Bear with me as I write all my emotions in this one blog. To most of you hot mess loving feeling all the feels moms this will make total sense to you.
I understand not everyone is a teacher and I am ever so grateful that I have summers off, but it is so so difficult going from 0-100. Not only was I in an extra special circumstance where my kids went to daycare all summer and I laid at my pool away from society reading 8 books and baking and running- doing all the things I love. I was drowning in self care. All transitions are hard, but God this one is tough. Not only does it suck going back to work because I didn’t for 2 months, but my kids are growing up, I’m growing up and it’s just a reminder that time doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down (although I beg to differ during the school year which is crazy because it’s such a busy time- you’d think it would go faster). Summer is the calm before the storm. Before the rushing and packing lunches and waking up at 5 am just to fit my runs in because without runs I go crazy and now that my 4 year old is in my school, mama has zero alone time. When I say zero, I literally mean I wake up at 5am everyday, put on Friends and run my heart out just to rush upstairs and pray my kids are still sleeping so I can shower and get to daycare work and preschool on time. Then I drive home with my 4 year old after a most likely hectic day of paperwork, fires and a side of defiance. Kids, all kids, not special Ed kids not specific kids, just all kids including my lovely own toddler apparently hate all directions. It’s so much more fun defying adults. Whatever happened to good ol respect and consequences? Don’t even get me started on society. I’m actually scared of schools now. I love love love our school, I’m just so afraid of the future with social media, technology, behavior, expectations, etc.
I totally know all moms go through this. Stay at home moms, working moms- the struggle bus is so real. The balance between your life and theirs doesn’t even exist, rather it co-exists. I totally get not having friends anymore. I kind of hid this summer because I needed to be with myself alone in the worst way possible.
On school days, my daughter comes to my classroom, stays with me until I leave, then we pick up my 2 year old at daycare. Her last day of daycare was Friday and I cried so hard. She was there since she was 9 weeks old. God this mom shit is so hard- phases, transitions, weening, anxieties, worrying, balance, growing up, school, change, sleep/no sleep, time, etc. How the hell is it possible to stay fit, keep manage and make friends, clean your house, keep your sanity, make and pack food/lunches, talk to your husband (we can’t during the school year ever because our freaking kids don’t get tired til 10pm no matter what we do God help us), do the things you love (if your kids don’t effing go to bed ever)….?! #failuremom
No, I’m not a failure and I know that, but I have learned to let go of expectations. My kids are not calm and I understand that. It’s not fun to go on vacations with our kids so we have to limit going out and going away. This brings me to my next feelings are hard feelings.
Tantrums suck, especially when you’re a special education teacher. It is so hard to separate the two. Even if you’re not a teacher, us moms worry. We worry that there could be something wrong. You start to compare your kids to other kids. You start to feel burnt out. I never ever thought I’d be the one to burn out because those that know me know I have crazy energy- sometimes too much. I love my job because it serves as part of that outlet for my energy, but having 2 toddlers, one who is prone to tantrums, especially lately, makes me question my own abilities as a mother and a teacher. I won’t get into details about the nature of my job, but it’s difficult on the heart at times. If there are two words that describe me for every aspect in my life they would be energy and love. I love with all my heart and I always have abundant energy even if I only sleep for 4-5 hours. My mind is powerful and when it’s set, I will do it. My students and my own kids have taught me patience, acceptance, forgiveness, how to channel my high energies/ anxieties, and to let go of any expectations. Lately I’ve have weird anxiety and I’m not even sure that’s what it is, but I, for some reason, have been in such a rush. I feel like I am so nervous to late for anything, like I have fire up my ass to hurry up and get to the next thing. I’m not sure why I’m feeling this but it’s hard to manage throughout the day, especially at this season of my life. I’m rushing to get the run done so I can relax, I’m rushing to shower before the kids wake up, I’m rushing to pack their lunches before one of them spills it or someone gets hurt, I’m rushing to get to work or Zumba or someplace I need to be on time (this one is the hardest), I’m rushing through target and Costco (because let’s face it, those are the only 2 stores I go to ever) before Hudson jumps out of the cart or the kids start flipping out, I’m rushing to clean and pack for the next freaking day just so I can read or talk to my husband- which 9/10 he falls asleep in Juliana’s room- then I feel defeated, exhausted, on edge, annoyed. And if a tantrum happens during all this rushing or living of life?! Forget it, I’m done. And lately, this past month we’ve had some pretty frequent and intense tantrums and I’m trying to go into this as a mom, not a teacher. Side note- when I run at 5am, which is new this year, I feel like I can conquer anything up until around 5pm. After that, I’m (more) hot mess that I was before but I’m done. That balance stuff I said before? Doesn’t exist because everything starts spilling over; like a full glass that just keeps getting water poured in and it keeps spilling out. That’s why a break from reality- like a book, Friends (I’ve watched every episode multiple times on repeat on Netflix during my dreadmill runs), dinner with a friend is so needed but during the school year doesn’t really exist. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids with all my heart, but with this increase in tantrums I’m at a loss. It’s not fun anymore.
You’d think with my profession (especially in the words of my husband) I’d know how to handle these gracefully. And truthfully? I’m horrible. She understands that there are consequences but they are as big as ours in her world so it comes off that she doesn’t care as much. It all usually stems around lack of sleep- being overtired. But she usually refuses nap and can’t settle her body at night before 8pm. That’s the first oops. The second is that it’s hard to intervene or be proactive because she goes from 0-100 within seconds that I often miss the external trigger. Is it attention? Is it because she’s bored? Is it because of Hudson? And mostly tantrums revolve around her not wanting to do what we ask- literally the definition of defiant. “We need to use the bathroom before we leave.” Nope. “Change your pants before we leave because sometimes she pees her pants (again, red flag because it’s happening more because she says she just doesn’t feel like going).” Nope. “Well if you can’t do those then we can’t leave. But I want to leave I want to go. Then try to use the bathroom. Then please change your clothes. I’ll help you.” Boom, commence the battle of toddler tantrums usually lasting an hour or two! Yes two. She sometimes even pees on the floor right in front of us and while I type this I feel so guilty but just need to feel like I’m not alone. She will slam doors and try to hit. I err on the side of peaceful parenting but also straddle that line of peaceful parenting and firmness. Ok mama, step one- Lower those expectations. She’s not your students. Step two- have some grace for yourself, you are human. Step three- this too shall pass. Step four- stop diagnosing.
On top of tantrums, Jules had her last day of daycare and is on to preschool which just means times going to go faster. So here I am stuck in the middle of praying time would slow down, even if it means I’m cleaning up pee and trying not to scream and cry at my strong-willed warrior princess and wanting her to hurry up and get out of this stage so people actually enjoy being around us. I swear when there are more people around her, anxieties flare from all parties.
Then there’s poor Hudson, product of second child syndrome, still not forming sentences, is very short, and misses his “Nani” because she’s no longer at daycare with him. Then when he wants to be with her at night, she’s usually melting down. It’s a party. Oh, and he’s still nursing my nipples are callouses. I’m not even sure there is nipple left. And I go from never wanting to stop to being soooo done. It’s only once a day at night now right before bed and he’s out like a light all night long. He doesn’t need to because sometimes my husband will put him to bed.
All these feelings are so hard- overwhelmed, exhausted, elated, excited, happy, worried, annoyed, overworked, burnt out, loss of passion, anxious, rushed, nervous- most of the time I feel all of these all at once.
Slow down mama- one day at a time. We are not alone. Mamas unite. This too shall pass even though we really don’t want it to pass because we will look back at this and pray we were here instead of there- especially when you’re raising a strong-willed daughter. Life is freaking hard and that’s okay. With God, a good tribe, family and other mamas (thank you Amy for talking me off a ledge this week), we got this!