After fighting so hard to fandangle a way to stay at home with my kids, here I am wallowing around in an icky gooey puddle of malaise, boredom, and exhaustion.
These are the days I said I don't want to miss.
Lately, I'm missing the days. My unmet needs for adult socialization, intellectual stimulation, and me time are clouding my time with my kids. Instead of doing something about those unmet needs, I'm overly relying on the television to fill the void between my kids' desire for attention and my capacity to give it.
I don't think that I need a big change to regain my presence and balance. The days are unusually mundane and isolating when it's 19 degrees outside and your newborn has bronchiolitis, which he caught from your toddler, who now has a stomach virus.
But I do need a serious time out.
It's time to refocus. It's time to remember how lucky I am to make faces with my newborn for an entire hour in the middle of the work day. It's time to savor the privilege of bearing witness to my toddler's unbridled enthusiasm for trains, fascination with counting, and innate concern for his baby brother.
It's also time to cut myself some slack for that missed workout, that extra hour of television, and that extra glass of red wine. The best advice I received leading up to the birth of my second child is to be kind to yourself. Being a full-time mother, however much I genuinely want to do it, is not easy.
In the past few days I've found some solace in this post I saw floating around on Facebook. Specifically, this part:
How was my day? Today has been a lifetime. It was the best of times and the worst of times. There were moments when my heart was so full I thought I might explode, and there were other moments when my senses were under such intense assault that I was CERTAIN I’d explode. I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone. I was saturated — just BOMBARDED with touch and then the second I put down this baby I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed with so much to do. Today was too much and not enough. It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. I was at my very best today and then, just a moment later, at my very worst. At 3:30 today I decided that we should adopt four more children, and then at 3:35 I decided that we should give up the kids we already have for adoption. Husband — when your day is completely and totally dependent upon the moods and needs and schedules of tiny, messy, beautiful rug rats your day is ALL OF THE THINGS and NONE OF THE THINGS, sometimes within the same three minute period. But I’m not complaining. This is not a complaint, so don’t try to FIX IT. I wouldn’t have my day Any.Other.Way. I’m just saying — it’s a hell of a hard thing to explain — an entire day with lots of babies.How do you find your way back to the still waters beneath the waves of parenthood and daily life?