It’s 11:30pm. Thursday.
Everyone is sleeping-the sick almost 4-year-old whose nose needed wiping every 2 minutes, and whose fever needed either Motrin or Tylenol every 4-6 hours; the 7-year-old who braved the psychiatrist’s office for the first time today to talk about his growing struggle with focus and attention; the 4 month old who isn’t happy unless he’s right next to mama’s heart or has her within his line of sight at all times; my husband who asked me to curl up on the couch and watch Scandal and catch up on New Girl with him.
They’re all snoring. I should be asleep but I’m sitting here at my work table in the living room typing this and watching the light from the candle next to me dance in the dark. I’m sitting here because they are all snoring soundly and I am finally unneeded. In two hours I’ll be up feeding they youngest and administering a dose of Motrin to the middle child, while trying not to wake the oldest and my husband as I tiptoe around our apartment. I’ll try to remember to grab something for myself from the kitchen before sinking back into my bed and letting my blankets envelop me for another 3-4 hours, until the next dose, the next feeding, until it’s 6am and the oldest is tiptoeing into our room whispering his requests for breakfast.
Stealing a moment. That’s what I’m doing here in the dark staring at a flickering flame and breathing in deep. I’m stealing a moment to take in and find myself at my center again while everyone is sleeping soundly and I’m unneeded. They are resting and I’m….stealing a moment to breathe. If there’s one thing being a parent of three has taught me these past 4 months it’s that rest when your children are this young is elusive. There is no time for rest. To catch your breath, yes, but to rest, no. There just isn’t. So you have to steal a moment to recharge from somewhere. For me it’s usually my bathroom and it only lasts long enough for me to actually sit down before someone (these days it’s the baby) is calling for me to come back. (Being a mother of three with a fussy baby in the late afternoons has also taught me it’s that using the bathroom while wearing your child strapped to you in an Ergo is 100% doable. And pants? Completely optional after that.)
But tonight…tonight I’m in my living room soaking in the only quiet and time to myself I’ve had in days…probably months. I can’t always make such a sacrifice with my sleep, but tonight it’s so needed because I realized to today I’ve reached my capacity. I’m at my limit.
Tomorrow I’ll start making some changes to address it. But tonight? Tonight I’m going to sit here for just a few more minutes and breathe deep, drinking in the soft glow from the candle.
It’s 12:09 am. Friday.