I have had one hell of a 24 hours with my babies. No great tragedies or events that need to be detailed. Just more the kind of time where every little thing that can go wrong does. Every turn you take there’s a hurdle. Every time you stop to breathe, someone cries.
I hit survival mode at about 7am this morning.
Once I’m on survival, it’s really never going to be my best day. Not because I’m being careless but more because quite often, I only feel like I can offer my physical self to my children. The mental and emotional part turns inward. I go into pity party mode with lots of, ‘I swear they hate me sometimes.’ And ‘of course you had to wake up, can’t let mummy have two seconds to herself.’ I lose my empathy switch. I race through the day, just waiting to get that precious time for me. Just me. I am not present. I am not in tune. I am out of sync.
I can recognise this happening but quite often, I can’t turn it off. Not until I get the chance to reboot. Had the stars magically aligned and my babe’s sleeps had overlapped, I may have reset. They didn’t.
It was a long, relentless let’s just freaking do this kind of day.
My toddler was unusually quiet and my baby whinged, whined and moped all day. They wanted and needed their mum. Physical mum just wasn’t enough.
But then came bedtime for baby. Nope, fake out. But then came second attempt at bedtime for baby. Nope, fake out.
He is never hard to put to bed. Ever.
But then I put him down for one last play to wear him out and for the first time today I really watched him. There he was in all his grizzly glory on all fours desperately trying to crawl to me. The frustration was raw on his face. He knows exactly what he wants to do but his little body is still figuring out how to do it. Eventually he crumpled to the floor and burst into tears.
My empathy switch lit back up. My poor tired, frustrated, hard working, learning baby boy was shattered.
I carried him back to his room and we danced our slow dance in the dark until I could feel his calm. I then put him to my breast and remained present as he started to nurse.
His beautiful face. Those lashes. The little hand clutching my finger. The other hand stroking my back. The sound of his breathing. The sound of his suckling. The sound of the quiet little sighs as he slowly surrenders to sleep. I feel his weight deaden. He has found his peaceful rest.
After a day of mayhem. A day of tears. A day of frustration. A day of confusion. He returned to his safe haven and his safe haven returned to he.
I was lost at times today and so was my sweet babe. But this is home. This is where we need to be. In sweet synchrony. Him and me.
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