Parenting drives us to the edge of insanity on a daily basis. It drives us to those moments when we want to scream, cry and yell, only to drive us right back into loving those tiny humans so much it actually freaking hurts. The second my kids go to bed I miss them. I have actually, in brief moments of insanity, thought about waking them up just for one more hug, kiss, and snuggle. Hear me out, because I’m not as crazy as I sound, but it is true…the moment I am away from my kids, my soul craves them. Why is this? What is it about motherhood that makes us go from counting the hours until bed time to wanting them to wake up with every ounce of our heart?
I have a phrase and I use it pretty frequently; “I love being with my kids.” Simple, right? I emphasize “love” because it is true… I honestly enjoy being around my kids and I prefer time with them, over time away from them. Girls weekends with my best friends are amazing, and I live for those weekend getaways with my husband. I look forward to getting my hair done, and a trip to Target alone is insanely exhilarating. Still, I prefer to be with my children. Despite the simple fact that I never get to pee alone, interestingly enough I still would rather have my tiny humans with me. When we learn that we are pregnant, our children are physically a part of us. After they’re born, they aren’t physically attached to us, but our innate emotional connection takes over and they remain a very real part of who we are.
Still, there is no denying they. make .me. crazy.
I don’t pretend that they don’t. I show up for work, most days with the stress of motherhood written all over my face, and my kids’ faces, in the form of chocolate icing from a donut. Yup. That’s usually how our mornings go. I wake up, I do my best to be the loving, caring, calm, mom that I’ve always dreamt of being, and then my kids wake up. Reality sets in. Typically, I yell, lots, resulting in the kids crying, lots. I wrestle two tiny humans into their clothes-while seriously considering sending them to school naked, throw some Paw Patrol Eggo waffles at them (with organic fruit on the side, just because that shit makes me feel good), and we stroll into school, which just so happens to be my place of employment, with donut juice smeared on all of our faces, pretending we have our shit together. They go into their classrooms, acting like they’re so sad to see me leave, which makes me feel good in some weird way, and I continue downstairs, with a sigh of relief that our cluster F of a morning has ended. By the time I reach my desk, I need a nap, a shot of vodka, or another coffee-fortunately coffee is what I settle for.
I pass numerous other parents sighing, or smiling through the embarrassment of dragging a preschooler into the building. Usually, I try to not make eye contact for fear of the other parent seeing into my soul and knowing that I had a shit morning and I’m not nearly as put together as I appear to be, ultimately blowing my cover. In the event that eye contact is made, we exchange pleasantries such as “I need coffee” or a personal favorite “is it Friday yet?” acting as if it is the stress of work making me a hot mess express. In reality, my kids, and probably some less-than-mediocre parenting are what landed me in my position, but the “is it Friday yet?” comment still reigns true. Like a battered woman, I crave the weekends and the time with my children.
At any time during the day, the farthest my kids are from me is about 60-70 steps. So, I take that first sip of coffee, open my email and begin my day. Let’s say this commences at about 9:00 (okay, okay 9:15am).
By about 9:30, I miss them.
Yes, the same kids who made me curse, yell, and consider that shot of vodka by 8am, yup-those are the ones I miss. There are some days where it takes everything in me to focus on the job at hand and not go play with and snuggle them. I call it ‘momnesia,’ which is similar to amnesia but the motherhood version. We forget the meltdowns and relish in the pure joy of just being their mama.
With kids, the highs are high and the lows can be so low.
The lows can also be pretty frequent. But wow, when things are good it really is like a motherhood high. When you’re killing it, I mean truly just slaying the day, with all the laughter and good behaviors and fun times, just nailing this motherhood thing, there are few things that can compare with that feeling. When things are crazy, when you feel like you are just barely keeping your head above water, take a second to breathe in the craziness. When you feel like you’re drowning in motherhood, take a mama time-out. Don’t let the overwhelming nature of parenthood consume you. Instead, relish in the fact that you love those little jerks so much, that you will legitimately feel it to the core of your being the moment you’re away from them. As moms, we live for the good. We live for the hugs, kisses, successes, and all that we’ve dreamt motherhood would be. Still, kids will be kids, motherhood is hard, and not all of parenting is filled with those hugs and triumphs. Mamas this is unconditional love. You are living unconditional love. Amidst the chaos, confusion, tantrums, and tears, you are still experiencing something incredibly beautiful and truly miraculous. Yes, the lows can be low, but, wow, how the highs can be so high. So, hug those babies, breathe in their scent and allow yourself to feel that indescribable feeling of loving someone with every ounce of your soul.