I eat breakfast standing up, holding a baby, or in snatched bites while brushing messy toddler hair and running a comb through my own, my oatmeal bowl perched precariously on the bathroom counter. I eat lunch in between endless demands to "watch this!" and "play with me!" Every night, I slap dinner on the table, say a prayer, and then head upstairs to put a baby to bed while my food grows cold.
At night, when the girls are in bed, I fold a shirt or two, then run in to replace a pacifier for the 12th time, or I watch ten minutes of a show I started yesterday before having to reassure my whimpering daughter that the train going by isn't scary, after all. Even when I'm out of the house, the text messages about who is crying or whether going in to check someone's diaper will make the situation worse or better. And while I'm out, it's hurry hurry hurry so I can be home within 90 minutes or - if the stars are perfectly aligned - 2 hours so unless I draw a detailed map and plan of attack before I leave, I inevitably don't have time to finish all the errands I needed to. Or I'm halfway through sewing a hem when someone announces, "Hey, I'm stopping my work for the night because I need a break, so let's hang out."
Interruption. It's the hardest thing for me to cope with at this stage of parenting. I get so used to not being allowed to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time that I can't even read a book anymore - I can't allow myself to settle in and enjoy the characters or storyline because I'm always looking over my shoulder, waiting for someone to need me to jump up and attend to something on their to-do list while my own collects so much dust I can barely read what's on it anymore. It's why I have a million supplies for household improvement projects but nothing to show for it. It's why there are three unpublished drafts sitting in my Blogger posts, waiting for me to finish them. And it's why this one will have to go to print now, before I've even read through it for typos, because a baby's 45 minute nap just ended and whatever else I was going to say here will just have to wait, like everything else.