Need I really say more?
Didn’t think so. Being a mom is hard in not the challenging mental hardness that comes from making up words like I think I just did. But hard in the emotionally and physically draining part. Hard in the I think I’m going to die if I have to wipe one more nose, unload the dishwasher one more time, and stare at first grade homework for one more minute. Hard as in the I’m so sick of dealing with illnesses that are not even my own that I’d rather be sick myself. That kind of hard.
Rewarding? Of course. Absolutely.
But fry my brain and inject me with toxic chemicals hard.
Not every day. But a lot of days.
It’s just the name of the game at the moment. This has been the toughest winter in this household for sure. And I’m not talking about the weather. I’m talking about 3 in the morning vomiting in my freshly blown dry hair. That kind of tough. And that’s what happened around here a few weeks ago. A sudden squeal from Greta’s bedroom at 9:30pm had me running to her bedroom to find her on fire. As I scoop her up and bring her to my bed and go grab the Motrin she proceeded to vomit into my hair. My freshly blown dry hair that is supposed to last me 3 days until the next time I can beg someone to watch the kids for the 60 minutes it takes me to shower and straighten my hair while burning my hand from the frantic rate I flat iron my hair. It sucked. And so we proceeded to strip and shower together. All the while asking Greta to please tell mommy if she is going to throw up again. Because look, down there in the bottom of the shower, it’s a drain. And that’s where vomit goes. But it was too late.
And then 4 am drifting in and out of sleep while trying to keep a hand on your feverish 2 year old to make sure she doesn’t start to seize from having such a high fever. But then you hear faintly in your slumber phrases being yelled out like, “mas rapido!” And you realize it’s Dora talking to you because that’s what the feverish 2 year old wanted to make her feel better at 4 o’clock in the morning. A Spanish speaking cartoon about a little girl who has a monkey friend and likes to yell out things in spanish that your kid has to repeat. But if you don’t know who Dora is, then you are reading this right now freaking out that this is true. That it actually happens in homes with little people. That I am not making this up.
Since December I’ll run down the list of some illnesses we’ve had in this house. Flu, sinus infections, upper respiratory infection, ear infection, colds. And that’s only what I have had. Let’s talk about the kids now. Pink eye, secondary infections, flus, random fevers lasting 7 days at a time, sinus infections, many colds, allergic reactions to penicillin that had us running to the doctor fearing it was some flesh eating disease. And these are just off the top of my head. Recently I hadn’t left the house for going on 5 days. Not even to check the mail. You get a little loopy, let me tell you. And then there is a sudden and urgent need for diapers and you volunteer so fervently to make that trip for diapers that your husband gets the point that you need to get out of the house.
But then the next day comes, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet. And you tell your husband, I need to get out of this house. And he looks at you, so sweetly, so kindly. And what does he say? “You went to Target for an hour yesterday.” Oh, yes, silly silly Deborah. How could I have forgotten that selfish venture to Target, where I was assaulted by other people’s screaming sick children while wielding a shopping cart that had a bum wheel. Silly silly me.
And this my friends is the reason that moms have it hard. Because when you are sick, there is no laying in bed. There is sleeping. There is no time to even throw up. You still have to pack lunches, and create play doh restaurant plates of food, drive to school, do laundry, vacuum. And if you don’t do all these things, when you are feeling better, you are kicking yourself for not keeping your house in order because now it will take you the next 2 weeks to find a clean roll of toilet paper and figure out what the sticky green goo is in front of the refrigerator.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. You all know that. But being a mom is hard. And if you don’t think it’s that hard, then you only have one child. And that one child is probably not mobile yet. And that one child probably sleeps through the night. Because my friends, when that child grows a little older, and can get around on his own, watch out. Because when that little person catches the stomach bug he won’t know what to do with it, and he will awake at 2 o’clock in the morning and he will just randomly walk around the house and vomit on things like couches and picture albums. And then you will be sitting on the couch with a towel and a bowl and you will watch a tv program where your little one will yell out something like “swiper, no swiping!” and then my friend, you will say, being a mom is hard.