I sometimes dislike parenting.
There, I said it.
I am sure someone may think that I don’t deserve my four beautiful healthy kids because I said it. And truth be told, there are days when I feel like I don’t deserve the blessings that I have been given. It still doesn’t change the fact that parenting is hard and that sometimes, some days, I just…don’t…like it.
Yes there are glorious…moments. Like when my teenager actually lifts his head, makes eye contact and cares about the words I am saying. Or when my ten-year old and I go on our special dates and we just…get a long. Or when the two-year old smiles, laughs and gives me one of her stingy hugs. Or when the ten month old is…sleeping..or laughing…laughing is good.
Then there are other days. Days like the one I had last week. Cranky mommy days.
I am like a two-headed dragon; on one head I am yelling…screaming perhaps…at my children to pipe down, while the other head is barking out orders to “pick that up”, “put that down”, “clean that up”, “don’t touch that”, “what are you doing?!”, “why did you do that?!”, “where did you put your sister?!”, “what is that?!”.
On these days, when one of the kids just inhales prior to crying… I lose it. I am not proud of who I am on these days. A selfish short-tempered impersonation of a mother. No, I don’t want to get the crayons out. No, I don’t want to get the bubbles out. No I don’t want to even feed you monsters. Really…what I want…is to sit on the patio…with a glass of wine…and do nothing. I want to pretend I don’t smell poop permeating from someones rear end. I want to pretend that it hasn’t been over six hours that my sixteen year old son has been on his computer playing video games. I want to pretend that my oldest daughter isn’t antagonizing her younger sister.
On these days…I do well just to get everyone in bed at night… without permanently damaging their psyche. Because yes, I can be mean. And so..at the end of the day, when all is quiet, I feel guilty. And ask myself what I could have done differently perhaps. And find nothing, because I can no more stop the two-headed dragon than I can stop the breath I take.
And my kids know it. And love me despite it. And so last week, when I was at my breaking point, lying face down… sideways on my bed…my ten year old comes in and strokes my hair.
“I know…I am coming…it’s time for the baby to go to bed”. I mumble through the comforter… since my face is pressed into it…hoping that I would fall into some hole of quiet never, never land.
She responds, “No mom, it’s ok. I will put her to bed…. I am worried that if she does one thing wrong you may go wacko on her”.
And so I laughed. Out loud. Because…you know…she is right. Then I gave her a big grumpy mom kiss, put the babies to bed and had my glass of wine.