Mama is Lost

Ever have one of those days (weeks or months, really) where you start to feel lost?  Where you question everything about the way you are raising your kids.  Usually it’s easier for me to push those feelings of insecurity back down with my foot- like packing down the garbage I should have taken out two (three) days ago.  Packing it down is just not working right now.

Lately I have been doing a lot of reading about alternative parenting.  I have never considered myself a traditional parent by any means but I am starting to feel like I have fallen into that category in the last couple weeks.  Sit at the table until your plate is clear.  No talking until your coat is on.  Don’t talk while  am talking.  Seriously?  Seriously.  What is my problem?  Where has the kind-hearted, patient, sensitive Mama gone?  My kids want her back.  And I do too.

She’s probably buried under that pile of five loads of laundry.  Or trying to climb out from the stack of crusty dishes in the sink.  She could be digging her way out of permission slips, math games, book orders, dental appointments, grocery shopping, preschool meetings or meal planning.  Or she could be smothered by researching “clean” recipes, heathy fats and GMOs or she’s trying desperately to fit working out in because goddammit she has to put on that bathing suit in a month.  Oh wait, you have a job too, Mama?

So that’s where Mama went.  Come back Mama.

Trying.  Wishing desperately that I could find the balance.  The thing is my life is so full.  But the fullness I focus on are the parts that don’t matter.  What will my kids remember?  Will they remember laundry piles, dishes, permission slips, book orders, dental schedules or the ridiculous task of creating a meal plan which is “clean” and compatible with the eating habits of a three year-old?  Nope.  Will they remember what their Mama looked like in her bathing suit?  Nope.  But will they remember Mama not playing with them?  Will they remember being forced to sit at the table alone, in the dark kitchen while everyone else is playing a laughing together?  Probably.  Definitely.

To let go of all that extra stuff is so hard though.  Harder than anyone admits.

I need to remember what’s important.  I need to color with Zook.  I need to race cars across the floor with Mooch.  I need to read Harry Potter with Cub.  I need to jump into football playoffs and superheroes and sharks.  I need to chase and tickle and cuddle them.  The things I need to be buried in, smothered by and consumed with are my children.  And I know I can get back there.

Mama is coming back.  Mama is back.

Peace, Mamas.

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Mama Needs to Rally

Do you ever just feel like giving in to this chaos?  Like you are walking around in circles and into walls all day long?  Yeah?  Well join the club.  There are many wonderful things about motherhood.  And I do so adore my children.  And sometimes I want to throw them through the wall.  The whining is what’s been getting to me the most lately.  And with the end of the school year, I am feeling like I just don’t give a shit anymore.  Cub went to school twice this week with a jelly sandwich for lunch and guess what he’s having tomorrow… Sorry little dude.  Although he looks at this like a treat, I’m still feeling shitty about it.  I wonder what those lunch ladies think when the see what the kids have to eat at this time of year… Who else sorta gave up on packing a lunch encompassing the different food groups?  C’mon.  Where’s my slacker Mamas at?

The truth is I’m just tired.  Husband forgot to grab a key item required for dinner tonight so Mama had to stop at the store on the way home from work- along with 40,000 other Mamas whose husbands forgot shit too.  Do you switch lines when the competency level of the cashier is revealed or when you notice a handful of coupons in the customer’s hands in front of you?  Normally, I am not a switcher but my anxiety about getting home, dinner, showers and the bullshit that would greet me at the door got the better of me.  I made two bad switches before I realized it made no difference.  I was stuck in a suck line behind a suck customer and a suck cashier.  Great.  My husband calls while I am pulling out of the parking lot.  I can hear screaming in the background.  Shit.  The high point of my day came when my dear friend texted me to inform me that (thankfully her children are nearly as screwed up as mine or I’m not sure we could be friends) her son told another child at daycare that she smelled like a penis.  Boys. Rock.  And that actually gave me some of my energy back and lightened my mood a bit.

When I pulled in the driveway, I could hear the screaming of the “chase game” from the driveway.  Rally.  Dinner was nuts.  Zook is crying.  Why is he crying?  He wants a spoon.  Wait he wants a fork.  Wait he wants ice cream.  With a fork.  Ugh.  Unload dishwasher, load dishwasher, pick up the corn and rice off the floor.  At this point, I actually almost started to cry.  I think because I realized that there wasn’t a clean kitchen towel in the drawer.  And I knew there wasn’t one in the basket upstairs either.  And yes, it sounds trivial but the absence of the kitchen towel midst the crying and demands of Zook, the whining and arguing of Mooch and Cub and the fact that I still had so far, so far to go before the calm could set in, really, really started to get to me.  Suck it up Mama.  Rally.  Showers, screaming , soap in eyes (it’s the tearless kind for God’s sake!) clip 60 (yes, 60) nails.  Read an Elmo book.  God I hate Elmo.  Quiet.  Snuggling my babies with warm soft hands on my cheeks.  Almost there.  Lights out and done.  Breathe.  And good news folks!  We get to do it all over again in 24 hours!

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There are just not enough hours in the day- so cliche right?  So true.  I am barely getting by here.  Summer has got to come.  No more homework, no more projects, no more searching for library books or forgetting sneakers on gym day.  No more hunting for the perfect item for Share Day.  Oh sweet summer.  I think I am craving the serenity more than my kids.

Rally.  That’s what I feel like most of my life has come to lately.  I am so tired.  Stretched to the point of exhaustion.  And I know that’s the reason I yell and have a lack of patience.  I know it’s me and not them.  But (I am about to admit something terrible here) sometimes I feel like I just don’t want to care anymore.  Like I am just done trying.  I know I shouldn’t yell and sometimes in the moment, I even think Why am I yelling right now?  Stop!  Stop it, Mama!  But no.  I yell and spend the next hour feeling like shit.  That’s more the cycle I speak of.  More than the chores and endless whining from the kids.  It’s me.  Mamas (and the Papas) reading this who have toddlers and babies… I used to be like you.  Said I wasn’t going to yell.  Said I wasn’t going to lose my temper.  Read all those Zen parenting books and blogs.  And then my kids could talk back.  And that all went out the window.  This is a judgement-free zone.

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So where do we go from here?  We start over.  Tomorrow the sun will rise again.  The cycle might start again.  Or it might not.  I am not in control of their behavior.  But I need to be fully in control of my own.  And of my responses to their behavior.  Breathe.  Tomorrow I’ll be back on the wagon.  It won’t be perfect but as long as I keep trying to make things better.  As long as I keep giving a shit.  I can do better.  I owe it to them (and myself) to be better.  And that’s all I can do.  Rally.

Peace, Mamas.