This morning I woke to the pitter patter of little five year old feet. I tried to ignore her as she climbed into bed and settled in. I shushed her when her little voice started to make inquiries of me already (before I was more than half awake). She sat patiently (I had hoped fallen back asleep but no luck) until she heard the beep of my thermometer (NFP practicers know what I’m talking about), the signal that mommy is awake and ready for action.

“Can we watch something mommy, oh wait- Good morning sweet Jesus…my special intention is for Grandma and Paka- now can we watch something?” 

And, so our morning ritual begins. A short show while all the sleepy heads wander in before a quick shower (during which the baby attempts to join several times and lets his indignation be known when he is thwarted). Then, downstairs to start our day. 

“Mommy, can I have pancakes?”

“Daddy I want a drinkie!!!” (The two year old has decided to only speak in baby talk- I assure you I have never called it a drinkie so where he picked that up I don’t know.)

“The baby’s wet through his outfit!” 

“The Wild Thing is stinky!!!!!” 

And, on it goes. 

Sometimes, it feels like I will never get a moment of quiet. A moment in which no one needs me to help him pull on a shirt or find pants or fix her hair. A moment without a chorus of little voices demanding to be fed or complaining about being starving (which always brings on a lecture of what it really means to be starving and how fortunate we are- yes, I’ve turned into my mother!). Just one moment where there aren’t four little beings pulling me in a hundred directions. 

Real life- no make up- the reading lesson never got finished because the 5 year old was unhappy that the 2 year old was in the picture and the 8 month old just wanted to eat the book

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mother. I love my children. I adore my babies and enjoy the precious moments as I watch my older children take on more responsibility and turn into mini-adults. I triumphed at the moment my five year old read her first word. I marvel at the eight year old who when I got backed up on grading her math tests only made two minor errors over five chapters worth of material. I was giddy with excitement (after the initial panic wore off) when I discovered the missing baby with the two year old who had crawled off together and were playing together so gently and sweetly in the other room. There are so many rewarding and beautiful moments of motherhood. 

But, there are also the not so beautiful. There are mornings filled with whining and bickering and general disagreeableness. There are afternooons where I wonder if I will get two minutes of peace together without someone proliferating on the injustices of being a child in our household. There are dirty diapers and toys confronting me at every turn. 

Finding a moment of solitude in all the chaos is indeed a difficulty. It can be hard to recognize that my children are not the only ones who fight all day long. They’re not the only ones who whine and act like I never feed them (a look in my fully stocked cupboard will assure you that they are indeed fed often and healthily). 

Today, know that you are not alone. I am with you, hiding in the bathroom, hoping for a minute to hear myself think. Holding the baby just a little longer at nap time to avoid having to deal with the demands of his siblings for just a few more minutes. Stealing away soon after dinner, abandoning my mom duties to my sweet and willing husband to maybe get a few minutes alone in the bubble bath before the bedtime routine begins. 

As I’m wondering what I should do with these few precious minutes of uninterrupted me time, I hear the bathroom door creak and the face of an escaped two year old peeks over the side of our garden tub. A little voice pipes up “can I get in mommy?” And, I close my eyes and say yes because you know what? One day I’ll have solitude but today is not that day. Today, I have four children and I thank God for that. 

PS Just so you know, sometimes I say no and daddy comes and takes him back downstairs because sometimes I really need a break. And, that’s okay too. 

PPS Check out my amazing chandelier that same amazing man who gives me time to myself gave me: