The next time someone tells me to enjoy my children because they grow up so fast I will punch them in the face. Or, how about this one? When I think about how tough other people have it, I feel better about my life. Yeah, that’s classic.
It’s Tuesday at 8:04 p.m. and I’ve just completed another 12 hours of solo parenting. After I fed and bathed the kids and put them to bed I cleaned the litter box, watered the garden, washed the dishes and folded three loads of laundry. (And before you roll your eyes, let me just tell you that I’m rolling my own eyes. At me. I’m even annoyed with me that I’m feeling this sorry for myself.)
Last week was five days (and evenings) in a row of solo parenting. This week we’ll probably have another five. Weekends are better – I almost always have help – but then the week starts all over again way too soon.
Today was especially bad. I don’t even remember why but all of a sudden I had to step away from Elise. I gave myself a time out. I was even annoyed with the baby today. HE’S A BABY. HE’S THE CUTEST BABY EVER AND CAN DO NO WRONG.
I’m angry, folks. ANGRY. And I’m no psychologist but when you tell me to enjoy every moment or think of the single mothers or working mothers or people who have it far worse than I do it is discouraging me from OWNING MY FEELINGS. And owning my feelings – stating them, processing them – is healthy. It’s better for everyone. It helps me to realize things like, I’m not taking care of myself right now. I don’t have enough breaks. I’m not eating well or exercising enough. Do I have work/life balance? What is work/life balance? When’s the last time I shared my feelings with my spouse? Did he and I ever talk about what a SAHM would entail? Did he know that accepting this job would make him a part-time parent?
And when I can feel those things, process those things, answer those questions (or some of those questions), I’m a better person. I’m a better mom. I’m a better wife. The anger, it disappears.
Oh, and those moments I’m supposed to enjoy with my kids? Let me tell you that when Elise steps out of the bathtub every night and into my arms, her hair is the best smelling hair I have ever smelled in my entire life. She is warm and sweet and for two minutes she lets me hold her like a baby. And Tristan? EVERYTHING he does is adorable. Everything. I spoil that child rotten because he is the sweetest little angel with the cutest four teeth. Every time he looks at me and smiles my heart explodes.
So, yeah, let me take something back – go ahead and tell me to enjoy those moments. Because I do. I promise I do. But also tell me it’s ok to sometimes feel sad and angry and exhausted and frustrated with my life, with my job, because it’s normal and healthy. And I’m a better mom because of it.