“Please, stop! Just stop! I don’t want to be touched, wanted, needed, called upon or cried to for three minutes! Is that too much to ask?!” These were my first words to my children this morning.
Jeff had woken up with the boys and I hadn’t heard a peep from the living room all morning. I made my way out to the kitchen, saying good morning to my sweet little cherubs and started washing bottles from the night before (because, you know… the little one likes to drink his weight in formula overnight instead of sleep). Before I knew it, it was like a magnet was physically pulling both children to my feet. Within 2 minutes, they both were ON my legs, looking up with their huge blue eyes. Jack had crawled over and was hanging on one leg and upon seeing Jack grabbing at me, Ben immediately made his way over, tugging on my other leg. Both kids surrounded me, as they repeatedly whined “Mama, mama, mama, mama” I was being attacked.
Something came over me- it was this overwhelming feeling of … well, I guess being overwhelmed. I literally just wanted a moment that I wasn’t needed, and so, my little outburst occurred. Maybe I was being overly sensitive; maybe I’m a bad mom, I don’t know… but I need a freakin’ break sometimes! Even though I love my children to pieces, I feel like the day revolves around them, and only them, with no time for myself.
Gone are the mornings when I used to wake up whenever I wanted to on a weekend. I would stretch out, rolling around in my comfortable bed and doze for fifteen minutes before actually getting up. I would walk lazily into the living room and would put whatever I wanted on the television, make myself a cup of tea and sit and relax, planning my day with my husband. Our conversations were long and quiet and our biggest decision would be whether to go out to breakfast or hang out for a while first and then go out to lunch. In the summer, we may have even decided to take our boat to Block Island for the day, just on whim. Heck, we may have even chosen to stay the weekend on the boat! We just needed to make sure we had enough beer for the trip over.
Nowadays, my morning starts with the kids waking me up, typically much earlier than I would prefer. I always feel like I just went to sleep by the time they wake up. There has literally never been a morning that I have woken up feeling “refreshed” in the past two years. Overnight diapers are changed- if they didn’t wet though their pajamas, it’s a good morning. Otherwise, pajamas get thrown in the hamper, along with stripping the sheets, and an entire outfit change ensues. They demand to be fed almost immediately. Jack gets a bottle. Ben is at the age that he will specify what he wants, and Lord help you if you don’t get it right. Pancakes, mama!!! Okay, okay, I have some pancakes for you…. I hand him two pancakes. Said pancakes are thrown on the floor. Me pancakes!!!!! as he points to the cereal box on the counter. Ohhhh, you want cereal?? Yes, he says, shaking his head, giving me a look as to say “what are you, an idiot? I told you what I wanted five minutes ago before you started cooking those saucer shaped pieces of disgusting dough.” PANCAKES he specifies, as he points to the cereal box.
This is the same kid who ate seven, yes seven, actual mini pancakes the day before. Today, they are apparently made with arsenic and completely inedible.
Ben runs the show in our house and the rest of the morning is filled with whatever TV show he picks, game we play, or toy we play with. Jack has grown accustomed to his bossiness and follows suit. We plan our morning around who needs to nap, who hasn’t napped, who has a dirty diaper, and decisions are made based on how kid friendly a venue is to bring the children. On the rare occasion that we do go out to breakfast, I almost always order a mimosa. Mimosas are like a free pass- totally legit to drink at 9am, even if you’re a mom. In the past, I may have consumed two drinks at brunch, maybe even three!!! These days, I’m lucky if I even get to finish my drink before the check comes.
Breakfast outings typically consist of scrambling between feeding one of the kids, stopping them from running around everywhere and making sure one of them doesn’t steal a knife off of the table when we aren’t looking. When we had just one baby, we didn’t know how good we had it- we were playing a zone defense. One could eat while the other could watch the baby. When Jack showed up, the game changed; it’s now man on man and we are playing a full court press.
This morning, I didn’t have any champagne. As I looked at my two beautiful babies crying up at me, Jeff just shook his head and laughed. “They were perfectly fine until you came out here.” What was this, the mommy curse?? I couldn’t help but feel irritated. I know it’s awful to admit, but it’s hard being needed every second of the day. They never do this shit to him. I feel like I’m constantly being pulled in six places at once, with twice that many things running through my mind at the same time. I’ll be changing a diaper and realize that I need to schedule a cleaning at the dentist. On my way to make note of my reminder, I’m stopped in my tracks by my husband telling me that he needs to take my car in to get the oil changed. I realize that my car looks like a petting zoo has been residing in it and make mental note to clean it as soon as I can find the time (bahahaha find the time). The dentist appointment flies out of my head and I’m greeted by child #2, who now needs his diaper changed, and we truck back into the bedroom to start the routine all over. As I pass the bathroom on my way to the bedroom, I realize I’ve been awake for over an hour and still haven’t peed.
My last minute day trips to Block Island may be done, and my
triple mimosa brunches are a distant memory, but I still yearn for those days. And yet, at the same time, I can’t help but look fondly towards the future and bask in the present. It’s a Catch-22, because as much as I want a break, I know these two little boys are not going to cling onto me forever. There is going to come a day when they will want to go off and be independent; and it’s going to come sooner than I realize. As long as the days are now, the weeks and months are short. Very short. And I’ve already experienced that. Time is going by too quickly and there will soon be a day that I will want to be needed by them and it will be too late. The emotional world of motherhood is so confusing. I swear I spend all of my time wishing for some time alone, and once I get it, all I do is miss my kids. I haven’t figured out how to balance these emotions yet. I’m not sure if I ever will.
All I do know is that when the bill comes and I look down at my half eaten plate of cold breakfast and my half-drunken cocktail, I sigh as I sign my name on the credit card slip. I then promptly chug the rest of my mimosa, because this mama knows better than to waste perfectly good champagne. And as I said before; the weeks and months may be short, but those days are LONG. Oh so very, very long.
So to my fellow mamas: Cheers, Bishes. I hope you get some time to yourself today, without somebody hanging off your leg.