Parenting Is Overwhelming When You’re The Designated Adult

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Tired as a Mother

The weekends are always the hardest when your military spouse is gone. Well, weekends and nights. It’s during these times when you’re most aware that you’re operating with half your team and with half your heart in another time zone.

The busyness of the week is a welcome distraction, but Friday night hits you like a sucker punch to the gut.

I grew up a military kid, so this kind of life is very familiar.

But now I’m no longer the daughter; I’m the wife, the mother, the one constant in this house. I watched my mom do it for years but never fully appreciated how hard it was until I laced up her shoes. She is the most extraordinary example of a Doer of All Things.

And now I must become the Doer of All Things for my girls, but it’s h-a-r-d. My oldest daughter, 6 going on 16, actually said my face looked anxious the other day. As some people have RBF (Resting Bee-otch Face) I must have RAF (Resting Anxious Face). Honestly, it’s just a side effect of survival mode.

Parenting tiny humans is tough any way you slice it, but it’s downright overwhelming when I’m the designated adult.

There is no punch card. No clocking in and clocking out. Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury, and eating sitting down, without being interrupted, is rare. I am my kids’ constant. I am the Doer of All Things.

I am the adult in charge – me, the girl who uses the Google search box as spellcheck. How many Ms and Ss are in commissary again? And is it open on Monday?

Our military life isn’t easy with the ever-changing schedules. I’ve always called it a disorganized organized. Daddy’s home, daddy’s gone. Husband’s home, husband’s gone. It’s tough on all of us and I can feel myself emotionally switching gears to slow down or speed up. The hardest thing of all is feeling like you don’t have enough for your kids.

There are days when I don’t have enough. Enough energy. Enough patience. Enough ideas for dinner. Enough help. Enough sanity. Enough groceries. Enough sleep. Enough detergent.

Yesterday, I found my youngest daughter, 19 months, completely naked wearing the war paint of poop.

Poop, poop, everywhere poop. This, of course, was after her bath. My brain scrambled to prioritize what to clean first. Daughter won. Then it was cribs turn. After shaking out the poop pieces from the sheet in the yard, don’t be jealous of my glamorous life, I threw everything in the washing machine and set it for nuclear sanitation.

And then I cried.

It wasn’t dramatic. I didn’t have snot streaming from my nose and mascara running down my face ( I wasn’t even wearing mascara, gasp, I know), but my eyes were full. I was so close to bedtime. I was so close to finishing the last day of the weekend. I almost made it.

Maybe I didn’t lose it because my oldest daughter was watching me. It’s much easier to keep myself together when little eyes hold me accountable. Either way, I cried a little, talked to my mom and together we laughed.

My mom is still my Doer of All Things, and apparently, my youngest is a mini-me because I, too, liked to strip naked as a jaybird with a poopy diaper.

Also, that’s why I was potty-trained early.

My mom’s go-to homeopathic medicine for any ailment when I was a kid was taking a hot bath. Maybe this is why I like to wash the day off every night. Maybe those hot baths are the constant in a crazy day. And honestly, it totally works. Stress, anxiety, POOP – all gone after a nice relaxing soak.

I don’t have any deep words of wisdom for you today except that life is hard and sometimes it’s a shit show, literally.

I don’t know why some days are harder than others, but I do know that a hot bath, and a talk with your mom, can just about fix anything.

This post previously appeared on Katie Uncomplicated.

Tired as a MotherThe weekends are always the hardest when your military spouse is gone. Well, weekends and nights. …

Posted by Katie Uncomplicated on Monday, February 24, 2020

 

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