I didn't really feel like being a mom. I was tired and my stomach was angry at me from the food, and stress, and drinks that go along with hosting a party. I just needed some quiet, but instead my house was filled with boy-noise – a basketball being bounced and shot and missing a hundred times in my dining room, and brothers arguing over rules and turns.
I escaped to the kitchen, to the soothing act of washing and drying dishes. I angrily ended the basketball game on my way past. Minutes later little voices find me at the sink to ask for food and show me Legos and ask when baseball is and am I going to come and watch today.
I grab my purse and car keys to seek refuge at the grocery store. But really, I'm just trading one annoyance for another. It is just as noisy and I have a list and a budget building my anxiety, in place of the four and the seven year old. I come home to boys needing food and dressed, and the urge to escape builds.
There are days I love being a mom. And there are some days I don't. Then the guilt creeps in and makes me feel worse, because I'm supposed to love this, right?
I am an introvert, through and through. I love quiet. I need to be alone sometimes. I like things neat, organized, and clean. None of this fits well with mothering two little boys, who are loud, wild, and full of energy and lacking attention to details like the trail of destruction they leave behind them.
These two worlds – theirs and mine – don't always fit together well. Most of the time, I accept that I need to leave mine for theirs. But some days, I want to stay in my calm, pristine world and kick them out of it. So these days when I stubbornly cling to my quiet and order become a battle between me and them. I demand and they sulk. I yell and they cry. And by the end of the day we're all ready for the space that bedtime brings.
Some days I want a day off from being a mom. But parenthood doesn't come with a benefit package and paid time off. It is a learn on-the-job career, where I am constantly reminded that I don't know everything I need to. I am always playing catch-up on the learning curve. A Type-A perfectionist does not always handle that feeling well, or even appropriately.
Some days are not my finest motherhood days. Some days this job is too tough and I feel completely unqualified for it. These are the days I hope my kids sweep under the rug of their memories and hide beneath the days when I smile and laugh and play.
So for a day or two, I be the mom who says yes to playing Wii and no to doing chores. I give all of us a little space, disguised as giving in to fun treats. I find my footing and I commit to climbing that learning curve again. I realize their world of noise and chaos isn't all bad. I see their smiles and hear their jokes and I soften around the edges, and repair the bridge from my world to theirs. Before I know it I am finding space where they fit into my world, cuddled on a couch with books or asking how to spell "I love you" and sweetly holding up their magna doodle with those words, followed by "mom", written in preschool script.
And just like that, I feel like being a mom again.
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