It’s 7:22 on a Wednesday night and I am done.
I am exhausted.
Before I elaborate, let me preface this blog post with the following statement:
I love my children. I love the family and life Greg and I have built, and continue to build, together. My daughter can make my heart melt and my son might be the sweetest baby boy to walk this earth. This is not a cry for help; I am not on the verge of a family killing spree, you will not see my face on the 11PM news (Women are more likely to kill their children than men. Pretend to act surprised). Anything written in this blog post should not be held against me in a court of law.
Parenting is hard, and lately it feels like there is no end in sight. I keep seeing articles about how important it is to appreciate these precious years with our children, because soon enough they will be long gone. And I get it, Maddy is eight years old and already I feel like it was just yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital. But I also want to punch that saying in the fucking face. I cannot imagine that I will truly miss moments such as tonight, when a family walk to Davis Square turned into Greg and I being interrupted four billion times (even when Maddy was riding her bike ahead of us), Maddy storming off and calling us the meanest parents in the world after we asked her to lock up her bike, and then finally having a stop watch “accidentally” chucked at me because it was time to leave the playground.
Am I really going to miss that?
I found myself longingly observing all the child-less couples, or just single people, who were out and about. I fantasize about our past child-free life sometimes, before Maddy was born, when Greg and I would go to the movies on a weeknight, because we could. Then I feel guilty; shouldn’t I love and appreciate this life of mine at all times? Some people dream of this life and never get close, and here I am complaining while creeping people out staring at them eat dinner.
It’s not just an evening like tonight. It’s having someone ask me twenty questions before I get out of bed in the morning. It’s asking for something after I’ve already said no and then asking over and over and over and over again until I crack and say yes. Or the latest favorite: after I have already said no to going somewhere, she will not bother to ask again, but will instead say “I can’t wait until we go to [insert toy store here]”. It’s a manipulation that Greg and I loathe but give her credit for the strategic approach when she isn’t around to hear it.
Maybe it’s something in the water, maybe it’s the television she watches, maybe this is normal for eight years old, or maybe I have no fuckin’ clue. And just at the moment when I think I am the worlds shittiest mother who can’t control her kid, I see another kid the same age do the exact same thing and I sigh a large sigh of relief. But that sigh of relief only lasts for a few minutes, and we are back to the drawing board.
So, will I really miss these years? I know I will miss her asking for a note in her lunchbox every day because she misses me at school, and I know I will miss her asking for extra kisses at bedtime, or a game of memory after dinner. I know I will reflect on her childhood, and wish I was more patient and loving and kind with her. I know I will regret things like being on my phone too much, or not letting her help me in the kitchen. But, I still have time to work on those things. I still have time to grow and flourish and thrive as a mother.
I am not a heartless mother- I love my kid, and I want her to grow, and flourish, and thrive, too. But I also want her to shut the fuck up sometimes and just do what she’s told.
Remember, we will miss these moments when they’re gone!