why we are called to do this amazing job…When all of you pales in comparison to the needs of that little being, it becomes all the acknowledgement that you may have ever seeked…and it is glorious and humbling all at the same time.
So, there’s no pretty bow to wrap this up…but when parenting gets too much, and when life’s hardships seem to be raining down like an unforgiving avalanche, I desperately hold onto these moments, and those times when I feel I’m living and breathing the job I was entrusted with. And I sincerely hope it has helped remind you too.
Now, if Murphy could just stop already…that’d be grrreat!
Here’s to motherhood! The best (and most trying) job in the world! X