We so often tell stories after we’ve got to the end of the tunnel. We share our struggles after we’ve come out of them. We tell others how we got through it or what to do.
I’ve done that before. But this is not that post.
This is a post written in the thick of getting through night after night of dealing with two babies who wont go to bed. It is written by a mum who cried last night, as she held her crying toddler and heard her baby wake, because after a busy day with two kids she was desperate for some down time. For some time with her husband. For some time to get a few things done. It’s written by a mum with a husband who also needed a break but who looked around and saw two crying children and a crying wife.
It’s a post about frustration. And spending the entire evening putting kids to bed. And night time wake ups. And whispers to each other, ‘can you go?’, ‘please babe, go’. It’s the story of musical beds. Of parents sleeping in separate rooms, each with a different child, because, though they would never choose that, at least they are sleeping.
It’s the story of that teary mother looking at her husband and saying, ‘when can I see you?’, even though she sees him all the time. But it is always with a child on one or both of them, always distracted, always messy. Never a moment of calm.
It is texting him from different rooms saying she misses him. And neither spouse being able to move because they are each under a sleeping child. And neither will risk waking them up. No way.
It’s a post about wondering if they did something wrong the first time around, and if they should do things differently the second. It is feeling too exhausted to consider anything different to what they know. It is disagreeing about what to do, and arguing and blaming. And not getting a chance to make up, or make sense, or discuss how to move forward. And in the morning there’s no time to set things right because there is work, and children, and the day starts. And at some point there’s a text, actually lots of texts, and everything is fine. And you realise that communicating by phone is ok.
It is a post about a mum who is watching her life to do list grow. And who plans to do these things in the evening, every evening. A mum who feels without the evenings as a break she simply cannot get on top of things. It’s a post about a mum who listens to her toddler cry at bedtime and whose heart breaks a little each time. Because this is not how she thought it would be.
It’s a post about a mum who stays up until the wee hours of the morning, because finally the house is quiet and this is her time. And, yes it makes her tired, but still it is worth it because every other moment is consumed by babies.
It’s a mother who, in the middle of this season, desperately wants to reconnect with her husband. So she gets her parents to babysit and they plan to go out after the kids are in bed. But that takes all evening. And it’s 10 o’clock. And finally they head out the door. And the only place open is the Pancake Parlour.
So they go out, and eat pancakes and drink wine. And they laugh together. And remember their friendship, their deep and close and real friendship. And come home long after midnight. And feel like such rebels. And climb into bed together. And say goodnight. And they look at each other and know that through it all their love grows. Through the frustrating evenings and lonely nights it grows. And they feel incredibly grateful that they are not doing this alone.
But they also feel tired. And they are falling asleep when they hear a cry from the other room. And they wait, and it gets louder. And they look at each other and say, ‘you go’.