I remember crying sometimes when the children were playing happily around the house, but when all i wanted to do was sleep. How can you stop that with respect? You can't really, but you can take care of yourself somewhat. I have a vivid memory of one particular night, just so tired.... the children were running around, laughing happily and I was crying because they were so happy, and I couldn't enjoy it the way I wanted to. Dh was away. I was *so* tired. I wanted them to stop. I wanted to lie down and wake 10 hours later with nobody needing me.
I remember the tears on my face, the feeling that I just didn't know what to do. I couldn't stop them; I didn't want to stop them. I wished I felt as happy as they did at that moment. I remember getting the sofa quilt and putting it on the floor, I got some some food-- cheese sticks and crackers. I put in a video, Mary Poppins, my favorite movie as a child, and shut off the living room lights, the kitchen lights. With my nursling in my arms, I just slipped to the floor. I sat there, crying, nursing, hoping they would stop running and laughing. In a few minutes, they came into the living room, saw the picnic, and sat down. There was no teeth brushing, no stories, but we all fell asleep on the floor, just like that. Maybe I fell asleep first, I don't remember, but it happend, maybe one by one, maybe mostly together? But it happened. Nobody woke me, nobdy cried. When I woke up, we were all lying on the quilt, all of the children alseep, the movie having rewound and begun again. I wasn't crying.
In a little bit, I picked up the oldest child and and put him in his bed. Then I took the babies & went to bed, feeling so much better. Weirdly, I felt proud of me for not losing it. Maybe that's what we need to focus on, the not losing it, even in our imperfection.