You Don't Have to Like It
The past couple weeks were tough ones. Snippets of life included:
George deciding to go back to his newborn sleep/feeding schedule
Nick working late almost every night
Nick, on the one day last week he did make it to dinner, asking me if I'd like him to pick up takeout on his way home to give me a break and I burst into tears of gratitude and exhaustion
Discarded pee-soaked undies scattered throughout the house
Me showered and in pajamas by 4:30/5pm
Me accomplishing the above task by having a crying baby on the bath mat outside the shower, leaving the girls to their own devices, and Eloise coming in mid-shower telling me that Mimi "went poop already" (in her undies)
My "downtime": half-snoozing while the non-napping baby cried into the monitor right next to my ear
The stickiest, hottest, grossest weather that makes everyone grumpy when we go outside
Crayon on every surface
Glitter on every surface
Me telling Eloise that yellow + green = orange
So much yelling and name calling (all me)
Then, we had a breakthrough. The weather let up for a morning, we spent a glorious two hours at the playground, the girls made some new friends and I chatted with a couple of moms. One of them, an old acquaintance, confessed within seconds of meeting that she was SO READY for summer to be over.
I am too.
This is a hard feeling for me because aren't I supposed to like all parts of motherhood? Am I a bad mother because I have been counting the weeks left of summer (4) and having thoughts like:
Who are all these children?
Why do they constantly need tobe fed and entertained?
Why do we have summer anyway?
Year-round schooling for all!
I am a little bit burned out, and my guilt over those feelings is making matters worse.
Having another mother confess that she, too, is over it, was so freeing to me. It reminded me that you don't have to like it.
I'm not going to like every single part of motherhood. I might not even like whole stages. I've heard that some moms are better "toddler moms" or better "teenage moms" or fill-in-the-blank. After Eloise was born, I was NOT a "newborn mom." I had NO IDEA why people liked the newborn stage. I was totally overwhelmed.
Amelia came along and she was a different baby and I was a different mom, and I was a newborn mom. So maybe we can even like some stages at certain times and not at others. We are all always changing, and so is our family dynamic as kids are added and grow and develop.
I am not a "summer mom" THIS year, but maybe I will be next year. Maybe I never will. Regardless, I'm trying to remind myself that I don't have to like it. I just have to do it. It of course helps if I do like it, and I will certainly always try and set us up for success, noting our pain points, readjust, and try try again. But I'm trying not to feel bad about feelings. That's all they are.
My kids are happy, healthy, and thriving. THEY are having a great summer, I'd guess. I just need to get over it, remember that it's just a phase, and do the little things to keep my sanity in tact as much as possible so I don't devolve into a screaming banshee.
I have very similar feelings about cooking dinner. I don't have to like it, I just have to do it.
Do you have any tasks that make you feel this way?
(Eloise has perfectly captured what I'd be doing if I could!)