Exhaustion

I haven't been blogging much or coherntly lately. I have spent the past two weeks getting ready to travel, traveling and unpacking from the trip.I have no idea why one six day trip takes a total of two weeks to do and undo, but it does. Thankfully, this trip was our seventh to WI so we have it streamlined. We know what to bring and how much. The older two are old enough that, wish some guidence, they can pack their own backpacks and take care of basic needs, like eating, drinking and looking at books, on their own.

But I am exhausted.

Today I had a total meltdown. I.am.just.done. I felt like all I do is cook, clean, change diapers, nag at little people to clean and feed some. Oh, and vaccum up dog hair. Our dog is a 100 pound black lab who is 90 pounds of hair... and it's 90+degrees outside.He sheds. Alot.

I have no idea why I am so tired. Adam is loving and supportive and even cooks meals on the weekends. He does all the shopping. He takes care of Georgie when he is home and drags another kid or two with him on errands. I have loving spousal help- what the HELL is wrong with me?!

Then I think... I have been pregnant or nursing since Aug 2003. In seven years, I have grown FOUR entirely new human beings, supported them and their little support system for 35-40 weeks before expelling them from MY body. The second they were out, they were dependent on me for everything AND I used my body to feed them. For  9-21 months, depending on who the kid was, I was their sole or main source of nutrition, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Twice, I was both pregnant and nursing. Twice, I have had trouble breastfeeding taking alot of time and physical and mental energy to overcome those problems.

Every time, I have had to be pretty active post birth, either battling my own complecations (PIH after Joseph was born), caring for young children without help (Adam went back to work on overtime when Camille was born) or problems with the baby (Cole and Georgie). I WISH I could have spent time in bed at home; I'm happy I had help with the others after Cole was born!

Housework, meals and child care doesn't ever end and diaper don't wash themselves. (Although I wish they would; I have diapers that need to go in right now!) General life insanity goes on.

When I was pregnant with Camille, several people told me that the close age spacing is great for the children but hard on the parents. I agree. We had orginally planned to have our kids, just two but maybe three (I was open to four and Adam  thought I was nuts), about 2.5 years apart. Camille and Joseph are 21 months apart; then three  years and now Cole and Georgie are 16 months apart. I love it. I honestly do. I like having them close in age. I would have never planned it that way at first but now I think it is great. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

BUT...

I am on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I have had one four month break from nursing/pregnancy since 2003. I am the primary care taker of the house and kids, one of whom is completely dependent on me. Joseph and Camille can and do help out but they are children. They can't drive, clean a whole bathroom perfectly or be expected to do tons of chores. Sometimes (all the time?) I go into other's houses and seen neat, clean, dust free rooms and feel... like a slacker.

I've begun reading a blog called "Rasing Olives." We are so not Quiverfull or Proventailist (I think I could be, if my uterus- and husband- were different but I like them (well, the husband!) they way they are so I go with it) but she has some awesome tips on her blog. We are so using the magnetic paint and chalkboard paint in our new kitchen.

Anyway, her guest post, "Does it Get Easier?" really struck a cord with me today. The kid clutter, DOG HAIR and general dirt and grime were getting to me. I like a clean house- well, one without toothpaste on the mirror! I'd like the cobwebs to go away. And I just don't have the time to do it, even with helpers (or, especially with helpers!) I feel, and this is stupid, like the house is too dirty to go anywhere because when I get back from wherever, I will be tired and there will be twice the mess (dirt plus trip dirt) to deal with.

I need to shut up, get over myself, relax and enjoy the kids where they are. I love this time- I truley do. Even with a massive blow up (my friend confessed to me tonight she did the same last week), wishing my kids would CLEAN THEIR ROOMS ALREADY (again, my friend said the same), I honestly love having small children underfoot.

I need to get out of the house more, go to the mall or pool or something. Part of me really dreads doing that because of all the comments I get. When we were in WI, some elderly gentleman actually counted my kids as they were leaving the hotel and snickered! Seriously! Who DOES those things?! I think I need to re-perfect my Mommy Glare. Heh.

I need to remember that my body has been through alot and it's okay to sit down, relax, play with the kids a nd just chill.

Joseph is going to be in full time school in a few weeks. This is the longest he will have been away from me on a consistant basis. It's scary and liberating all at the same time. I will be an older mother, one with a school aged kid. Wow. Just wow.

I'm at the beginning of parenting Cole and in the thick of it with Joe. It's a tiring balancing act, one I am happy to do even if I am tired all.the.frickin.time. It's passing all too quickly- with kids fairly close in age, I know it won't be long before Cole will be in first grade. I need to sit back, hang on and enjoy the ride.