I am that mom who never really goes anywhere. Who spends a lot of time in her pajamas. Who always brushes her teeth, but it sometimes happens just seconds before the husband walks through the door. I am chasing a soon-to-be preschooler who runs through our house like a banshee. And a little girl who rolls all over the living room. But mostly to cords and outlets and shoes that didn’t quite make it into the basket. I know that God is always just a whisper away, but the ache from being the only grown-up for hours on end is taxing. Being the only caregiver to a little girl with such demanding needs wears me down. Makes me realize that I have a permanent ponytail crease. And a boy who wants to be big and little at the same time and clings to me, thinking I can meet his every need and read his thoughts. Well, he exhausts me. Most days. Some days are filled with so much at-home therapy and diaper-washing and Lego-building and poop-wiping and dishwasher-loading and laundry-folding and sign language-learning, that I don’t even have a moment to realize that I haven’t spoken a multi-syllabic word in hours. Yet I have been talking to my mini-me and her brother all day long. I am so absorbed with it all that I don’t even have time to consume the one gallon of water a day this 4 pound baby in my body requires. And sometimes I just sneak into our room and gaze at an engagement photo that reminds me of a time when I was desirable and wearing a ring that is now hidden away while my 8 month pregnant fingers are swollen to twice their normal size. When he, the man who married a woman who used to wear fragrance, finally walks through that front door, my mouth just starts running about everything I have wanted to say all day. And I feel the need to tell him all that I have done. As if my very existence as a stay-at-home mom needs to be justified. Every evening between 6 and 7 o’clock. And I tell him news about people he has never even met from my online circle. And I beg him to tell me something, just anything, that doesn’t involve a rhyme or a fable. Then, I realize I am competing with a three-year-old who also wants to tell about his entire day and ask 1.2 million questions. A verbal assault on my introverted husband takes place as this lonely extroverted wife races to get in words during the little man’s breaths. The soon-to-be preschooler, who has demanded my attention for hours on end, has planted his target on a devoted Daddy who just walked through the door with his game face on. Ready to meet all our needs, while picking up a beautiful child babbling and squealing, “Dada, dada, dada…”
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