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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hogan

The Beautiful Chaos: Life as an Overwhelmed Mom

Last night, I was brought to happy tears after putting all of my babies to bed. I was an overwhelmed mom, but in a good way for once! I was swept up with gratitude at these incredible beings whom I’d wished for so long as I watched them dream and smile in their slumber.

This morning, after a fairly unencumbered night of sleep complete with only a handful of wake-ups, I smiled at the mess of the house I had just spent yesterday cleaning and calmly resigned to making today great and beautiful. I reminded myself of how lucky I am to be a mom and live the purpose I always knew I was meant for. A meditation last night before bed reminded me of gratitude and purpose and mindfully living in the moment, so naturally I woke up ready to raise these little beings to the best of my ability.

My husband, who is annoyingly chipper in the morning, lets me sleep in until 7 am. I am happily sipping my coffee and planning some kind of adorable outing with the kids that I would post on Instagram and researching the best, most magical places in town to take them. At this very moment, my three-year-old dumped out an entire toy bin onto the already toy-littered floor, and I sighed. It’s okay. It’s what kids do, I tell myself. Have acceptance around the mess, BE in the mess. Your dharma is the mess, the mess is a sacred part of this particular window of your life. And breathe.

My husband leaves for work, then calls me to give me an order to put in for our store, because you know. I have a lot of free time. I’m a mom, at home with my kids. What else could I possibly have going on? I am writing down orders with all of my free time when I hear that blood-curdling scream that sends every one of us mothers immediately into overdrive, only to rush into the living room, trip on a Lego, and find my soon to be two year old with a bite mark the size of North America on her arm and my three-year-old hiding under the coffee table. It is now 9 am, and it has (somewhat surprisingly) taken me a whole two hours to get to the point of What In The Actual Fuck Is Happening.

Then my mind shoots to solutions. I need to organize, throw out all these toys, do a toy-less Christmas, be more mindful, meditate all day, become a yogi, move to fucking India, run away, and clean MORE but how is that possible. Structure, that’s what we need more of. More- less- google- read- be a better mom. Find another book about raising toddler monsters who are 15 months apart. Two toddlers and a six-year-old. That’s what they’ll put on my tombstone.

As I write this, I stand at my kitchen counter because if I even attempt to sit down, one of them will inevitably start slamming their sticky, shockingly powerful little hands down on my keyboard. I pick up my feet and my slippers actually stick to the floor I mopped Every. Single. Day last week. It’s impossible, I think. How is any of this humanly possible?

“One thing is for certain,” I think to myself at approximately 9:45 am, “no one is going anywhere fun or Instagram-worthy today. And no amount of meditation is going to give me acceptance around THIS level of mess.”

By noon, I had barely made it out of my house to get to my youngest daughter’s doctor’s appointment. I would say it is because my six-year-old didn’t have school today and so getting three little monsters to put their shoes on in a timely manner is interesting, to put it lightly. Especially because my house resembles a literal tornado after the morning we’ve had. However, it is in fact my fault that we were ten minutes late, as I was very busy watching the Bling Ring on Netflix while shoving leftover Chinese food into my mouth in an effort to escape my reality and prolong the inevitable shit show of getting out the door for as long as humanly possible.

My kids were surprisingly well-behaved at the doctor, so fueled by pride and a venti Pumpkin Spice Chai, I led this very excited brood out to an especially adorable play place aptly named Candeeland Kids. Let me tell you, it was everything Instagram-worthy and exhausting. My kids were precious, swinging and jumping in ball pits and most importantly, making me feel like I had actually done something right with my life. There was Candy, I spent too much money, and we had a wonderfully silent, sleepy ride home. This was immediately followed by an evening much like the morning that precluded us, because the second we entered our house, all social niceties flew out the window and were replaced by some kind of animalistic urge to pull each other’s hair and strip off diapers and run streaking through the quad- or living room, as the case may be.

Happy kids at play place
Happy kids!

It is now 8:15 pm, I tucked all the babies in and did an actual dance of victory when slipping out of each of their bedrooms. For the last 15 minutes, I have been basking in the beauty of what it feels like to have their tiny arms wrap around my neck. To feel their sweet kisses, to watch them drift off to sleep, to hear them say “I love you, mama.” To brush my hand against each of their tiny cheeks and wish these moments could last forever because I miss them even as they are happening. I will never get enough of those shooting stars, streaking through the insanity of my life. I wish on every single one of them, and I try to put them in the tiny, perfect box in my mind for days and years to come. Nothing will ever come close to that beauty. It is divine, heavenly, and a gift I asked for throughout my entire life until the birth of each miracle.

Motherhood generally looks nothing like I planned. I look nothing like the perfect version of myself I held in my mind when picturing these days as a mother of little ones. It is messy and sticky and loud. I raise my voice much more than I had hoped I would. I feel more guilt and wish I could be better at this. I am not put together physically or emotionally. Shadows of my old self dance alongside me as I wonder if I will ever go back to the person I used to be.

But I am coming to realize that not only is all of this okay, it’s also beautiful. The beautiful life we pictured is supposed to be littered with empty packets of applesauce and toys scattered everywhere, perfectly placed by some universal force for us to trip over every single time. It’s not perfect. But it’s absolutely gorgeous in its imperfect chaos.

May we bask in this beautiful mess. May we remember the sweetness in the tiny moments, and may we sit in wonder every night as the house grows silent. Most importantly, may we love ourselves enough to say, you are doing the most wonderful job.

May we find peace and gratitude in this crazy life we have been given.

Until tomorrow, when we wake up to tiny toenails digging into our backs from little terrors who’ve made their way into our beds and demanded our attention before the sun has begun to rise.

Godspeed, my friends. We will carry on.

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