If you’ve seen the movie The Impossible, then you vividly remember the very long tsunami scene where the mother is being thrown around under the water with absolutely no control over what she gets hit by, gasping for breath every time she comes to the surface but then just as quickly being pulled back under and tossed around some more. When everything “calms down”, she is pretty beat up, unable to fully comprehend what just happened to her but still forcing herself to move forward, unsure of whether another wave will quickly come and sweep her under again.
Now I don’t mean to compare my trials to what the victims of a tsunami go through by any means. But this is without a doubt the best way I can describe what is going on in my head most of the time. Complete uncontrollable chaos. Trust me, I get many MANY people telling me how lucky I am, or giving me advice on how to combat the demands of motherhood with young children, or telling me I just have to accept that this is “survival mode” time. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
But this is how I survive a day.
The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
For example, I keep my kids on a strict schedule that includes a nap. If we miss out on nap time that day may as well have not existed, for any of us.
But nap time alone doesn’t make for a successful day. I’ve found that without a doubt if I do not change out of my pj’s BEFORE I go into the kids room in the morning, I am already regretting it by breakfast time.
This co-op also includes but is not limited to having a meal plan, keeping an open mind about how long it will be before daddy comes home, not looking at the clock, saying “yes” sometimes, having a great mother-in-law, breathing, and praying. Lots of praying. Do I do all of these things? Rarely to never.
What I DO do numerous times daily is accomplish a lot of menial tasks in a mechanical sort of fashion. Take diaper changing for example: diapers and wipes to my right, 3 blankets on floor, 3 boys on blankets, bottoms off, wipe, diaper, bottoms off, wipe diaper, bottoms off, wipe, diaper. If I have time I’ll put the bottoms back on but usually the first 2 are up and running before I get the chance. I’ll chase them down later. And sometimes I get a chance to throw away the dirty diapers, but not always. Lunch time is much the same.
Of course, what I added to my regime the last few days was covering the cups song. I did this during nap time, bedtime, occasionally for a couple of minutes while the boys were strapped in eating lunch, in the morning while they hollered at me to come get them out of bed, basically any chance I got. And as promised, here it is…
It really did work. In fact, I had a moment where I was rocking baby in his room and as I stared into his gorgeous eyes, smiling even, I actually said to him out loud “maybe you’ll have a little sister one day”.
In the movie there were many peaceful moments between the parents and their children, or one of the parents and a new friend, where despite the hardships they were okay. Most importantly there were so many kind people along their journey whose service, in the end, reunited the family.
Whether or not the chaos ensuing daily for me is really happening or only in my head, there are moments of peace, and people, that I am very grateful for.