Four Arms

A mother's embrace can only stretch so far.

When you're a mum of two, it still works most of the time, right? One kid for each arm.

But what happens when a child (first or second or third or fourth) needs both sides of your embrace and it's occupied by someone else? How on earth are we supposed to stretch?

I ask because honestly, I had an earful of cries from both boys today and I felt a bit deflated. Ashton was overtired and emotional. Jia was overtired and teething.

Jia was continuously attached to my breast and Ashton was upset every time his mum wasn't exclusively available for cuddles. He was also upset because his muesli bar broke when he squeezed it too hard while it was still in its packaging (because you know, toddler).

If your day was even remotely like this too (or even if you're like three or four kids deep and not sure why I'm even complaining ha) just know that I get it. It sucks.

It's the part of motherhood no one wants to admit to. The one where we try and try and try but always fall short. Because try as we might, we don't have four arms!

It feels like playing a game of Tetris: Sure, you might make the pieces fit now, but sooner or later things speed up, the pressure is on and suddenly the blocks stop fitting together so easily.

Unfortunately I have no good solutions for this yet. Sure there are a few things I could tell myself: "it's just a phase", "do your best", "love them through it" and "you'll wake up in five years time missing these moments" (yeah, especially the muesli bar tantys) but all that doesn't really mean much when you're in the thick of it.

Instead I told myself this: You got this, just hang on. Its Friday, almost 4:00pm. My husband is almost home, there's wine in the fridge, there's "Yogi Bear" on Netflix if I need it and... it's almost the weekend. 

And now, a few hours later, with both kids in bed, I've eaten a ton of peppermint chocolate and I'm starting to feel a wee bit better about how the day went.

Because at the end of the day, they need their mum in any capacity I can offer. Through all the things (muesli bar tantrums included) I'm loving these kids, I'm showing up, I'm trying with everything I have and sometimes...I'm failing. But I'm also learning to be okay with that too.

Happy weekend, we made it!

Rachel Chen