Motherhood requires effective cleaning supplies and a sense of humor. I changed my leggings three times yesterday because of vomit. Twice from baby V and once from our dog, Hermes. This was after cleaning up the remains of breakfast and lunch off of the floor, the table, the chairs. This was after cleaning hands, feet, and faces blackened by dirt from playing outside. Not to mention scrubbing crayons off the walls and picking up peeled-off paint off the floor. And none of this includes the potty accidents we experience every day that make The Poopocalypse seem almost uneventful. I don’t know how the girls do it, but they consistently knock over the plastic potty while running around and playing. Sometimes it’s empty; sometimes it most definitely is not.
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong woman and an even stronger support system. It also takes some super effective coping skills. Many moms joke about wine, but let me fill you in on a little secret. Nothing is more effective that humor, except for maybe a little prayer. My husband is a firm believer that he and his brother have only lived to the ripe age of 31 and 30, respectively, because their mother is a God fearing woman. They said there is no other explanation for why they survived the shenanigans they got themselves into, except for the daily heartfelt prayer of their mother.
But I digress. Humor. This is probably my most available coping skill. You literally need nothing but perspective. I love reading, but that requires a book. I love exercising, but that requires babysitting. I love cooking, but that requires time. So I am left with my ability to laugh at my situation.
A few years ago, I watched one of Stephen King’s many videos on youtube, and although I do not enjoy his genre of writing, I absolutely adore the man. He once said, “Humor and horror are two sides of the same coin. Humor happens to other people, and horror happens to you.” This really stuck with me, and I make an effort to laugh at the ridiculousness I experience on a daily basis.
When I was pregnant with the twins, I had such bad nausea and vomiting that I never went anywhere without my Zofran (anti-nausea medicine) and trash bag. When people would ask me how I was doing, I would usually shrug my shoulders and say, “I feel a little less like I’m dying today.” I had to laugh at my situation, or I would have cried for the entire pregnancy. I only had two weeks in a forty week period where I legitimately did not feel like the world was closing in around me. People say you forget, but that’s a long time to feel miserable. And as my husband likes to remind me, I’ve got the mental fortitude of powerlifter, but I’m a bit of a pansy when it comes to physical discomfort.
So what did I do during this time? I laughed. I definitely cried, but I mostly just made fun of my situation. For most people, being miserable is a choice. I had every opportunity to be unhappy during pregnancy, but I refused to let that become my reality. That is not to say I did not have hard days. I spent many hours laying at the bottom of my shower sobbing for one reason or another, but these moments were sporadic, not pervasive. I also utilized all of the resources available to me. I saw my therapist regularly and engaged in consistent self-care to help maintain a positive outlook.
Once the girls actually got here, I continued to practice this philosophy of humor over horror. Now with three under three, I live by it, dog vomit and all.