It’s the curse of all Working Moms. You feel guilty for working all the time and only seeing your kids for 3 hours a day. But when you get home, you really want time – wait for it – away from the kids, and then you feel guilty for that. If you’re me, you overcompensate and spend every spare moment of weeknights and weekends on the kids (some of which can also be blamed on the hubby’s coaching job). Then one day when your patience is beyond gone and you have melted into a deep pool of offspring-induced insanity, you completely lose it. You yell. You scream. You stomp. I yell. I scream. I stomp.
Here’s the thing: I like my work. I have something that’s mine, that challenges me and fulfills me. I miss the kids while I’m at work. I wish I could attend more field trips and have lunch with them at school from time to time. I do look forward to coming home to them each day.
But I would like to be able to come home and sit down for 60 seconds without a child asking me to get them something or help them with something or go somewhere with them. 60 seconds. Is that really too much to ask?
I guess for my kids it is, because before I’ve taken the six steps from the van to the garage/kitchen door, Ephraim is already begging for a snack and Madeleine is asking me to go upstairs to get her Elephie. And in the process of getting those items, I typically get asked to take off shoes/take off socks/put shoes up/help someone change clothes/take clothes upstairs/get someone a drink/get someone gum/help with homework/get the TV on the right channel/find a missing pencil/get someone a second piece of gum because the first one didn’t taste right/wipe someone’s bottom.
Seriously. 60 seconds. Give me a break. For 60 seconds. I’m gonna make a “Don’t Talk to Me Right Now” sign to hang around my neck for the first 60 seconds I’m at home every evening. Oh, and I may start downing a glass of wine in those 60 seconds, too. Just for kicks.
I love you! 😉 You have the courage to say what I never could . . . . and I feel the same way even though I’m not a working mom. It’s ALL DAY of “mom, mom, mom, eh, eh, eh” (Jeremiah grunts when he wants something) As soon as I sit down, or my phone rings (for the once-a-week call from one of my BEST friends), they go nuts talking to me. As if the “Mom’s unavailable” image drives them crazy.
Okay . . . I feel better now. 😉
Well, it’s the ugly truth. Kudos to you for doing this all day long every day – I know with Phillip’s work schedule you really are a single parent most days. I really think it is harder to be a SAHM than to be a working one. And now with 2 more on the way!! I am still in shock over that!! Are you?
No, not anymore. I have embraced the future of two infant carriers, the double stroller WHILE having Nathaniel and Jeremiah walking beside me, double the diapers, feedings, bottles, formula, crying, etc. 😉
Enjoy the moments now while they have time to talk to you. Soon you will want to talk to them and they won’t have time to sit. I do know how you feel tho. I take care of Rachel’s 2 boys ( a 2 year old and a 4 year old) and at my age it is all I can do, lots of thing around the house go undone. But I’m trying to enjoy them as much as I can. Some days I just want quiet and to be able to sit down and relax. Just enjoy them, but take care of yourself also. They need their Mom very much.
Thank you for your great reminder to appreciate them while they are young. I was thinking today that Madeleine is 6 and 1/3 of her time with us is gone. It breaks my heart to think of her growing up and leaving home!!
I”m glad you get to keep your grands, but I definitely understand how hard it is! 🙂
Glad you’re so honest about parenting! I’ve pretty much decided I never want kids, and while I wouldn’t push my beliefs on anybody, it’s nice to read stories like this so I can appreciate all my seconds of independence!
Have a relaxing weekend–you deserve it!
Thanks so much for reading! I really enjoy your blog. (I need to blog more about books – you are inspiring me.)
Parenting is a lot of good and bad – I don’t regret it of course and I love my kids. But I do daydream about my life back “in the day” (pre-kids) when I could come home from work, sit on the couch, and watch TV! 🙂 Or go to gym after work. Or sleep till 7:00 am. LOL!
Forgive me for laughing out loud. 🙂 I love this. I also feel your pain. I remember those days when they were so small and so needy and I hardly had time to breathe, much less have a complete thought. It does get better. And worse, in some ways…
Susanna Wesley, who had in the neighborhood of 17 or 18 kids (not all of them lived to adulthood) was said to have thrown her apron over her head when she needed a little quiet time. The children knew better than to disturb her.
I don’t know what it would look like for you. Perhaps if Madeleine and Ephraim had your first 30 minutes…get them a snack, hear about their day, get the tv on the right channel or art supplies out. Then, they have quiet time for 30 minutes. Whatever that means. Art (without your aid), tv, nap, legos, etc… And unless the house is on fire they may not disturb you. For the first few days, it might be even more stressful enforcing the no access to mommy policy. But it could pay sweet dividends in the end, for you and for them. It’s very good for each of them to have alone time to think and dream and just be quiet.
And you may not use that time to do laundry or cook dinner. Read. Write. Have a glass of wine. Dream. Call a friend. Take a nap. They will be fine. And they will like the mommy they get for the rest of the evening as a result.
One more thing, set a timer. Then they don’t have to ask you how much longer before quiet time is over. A sneaky ploy to get your attention. 😉
Good luck, friend. 🙂
Great ideas, Shelia! There is rarely a quiet moment around here, so I like the idea of them (and me) getting some quiet dream time. The timer thing is a good idea, too! And I do have a couple of aprons . . . . 🙂
I think almost everyone feels this way! Working dads too!
When I have reached my limit, I have been known to stand up (in the middle of dinner one time!), announce loudly, “Mama has left the building!”, and walk out of the room. I disappear to some random place (bedroom, back porch, bathroom) for some much needed down time. The kids think it’s hysterical, but they also know I’m serious. Even my husband knows not to disturb me for at least 15 minutes! 🙂