Can I preface this by saying that this is not an attempt to fill my combox with lots of “Don’t worry. You’re such a good mom” type comments? This is a post where I just want to get real about the inside of my mom brain for a few minutes, and any advice you can throw my way to help me out is welcome and appreciated. Just be honest and nice, ok? I want to be a better mom.
Lately it feels like I spend the majority of my day in a constant emotional loop that looks something like this:
If you have kids, you know that the minute they wake up, they need you. Every little thing needs to be done for them for the most part. I wake all through the night just so I can wake for the day and a really stupid hour and start my day elbow deep in pee and poop. Then clothes need to be changed. Teeth brushed. Hair brushed. Baths given perhaps. Let’s not even talk about Sam’s naps. 45 minutes to get this kid down for all four of his daily naps. That’s almost four hours of rocking a fussy baby to sleep each day, you guys. And, obviously, these needs go on throughout the day. Never ending, right?
Why does it feel like such a dreaded chore? Shouldn’t I be able to realize that this is my job, and all jobs have a certain level of undesirable? Shouldn’t I be happy that Ellen is now two and can do a few (teeeeeennnny) things on her own? Shouldn’t I allow myself to do the bare minimum to reduce stress (trust me, I do)?
Shirking Quality Time in Futile Attempt for Me Time:
And, after needs are met, they want quality parental time. They love me, so they want to play with me all day long. And I love them too. But I hate playing. I just really dislike playing. I don’t want to read that book again. I don’t want to bounce toys up and down while making pretend conversations in play voices. I don’t want to spin. I don’t want to play tea. I just want to sit and read my book. Or I want to craft and adult craft that requires more than just crayons. Or I want to run out of the house on a quick errand without bundling up everyone and turning it into an all day affair.
So, what do I do instead? I hit the Internet because I can pop in for a few minutes here and there whenever I get the chance – and boy do I make sure I get the chance. All. Day. Long. Sometimes I think about giving it all up. Letting the blog fall flat. But, I can’t stand the thought of losing contact with some of the wonderful people I have met. And, I wonder how other moms make it work: the Simchas, the Jens, all of them.
And what about other moms? I wonder what the breakdown of their days look like. It’s as if I want to know how much time they spend doing all of their motherly things so I know just how much I should be doing as well.
Anger and Frustration at Constant Neediness:
And, when I can’t get that little bit of time that I want to myself, I get frustrated. Then the kids take a cue from me and get whiny and needier. Then the cycle spins out of control and people are crying and in time out, and I am left with…
Feeling Guilty About the Day:
I look back on the day I just spent with the most precious people in the world to me, and I feel like I failed to appreciate them and give them the day they deserve. I don’t think they deserve constant attention and entertainment. I don’t think they deserve a day without lessons learned. I don’t think they deserve a day without challenges. But, I do think they deserve a day with a parent who is present and invested in them. A parent who does things with intention rather than in hopes of survival. Most nights when they are finalllllllly sleeping, I have this thought: God forbid something were to happen to them tonight, would I regret anything? And, the answer is usually yes. I should have done more.
Mike asked if I want to go back to work after I told him I thought the kids might be better off being raised by someone else. Honestly, I don’t want to go back to work. I want to be good at the job I already have, and I want to be good at it in a way that doesn’t feel like a horrible punishment to me each day. I want to get through the day without copious amounts of TV and Internet usage just so I can zone out and not hear crying and constant whining. I want to know that my kids are going to turn out alright and I am not giving them a future complex that leads them to constantly search for the love, attention and affection that their mother could not provide.
I know that a night out by myself or an hour to veg when Mike gets home would do wonders. I’m aware. But, it seems like even after I have that, I slip back into the cycle the very next day. Do I need to grow up and realize that this isn’t my life anymore? Do I need to accept a new normal and get happy about it? Do I need to give more quality time to my kids?
Am I being dramatic? I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like it to me. But, I want to open it up to you now. I’ve been honest with how I feel. Now be honest with me. What are your thoughts? What are your words of wisdom? What can I do to make this better?