Lately, T4’s schedule has been off. Not we’re-eating-dinner-a-little-later off, but, pendulum-swinging, we’re-all-over-the-place, consistency-doesn’t-exist-in-our-world off. And, everyone and everything is suffering as a result of it.
For the life of us, T-Daddy and I just cannot get and stay on top of things. We might do good a day or two here and there, but we can’t sustain the momentum. We’re run down. The girls are moody and cranky. Nobody’s getting good sleep. None of us are eating as well as we should. The girls still get their umpteen meals a day, though, we may or may not be able to vouch for the healthiness of every meal. T-Daddy and I? Well, if we manage to get a full meal, then that’s considered a success.
TDs’ bedtime routine usually consists of one or both of us fighting with them to go to sleep before eventually falling asleep on them ourselves. Every night, they cry and beg to sleep with me. Sometimes we let them. Sometimes, we make them cry it out in their rooms. The former results in me passing out while they watch Netflix and run around my room entertaining themselves well past midnight. The latter results in lots of yelling, crying and constant attempts to escape their room till well past midnight. Neither results in me and T-Daddy cleaning up the house and doing the work that we still have to do. Or even getting in much promised and wanted quality time together. (Which is the “after the girls go to sleep” goal, after all.)
I’m usually too tired, frustrated, worn-out and mad to find the beauty in the way their eyes light up when we sing their favorite song. Or to encourage their curiosity as they ask a million questions during story time. Or appreciate TD1’s natural deduction skills as she explains the reason for God only knows what to me. My mind is elsewhere and not in the moment as they scurry to shower me with hugs, kisses and goodnights.
No. None of that matters because all I want is for them to go to sleep. NOW. So I can tackle my To-Do list and, if I’m lucky, get tackled by T-Daddy as he pulls me on the couch next to him to catch up on this season of Empire, Scandal and everything else that has been sitting in our Hulu queue since Cancun. (That was last September…season premiere time, by the way.) We’re currently 2 seasons behind on Walking Dead and Grimm. And we haven’t even begun Gotham or How to Get Away With Murder. Yes….go to sleep little girls NOW because even though our kitchen is a mess and we both are incredibly behind in work, we both desperately need some downtime to just breathe. We both desperately need NOT to wake up, rush to get out the house, drop you off at school, then rush to work, sit at work, rush to school to get you exactly 1 minute before it closes, rush to whatever evening appointment we have, rush to feed you something that resembles a dinner, and fight to put you to sleep without ever taking 1 minute to breathe or hear ourselves think. We can’t fight with you to go to sleep because we want to lose ourselves in someone else’s fictional fights and not be reminded that we are horrible parents because nothing ever gets checked off our To-Do lists despite us always working and doing something and our children don’t get the recommended 24 hours of sleep each day.
So I usually don’t have the mental capacity to be present at bedtime. Because, honestly, I’d rather be a million other places at bedtime. Not because I don’t love my daughters. I love them more than anyone could ever comprehend. I just don’t have enough time to be everywhere and there’s too much to do.
But, I promised T-Daddy that I would take over bedtimes so that he could focus more on work and getting his life together. Like he did for me just a few short months ago when I was pushing through school. So, I told myself that I would be present with the girls so he wouldn’t have to be. After dinner, I sent them to their rooms, where we climbed in TD1’s bed and cuddled. I read to them. We prayed and listened to lullabies till they drifted off to sleep. I watched them. Let my heart fill up with the love I should feel as they both tried to snuggle as close as possible to me, sometimes even pushing the other out the way. It took less than 20 minutes and I joined T-Daddy in our room where we both looked at each other and passed out. Before midnight.