Tonight, as I wrangled my wild, rowdy children into bed, it was pure chaos. My son was running around screaming (or growling, not sure which one) and my daughter was fake laughing as she pretend fell on the floor, trying desperately to get her brother to laugh. I glanced at the clock. 7:45. I watched as the clock inched closer and closer to their bedtime, closer and closer to my “me time”, and then turned back to my crazies as their bodies seemed to explode with energy even more. I think they knew it was the season premier of “Greys Anatomy” and they were secretly plotting against me. Praise God for DVR. It was in that moment that I threw my hands up in the air and decided right then and there that I was running a circus. Because, let’s be honest, that what raising children feels like sometimes. A circus. Step right up! Come one, come all to the Amazing Cirque Du Imboden.
Act 1: The Bearded Lady
Ok, well maybe I don’t have a beard growing, but let’s be honest, I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I barely have enough time to splash water on my face, let alone carefully glide a razor up my leg. Plus, little hands banging on the shower, begging to be let in, can get a little distracting. And then once they jump in the shower with you, after pleading for 2 minutes, the other leg doesn’t get shaved. Toddlers and razors don’t mix. Pants it is. Thank goodness it’s fall.
Act 2: The Lion Tamer
You would think I was chasing my son around with a chainsaw, but in all reality, it’s a diaper. You pooped kid! You stink! Let me change your diaper. He runs from me, and tries so hard to get away. Once I finally wrangle him to the floor, arms flailing, legs kicking, I have to keep him from either sticking his hand straight into the diaper, or rolling over and trying to crawl away. It is exactly like lion taming, only without the whip, because, well, that would be a little extreme. But, it really does feel as if I am toying with a powerful, instinctive carnivore sometimes.
Act 3: The Tight Rope Walker
Life is all about balance. It’s finding that balance that’s the hardest, especially in motherhood. There is so much to balance. Work schedules, nap routines, dinner, a clean house, homework, making sure your kids are getting enough attention, and finding time for yourself. I often feel as if I am teetering on the edge of everything. Trying so hard to remain calm and not lean too far to one side and fall to my death. Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the point. It is so tough finding that balance. Finding time for homework in the midst of keeping my toddler entertained. Doing laundry, mopping the floors, vacuuming, and doing dishes, all while making time for stories, tag, and jump rope. Loving on your husband when he gets home from work while trying to cook dinner and keeping the children from doing anything too dangerous and crazy. Balance. Motherhood is about balance. And maybe one day I will get good enough to walk the tight rope without a safety harness. But for now, that harness is fastened very tight.
Act 4: The Acrobat
My son has not yet learned how to put his toys away. They are everywhere. I used to clean in between naps, but that meant I was picking up constantly. Now, I save the explosion for the end of the day and now I’m not sure that’s any better. Well, as the day goes on, those toys become obstacles. I find myself jumping and dodging toys and piles of laundry. (Ok, so maybe he isn’t the only one making a mess). I leap like a gazelle over thetricycle he left in the middle of the floor, as I carry a load of laundry. I even hop on one foot sometimes when I step on a Lego. It isn’t the most graceful act, but it can be pretty entertaining. Just ask my kids.
Act 5: The Strongman
He is the glue that holds us together. The one that comes sweeping through the front door carrying the world on his back, his knees never buckling, as our children run and jump into his arms. He is our strong man. The man who takes on daunting tasks at work, the one who is under such a big stress load and comes home to the chaos of our circus and embraces it, letting go of his day and falling to the mercies of our two kids. I don’t know how he does it. How he continues on, some days with little sleep, never complaining, and arms that never seem to tire from holding us all up. Seeing the Strongman enter our tent is my favorite act.
Yes, we have a crazy, wild, entertaining life under our Big Top and some days my circus acts spiral out of control, but, it’s my circus and I am dang proud of it.