In early May my husband returned to OTR (over the road) truck driving-meaning he drives all over the country instead of just locally. It was a decision we made together-the pay is much better and that’s what our family of 6 needs right now. Besides, driving is what he loves, it is in his blood-he is from a family of truck drivers and I know he wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.
So we decided he would go back OTR and I would brave parenting four little munchkins all on my own for weeks at a time. Let me tell you, it is not something for the faint of heart. The chaos can consume you in the blink of an eye. I had grown so accustomed to my husband coming home between four and five to give me some relief, but now there is no relief, no breaks, no time-outs. It has been an adjustment to say the least.
Now, I COMPLETELY support my husband and his career. We agreed to do this, and I know just because he isn’t dealing with cranky kids he is still under a lot of stress and what he is doing isn’t exactly the easiest job in the world. It’s rough on the road, but we will both make it.
What I’ve come to realize the past few weeks through my sleep deprived, irritable haze- I am the one making it harder. Hear me out. For example, I know the kids are going to wake up between 6 and 7 in the morning, and they will want their milk immediately. I get up every morning and make their cups of chocolate or strawberry milk as I listen to the distressed whining and crying as if this is the morning I will refuse them their milk. Today is the day!
The entire process is very stressful and rushed and by the time everyone is finally contented and I manage to sit down to nurse my youngest son, I am in a negative state of mind and it isn’t even 7:30 yet. Why do I put myself through that every morning? How hard would it be to make their cups up and sit them in the fridge the night before? I used to do that with their bottles-why am I giving in to the chaos now? It is lazy.
That being said, how hard would it be to make myself get up at 5:45, or even sooner, just so I could have even a few moments to myself before my little ones wake up. It’s being lazy. What’s fifteen minutes of extra sleep compared to fifteen minutes alone to mentally get myself together for the day?
This whole time I’ve been thinking, this is so hard, without my husband being here. It is just so hard. In reality, I’ve been the one making it harder on myself. Motherhood involves a lot of strategy, especially when there is more than one munchkin running about, and even still you can’t prepare for everything. I haven’t even been trying. I’ve been playing the woe is me game-no wonder everyone has been so cranky.
I know what I can do to make things run, even if only slightly, smoother. It’s time to get off of my butt and do it! The days of self sabotage and laziness are over. I’m just thankful I realized what I was doing before we all went completely nuts.
I know it isn’t the most comforting advice, and many are unwilling to accept it but in the future, in any of your endeavors, when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, try to take a step back, and ask yourself if maybe the problem isn’t in fact, you and how you’re approaching the situation.