I love and adore my children to an almost disgusting degree. I am obsessed with them and think they’re the best four people ever made. I even like them. I don’t have to wipe poop anymore, so I am particularly fond of them at this moment.
But there are some things I need to talk to you about. Some things that I must speak out to the World Wide Web before my husband comes home and finds me rocking back and forth in the fetal position saying to no one and everyone, “Does anyone hear me? Is anyone listening? Can anyone hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?” Over and over and over.
Life has been a teensy bit stressful lately. If you couldn’t tell by my dramatics (see above). And there are two things I do to cope with stress: I write and I clean.
Because these bedrooms were spotless 12 hours ago…
…I just can’t with the cleaning right now.
So I must write. You’re welcome.
My breaking point came yesterday. I was peeing in front of the audience that is my offspring and said for the 4,579,846th time, “Please let me pee in peace. We can talk about Minecraft in literally 45 seconds.”
Peace. I go to the most bacteria infested, stinkiest, grossest part of my home to find peace. Peeing is the most peaceful part of my day. Well, theoretically. Realistically, it’s mostly me explaining (again) how girls don’t actually pee out of their butts to my curious son who lacks boundaries and a basic understanding of human anatomy.
It got me thinking about this glam life I am living. And what a weird paradox life is that there is nothing I would rather do than raise
these savages my children, but there are so many parts of parenting that make my eyes roll so far back in my head that I am surprised they aren’t stuck that way. Yes, I have become my mother.
There are many, many things that I understand about kids:
They’re sticky. Soap and water are stressful.
Their standards of cleaning are low but are on par for their age.
Listening is a learned art that takes time (which some people never learn).
Obeying commands is really hard. Even at my age.
So I get it.
But I don’t get how they can go hours without speaking to me, but the moment I sit down on the toilet or pick up my phone THEY HAVE QUESTIONS! SO MANY QUESTIONS! AND IDEAS! AND PLANS! AND LET’S PLAN MY BIRTHDAY RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT’S ONLY EIGHT MONTHS AWAY!
The same goes for bedtime. I actually am one of those annoying moms who loves tucking my kids in at night. I enjoy a bit of brief chatter, but I would also be perfectly fine if the deep philosophical discussions happened around 4 pm instead of the exact time when JoJo might be falling in love for the 17th time. Don’t children understand priorities??
Dear children, I love that you have so many questions. So many wonderings about life. How exactly does gravity work? Does someone die the moment someone is born? Why is the sky usually blue but sometimes it’s not? I know I homeschool you and answering these questions is sort of my job, but JoJo likes to date men who wear excruciatingly tight pants and until I make sense of that, please save your questions for the morning.
But I stay and listen because I’ve learned that my kids don’t want answers nearly as much as they want to be heard.
On my good days, I soak in their awesomeness.
On my not so good days, I think to myself, “Why. So. Many. Questions.”
But only say aloud, “Ask Dad.”
The tell tale sign that I’ve given up on parenting for the day is when my answer to everything is, “Ask Dad.” I simply have reached a point where my mind can no longer process endless requests and questions.
My children have a very good, involved dad. He knows a lot of things. He is compassionate and kind. And will approve a PG-13 movie 85% more often than I will.
So it is a bit confusing to me how he can be sitting on the couch with our children…I can be eight states away without cell phone service…and my kids will still find a way to ask me questions first.
This ability is so innate that they even do it in the middle of the night when they’re not fully awake. My husband sleeps closest to the door (which, side note, I figured out after like eight years of marriage that he does that as a protective thing…how cute is that?!). The distance to walk around our giant king size bed to me takes some added effort, and yet 100% of the time, every kid is willing to go the distance.
And the weird part about it is that the amount of compassion I have from 1 am – 6 am is zero. My child could literally have a missing appendage and I’d be like, “It’ll still be missing in the morning. Go back to bed and stop bleeding on my sheets!”
I do not parent well in the middle of the night, but my kids are pretty dedicated to regularly testing to see if this has changed.
In fact, I think they have formed a union dedicated to testing me. And according union by-laws, they’re required to see how far they can push me before I explode. They do this by:
– asking to play electronics every minute of every day
– having selective hearing
– deciding that hitting is the answer to all of life’s problems
– and if hitting doesn’t solve it, then surely name calling and screaming will do the trick
And when exactly no one in my family can get along and everyone ignores my instructions/corrections/etc, I explode.
Losing my crap on my children is the worst feeling in the world that generates the best possible outcome. Imagine the peace I would find in life (toilet peace, notwithstanding) if my children chose to listen and obey the first time I asked something. But, no, that is impossible for the ten and under crowd.
They must wait to listen until I lose my ever loving mind, when I make the most empty threats known to mankind, practically lose my voice because I am not typically a yeller, and if I am feeling particularly mad, bawl my eyes out.
There is nothing that straightens my children up faster than tears and rants and threats and Mom completely freaking out.
Hello, my name is Sarah. Welcome to my crazy.
The thing is, I don’t feel great after my freak out is over. I actually feel pretty crappy. I don’t understand how I am a grown woman who can hold my stuff together like 90% of the time, but should my hormones shift in any way, I unleash the fury on the sweetest, cutest, most innocent people in my life.
But then I emerge from my bedroom (because what good is a freak out if it doesn’t end in collapsing on your closet floor, wondering why life is so hard?!?), my house is clean and my kids are getting along and everyone wants to hug me. And I apologize and get over my guilt and mostly think that losing my crap was kinda worth it to have peace and a clean house for the next 23 minutes.
So basically what I am trying to tell you is that SUMMER IS KICKING MY BUTT.
The dog days of summer are upon us, and as much as I love the lazy days spent by the pool, the
savages children are wearing me out.
It’s not like the start of school magically makes life easy and stress-free. But in between school, football practice, dance lessons, work, and a steady routine, the crazy somehow feels less crazy.
And I am kinda looking forward to less crazy. The school year is its own kind of crazy, of course. But the fuller days and cooler weather means more time outside (at least where I live), less fighting, more things to do, less boredom.
And if I’m really lucky, this might just be the year I get to pee alone. Don’t be jealous.
Tell me: are you still loving summer?? Or are you ready for school??