Routines? Pssh, Who Needs Them?

The current time is 2:44am EST. The picture above was taken about an hour ago, after a long day with the toddler, followed by a busy evening at work, followed by laying in the bed with said toddler till she fell asleep and *stayed asleep*. So, since I’m still up, allow me to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, life was beautiful and Evie slept normally. No matter what we did during the day she woke at the same time each morning. I put her down for a nap at roughly the same time each day and she went right to sleep. Then after dinner we would do bath, story, song, and bed, and she loved it and went right to sleep.

However, about two months ago it became necessary for me to get a part-time job because unfortunately, beautiful routines where toddlers sleep don’t help pay the bills and my husband was damn near killing himself trying to work two jobs outside of the home. So I stepped up (unfortunately a lot more reluctantly than I care to admit) and got a job (that I actually like gasp, much to my surprise).

About a week and a half after I started my new job, Evie decided that sleep was way overrated. Now, every waking moment needs to be spent with me, and she will fight sleep with everything she has just to be with me for one more second.

Many of my days now are spent putting off my writing so I can sit with her and watch TV, because otherwise she will physically lift the room divider out of her way just to be closer to me. Other days I’ll give her her tablet to play games and watch videos so that I can write maybe 200 words and not feel like a failure as a writer before I have to go to work that night. And then I’ll come home and lay in bed with her till she falls back to sleep because she needs me to be there after being away all night.

And many many days I fight the urge to feel like I’m a shit mother because I give her the tablet to “babysit” her so I can write/eat/sleep/shower, or I forget to make her lunch and so she eats late, or I’ll let her skip a nap because I don’t feel like fighting her to go to sleep, or because I yell at her for spilling milk when I have a hard enough time keeping the house clean as it is, and then I start sobbing and keep cleaning until I finally stop crying.

Takes a deep breath then exhales slowly.

But that’s not every day. Some days I purposely leave my computer closed because I miss spending time with her, and we’ll watch our favorite movies. I’ll laugh when she bounces up and down with the Pixar lamp, or she excitedly yells “Dante” whenever Miguel does in Coco. Some days I’ll take her for a walk and watch her explore every rock, leaf, twig, or speck of dirt she comes across because she’s so curious and loves to learn.

And sometimes, I don’t mind laying with her in her bed till she falls asleep, even till two in the morning, because watching her be at peace with my presence fills me with so much joy and love that I can hardly stand it.

Being a wife and a mother are the two best things that have ever happened to me. No matter the daily struggles or frustrations, I love what I do and where I am.

I just need to remember that the only thing my husband and daughter ever expect out of me is what I am able to give, and they love me no more or less for it, and I need to stop expecting more than that from myself.

The same goes for YOU, mamas! Don’t beat yourself over what you are not able to get done today. Instead, celebrate what you DID get done. Even if it’s just keeping the tiny human alive.

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