Let me start by saying that I love my kids… at least I’m pretty sure I do.
But, when I wake up in the morning to someone screaming because someone else hit them, I just wish that I could go back to the days of hitting the snooze button 3 times before rolling out of bed. Why can’t they just get along? Don’t they know that mommy will be a better mommy if she gets a little bit of sleep? After all, they certainly have already forgotten about the 3 times I was up in the night because someone was sick and then someone else had a bad dream. Im tired. I just want to sleep.
I also don’t remember the last time I took a shower alone. I may be in my own bathroom, and I may have closed the door when I started the shower, but it doesn’t take long for someone to barge in: “Mommy, can you put my lego man in the lego car for me?” “Mommy, I think I want to take a shower with you” (as clothes are starting to come off of one or another little boy). Or there might even be a partially naked child running back and forth across the house, with my bathroom being the endpoint, while screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs because, hey, isn’t running and screaming the most fun thing to do in the morning…? Especially when Mommy’s in the shower?
I can’t forget the little person watching me, or attempting to assist me, or just squeezing in between my legs while I’m: Brushing my teeth – putting in contacts – styling my hair – going to the washroom – getting dressed – (GOD forbid I need to put in a tampon!)… “GO PLAY! Seriously, why do I buy you guys toys? And, why is MY BATHROOM the place to be in this entire house, RIGHT NOW?”
If I manage to get through my morning routine without wanting to curl up into a ball under my covers, I just have to hope and pray that I make it out of the house before I lose my sh*t on someone. I wish someone would make a baby gate big enough to enclose my entire kitchen. Either that, or I need zap collars, or even an “easy button” that says “stay out of the kitchen” each and every time I push it. Better yet, maybe I can just have that playing non-stop on some kind of loop.
When I was working and needed to be at the hospital by 6:30, before anyone else in my house was stirring, I used to lament that I didn’t get to see anyone or get any hugs and kisses before I left for work. Now, I kind of miss those days. Maybe waking up at 5:00am is worth it if it means I can shower and get dressed and make a coffee without going crazy. Yes. I think I miss those early mornings…
And, that’s just the morning.
Apparently being 2-years-old means that everything requires crying or whining of some sort. The soundtrack to my evenings is, quite literally, “the adventures of a toddler temper-tantrum.” Add in cooking and cleaning up from dinner (see the Kitchen comments above) to that wonderful soundtrack and you’ve got yourself the perfect Mommy pressure cooker. Perhaps it’s a night where there is soccer, or T-ball, or Tae Kwon Do, or even just a simple walk to the park: “I asked you to put your shoes on 10 min ago, why are your pants off?” “You know how to put on your shoes…” “Why is your coat on upside down?” “NO, I will not do it for you, you know how to do it yourself.” “Why are you whining? If you can’t stop crying you will go to your room!” “Okay, never mind, we aren’t going anywhere” – begin 4-year-old meltdown… (And don’t forget about the toddler tantrum going on in the background all this while). It’s really no wonder that I’m up all night with what I’m pretty sure is the pain of a gastric ulcer.
Is it bedtime yet?
What, you’re not tired? Too bad, because I am tired and I need YOU to go to bed. Lest we forget to start the bedtime routine 45 min before the actual “bed time,” Mommy might not get any quite/alone/exercise/reading/homework/intimate(?) time at all. And who am I kidding: once bedtime actually happens, there is still the dishes that didn’t get done (because I was thwarting the 2-year-old tantrum) or there is a grumpy husband who needs tending to (because, really, has it actually been 5 days since the last time?) or there is just something else that needs to be done. Barf. I just want to sit down on that pile of dirty laundry over there, shut my eyes, and revel in the silence of my sleeping household. Don’t worry, the smell of the laundry won’t bother me, I’ve already adapted to it.
I have to ask myself: Is this what mothers, all over North America, are experiencing every day? Or am I just that dysfunctional? Am I a horrible parent for missing my work because it gives me an escape from my crazy family? Is it bad that I only feel a little bit guilty about sending my kids to daycare even on the days I don’t work? Will this ever get better? Is this what I am really going to miss in 10 years from now? Or am I just too stressed out?