I’m Not Busy… I’m Just Not Allowed To Do Anything

My list of things I’d like to accomplish grows by the hour. My ability to accomplish those goals ebbs and flows with the restrictive demands my near-6-month-old places on me. It’s been 177 days since I have been on my own for longer than one hour. It’s been 177 days since I’ve been able to shower without the hurried pang of guilt of leaving my high demand baby, even if in the loving arms of her dad.

177 days since I’ve slept longer than a 3 hour stretch.

Of my three babies, this one is by far the most difficult. I am glad that she no longer screams and cries for hours in the evening, fussing and crying off and on throughout the day. She is not happy to be left alone. She is not happy if she is not fully engaged with someone (me 99% of the time). She does not sleep unless I am touching her in some way. When I cook dinner, my background noise is either her crying at me, fussing in a baby carrier, or my son and older daughter chatting with her as she fusses.

This. Is. Hard.

I’m woefully exhausted and burnt out emotionally. From the time I am woken up in the morning until I fall asleep for the first nap of my fragmented night’s sleep, I am on. Fully on; engaged, expending more energy than my mind, body, and spirit can sustain.

Topping it off, we’ve had all four kids at home for nearly a solid month as school gets back into full swing; driving three kids to three different schools in the morning and picking them up from three locations after school. Making lunches, ensuring we have a fridge and pantry full of foods, clothes washed, dinners, and an attempted tidy home. I fell into the role of helping my sister out while she is in her final preceptorship for 10 weeks. I did not volunteer. So some days, I am driving 6 children to and from four schools and to swimming lessons, hockey, and football. I’m sad but also relieved to have taken off my own softball cleats for the last time this season. Softball being one of very few things I get to look forward to outside of my parental role was beginning to be more of a burden than a fun thing; preparing dinner earlier so I could pack it, finding a way to keep the bedtime schedules on course for the kids, finding a babysitter for baby. Too much of a hassle for 30-45 minutes of worried fun.

I feel like I should be afforded more down-time with my very last baby, even if she is forever unsatisfied with my presence. I love her to pieces and she is a super sweet baby when engaged with. I’m just burnt out.

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