A Mother’s Belief
Hi! I’m a wife to a talented carpenter, I work part-time as an RN, I’m a mother of three and am originally from Finland. I’ve been in the US since 2000 (at age 8 I informed my parents that when I grow up I’d move to America and marry a black man). Well, my husband is not black but he tans pretty well! We’ve made our home in the outskirts of Boston and are enjoying the adventures that come with 3 little ones.
I always knew that I would be a mother. It took me longer than I had planned or dreamed of. I thought I’d be married by 21, have kids by 25 and then raise them up when I still had lots of energy. Life doesn’t always go as I plan. I was 30 when I got married, 31 when our first child was born and 32 when the twins came. Talk about not having ‘lots of energy’.
Being a mom came very naturally to me (after all I had planned my whole childhood that when I grow up I’m going have 100 children!). Of course there was physical tiredness but that was expected. I didn’t go out much with three little ones but again that was expected. I didn’t sleep many hours in the first year but it didn’t bother me too much. We still had lots of sex and I still cooked good dinners so my husband was happy. Our lives formed to be very family-oriented and we liked it.
Nathan is now 4, Joshua & Beth just turned 3 yesterday. They are full of energy, from before the sun rises until when we tell them it’s time to go to bed and that reminder is most often greeted with piercing cries of ‘one more game! One more story! One more show!’ It seems that the calmness of the ‘baby time’ has disappeared (you know, how they’d stay where you set them down, how they didn’t protest when you dressed them up, or didn’t throw a fit when the meal was, once again, breast milk or how they didn’t talk back to you and question your every decision). I suspect that they have meetings in the middle of the night on how to outrun us. They seem to take turns in finding ways to get in trouble and test our unconditional love for them (like that time when they made ‘art’ to their playroom walls or the time they cooked dinner in a play kitchen with water from the toilet and flooded the entire basement in the process, twice!). They’re cute and they’re adorable but keeping up with them is so utterly exhausting, in so many levels. I don’t mind the physical tiredness that much but I would give a lot not to have to do (or say) same things over and over again throughout the week (who am I kidding, I repeat myself several times a day!). There’s the regular and mundane stuff that happens at every house; the kitchen with its many visits during the day. The dining room floor is clean only couple hours or so between meals and snacks and tea parties and picnics. There are the strong verbal protests against or lobbying for what we’re eating or not eating (and yes, they all like different things. I pat myself on the back almost daily for deciding to deal with dinnertime protests with simple ‘Sweetie, remember how you don’t always need to like the food we eat? Maybe tomorrow is your turn to like the food. Now go on and finish your plate’). The toys are scattered everywhere despite of my pre-baby plans to keep them in the basement, organized just like they are pictured in the Pottery Barn catalogues (yeah I know, was I naïve or what?). There is setting up for crafts and cleaning up after crafts, there’s bundling up to go outside and coming back in and did I mention the ‘I do it myself’s’? ‘No sweetie, you’re not old enough to slice your own bread quite yet’, ‘wahaaaaaaaaaa wahaaaa’. You’d think she lost a leg or something.
They’re bundles of joy and terror, bound together in such a way that it’s impossible to separate one attribute without getting little of the other in it. We love them, we’re so grateful for the opportunity to parent them but sometimes I wish we could package them up for a day and put them in storage. When I close my eyes I can see the pre-baby neatness of the house, the food that was always warm when we sat down to eat it, the bed that felt oh-so-good to sleep in on weekends, the spontaneous walks we took without having to spend half an hour getting everyone ready … but I don’t hear the little giggles of our daughter as she goes around playing ‘cute princess’, nor do I hear her twin brother reading books in Spanish (how DOES he do it? What happened to Finnish that I speak??) and I don’t hear our oldest ‘fixing’ my beautiful wood furniture and pretending to be ‘just like Daddy’. So I open my eyes and see the destruction and chaos and constant ‘noise’ that is now ever present in our home. Never mind how I sometimes wish it away, it is a sign of LIFE; that I have chosen to believe.
So dear HDYDI readers, what are your coping mechanisms and delusional thinking patterns that help you get through your days?