Monday, April 29, 2013

a long season

Parenting is all about seasons. Its always shifting, an ebb and flow, quicker than we'd like it to. Nothing is constant. Besides change. Change is constant. Some seasons are easier than others and you soak those in with vigor because you know they won't hang around for long. I knew when Channing really started to move, things would be harder. It's just a fact. Babies on the move make more messes and require nearly constant attention. I was slightly dreading it and here we are, living it, whether I like it or not. Add to the crawling, teething, mess-making baby a spirited three-year-old who often wakes up in the middle of the night and gets up at about 6:15 every day and a very active five-year-old. So this is an exhausting season for us. There's no nice way to say it. Jon and I are constantly exhausted. I am utterly and completely spent at the end of every. single. day. Some days I feel good about all that expended energy. Maybe we had a great adventure outside or went to the library or laughed a lot. But a lot of days I don't. A lot of days are grouchy, crabby, cranky, crying days and those are beyond exhausting. Those are the ones you need 12 hours of sleep to recover from but of course that never happens so you wake up the next day with about half the energy you need to face it and do the best you can. This sums up those days:

(I think this print is a lot cuter with coffee but, alas, I'm a tea drinker, so this is my truth.)

Channing is the worst teether in the history of teething babies. (At least, in the history of my teething babies.) His come in so slowly. Dawson seemed to get a few in at once. He's gotten sick with every single tooth, with a terrible cold. He's had a horrible runny nose and slight cough for about two weeks now. So he's just super cranky at home. And when Dawson woke him up from his nap yesterday afternoon, I was absolutely losing it inside. Like, I was ripping all my hair out and screaming and punching somebody in the face. Luckily for whomever I was standing next to, I held it together.
Jon and I needed to get away from our children spend time alone so we hired a babysitter and went on a date last night. I was super tired and was thinking I'd like to hire a babysitter so I can just go lock myself in my room with a pint of ice cream for the rest of the evening. But of course, it was so worth it. I should be thankful my husband even wanted to go on a date with me after the way I'd treated him for a few days. I think I'm generally fairly easy to live with and our fights, if you can even call them that, are very few and far between. But for a few days of the month (every month) I'm a pain. Start those days off completely lacking sleep and I'm just downright nasty. I need to start warning him to plan his work trips around those days!! :)  But he's quick to forgive. And we always have fun with each other when we're out alone. Always. He's my bestie. 

Are there many things sweeter than finding your boys together, 
reading a book? Me thinketh not.
 And I find this little lump looking at books on his own a couple times a day now! 
He loves this cheesy puppy book the most. 
(Confession: staged photo. I dragged him and his book over into the light for this one):

It dawned on me this morning, as I was mulling over these last few rough weeks we've had, that my mother-in-law has been out of town and hasn't been able to take the boys for the past three Fridays in a row. It is amazing how much that one seven-hour day a week to do whatever I want (whenever I want) completely rejuvenates and refreshes me. She is such a blessing to me (and my other sisters-in-law) for all of the time she pours into her grand-kids and the breaks she gives us. My mom used to do the same thing when they lived here (sheesh, I was spoiled!!) but they moved away two years ago. I'd love to have even another few hours kid-free but its very hard to find someone to exchange kiddos with. I mean, you sort of have to have the same number of kids for it to be fair, and let's face it: two kids aren't always equal. So someone might get the short end of the stick on the deal, and then what? 
Let's hear it. Do you have an arrangement with anybody to trade kids? Any good experiences, or bad? Please share. 
I honestly don't know how to get through these days without a lot of breaks. And a lot of caffeine and Jesus.


  1. I have not been transparent and blogged about how difficult miss Emerie has been (frankly because I don't have time and i'm sleep deprived ha!) so I definitely get this exhausted season you are going through. Yesterday was my breakdown and when Brent offered a hug I said no, because I just couldn't bear one more person touching me when everyone had been crying and hanging on me all day! We don't have family in town, but when grandparents come, they always give us a break from the kids! It's like the reinforcements have arrived!

  2. Oh, man! I totally know what you are going through. I am bone weary all. the. time. Toby is teething and he is an awful teether too. He only has three that have cut through and three working to come through. I don't have any "back up" as I like to call it. All my friends here are busy with their own little ones. My single friends are super busy and last minute dates make me feel guilty. Ha! I wish I had your self control to not scream or yell. I confess to yelling way too much. I need to pray about that and I certainly apologize to my kids more than a mama should have to. I feel like I'm failing them a lot.
    Thank goodness I'm not the only one so exhausted and in need of breaks. Thanks for sharing your feelings so honestly.

  3. i hear ya on the exhaustion girl! today i was super crabby to the boys:(

    we exchange babysitting nights with our dear neighbor who only have 2 boys so they are definitely getting the short end of the stick. but since all of our boys are bf's it's not really too hard for either of us!

  4. a thought-provoking post, haverlee -- i appreciate your candor. i have said that i rarely felt anger as much as when i became a parent, but i understand why it is there at times. i hope you can continue to find moments of respite, whether it is sipping tea or going on vacation. feed your exhaustion and introversion : ). we don't have family to help with child-care, so we've hired a college-aged sitter a few times a year.


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