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Foxhole

We are deep in the trenches. I mean like, if the last 10 days had an equivalent, we’re about 15ft down in a foxhole in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge.

Simultaneously:

-Athena is getting molars
-Eleanor is getting teeth
-We more or less did not sleep from Monday through Saturday
-We’ve all been slammed with allergies
-Those allergies seem to have semi-morphed into a Spring cold for the girls

And as an extra cherry on top, Athena has had regressions in a number of areas, including potty training. We’re in a phase of whining and if we are told “no” or “just a moment” she stands and begs- repeating her request incessantly. Or she just kinda makes this half wailing/crying sound instead of using words. She acts like a 5 year old one minute and 2 year old the next and I’ve got mommy whiplash.

Today, I actually said the words, “You have pressed every button, and rubbed every nerve raw.” She has no clue what I’m talking about, but it felt good to at least say it. My patience has run thinner than a page in my Bible. We are barely surviving on Jesus, coffee, and oils.

In a brief moment of calm, while Eleanor napped, Athena and I went outside. As per usual, she wanted to swing on her spider swing. But this time she said, “swing with me mommy.” The swing is currently on a precariously creaky limb (it’s moving in a few days), but I thought, “we need this.” I managed to lay down on the swing, and she laid on top of me, while I kept a leg out to keep us going. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable for 15 different reasons, but I could feel her whole little body melt.

Swinging, for an SPD kid like Athena is one of her most faaaaaaaaaavorite things to do. Being able to do it WITH mom, not having to share attention with her sister was like the Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background.

I don’t write any of this for a pat on the back, encouraging comments, a “cry for help” or any of that. I share because there’s a 100% chance there is another mom out there going through a nearly identical circumstance wondering, “Dear Lord how am I going to survive this day?” And if she’s anything like me, after they all fall asleep, I go back in and hug and kiss them and pray that tomorrow is better.

I struggle. I am struggling. This is both an amazing and terrible season of tiny humans. Seeing them explore and experience so many “firsts” is my most favorite thing. Experiencing them pushing every boundary, button, limit, etc, is going to give me gray hair and an ulcer. It’s double edged- as I’m discovering most of parenting is. I feel like that meme of “mom starting the day” as Mary Poppins, and “mom ending the day” as Cruella De Ville.

I know the light is there. Even at the bottom of a deep well, the light at the top can be seen. There is grace. We must chose to acknowledge it, accept it, live it, and share it ourselves. It’s easy to acknowledge the grace. For me, I think it’s even fairly easy to share it. The hard part, for me as a mom, is truly accepting that grace, and allowing myself to start fresh.

So for my mom friends reading, who are in the foxhole beside me, let me reiterate: accept the grace. When you go to bed tonight breathe it in. If you’re kinda crunchy, grab the Rose and Frankincense. We won’t be stuck in this foxhole forever.

And what ever you do-
Don’t ask your children, “what does the fox say?“🦊

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