"We weren't meant to do this alone!" I said in tearful frustration as I cried to a friend on the phone. It was a hard day already and it had just begun.
Stop putting your hand over your brothers face!
Don't jump on the bed!
Please don't eat applesauce on the couch!
stop, Stop, STOP!
It felt like everything I reacted to, he did more. Or was constantly doing something I know he knows he shouldn't. My insides tighten, I feel like screaming. I finally get Ezra to sleep and Harper trips *right* next to the bedroom door, a full on meltdown follows. In a panic I pull Harper into the bathroom where I am trying to brush my teeth (which rarely happens until noon around here). I'm equally trying to comfort him and shush him. The tension builds within, I *just* got the baby to sleep. Finally, "Shut Up!" rolls loudly out of my mouth. The shame wasn't immediate but that was probably because this reset the meltdown with louder wails and flails. I hear the baby cry. Shit.
Some form of this cycle is how my day went. I didn't feel joy in the in between moments, just an overwhelming icantdothis and ineedabreak as I thought about how many hours there were left in the day.
We weren't meant to do this alone.
Still rattling around in my mind, touching something tender inside me. My friend also shared her hard moments and feelings of failure. I felt almost like this righteous anger rise up, like what the hell are we all doing? Who set up the model of one mom at home with all the tiny humans to care for? Why aren't we all doing this together?? I guess that would mean commune style, right? That's the only model I can picture. I don't know what it looks like, but my only guess is it starts with being honest and vulnerable, to continue reminding each other we are not alone. To encourage the strength in each other, to remember this too shall pass.
...and it did. I took a bath with Harper later and found so much joy in his laughter. (He was absolutely losing it over me making a toy tiger crash into a toy monkey.) After bath I held him tight and kissed his shoulder, whispering how much I love him and how sorry I am that I yelled. His smile (and the fact that he's two) tells me he's already forgotten. I silently forgive myself too. We then snuggle on the couch for bedtime stories with Papa and tomorrow we'll begin again.