This is not going to be a nice post.
This is not going to be a politically correct post.
This post does not represent how I feel every day. Or all day. Or most days.
But this post is real. And it’s raw. And the truth is like that sometimes.
Something about multiple kids shifted something in the way I relate to them. The blame gets spread around and it’s easier to direct their way. It’s easier to say “my kids are driving me nuts” than “my daughter makes me want to skip town.” It’s easier to feel like they are the problem. Even if it’s nothing personal–it’s not their behavior or demeanor or habits (well, sometimes it is). It’s their existance.
It’s a logistical nightmare.
I can’t do anything. We can’t do anything. And why the hell doesn’t society understand that? I can’t hang out. We don’t drop by. There is no getting away. We have kids. How quickly people seem to forget this age when you’re tethered to your toddler.
It’s 24/7. It’s unpaid. No vacation. It’s rough on a marriage and hell on your heart.
Whole days go by in pursuit of a shower or thirty minutes to sit and concentrate (mostly for schoolwork, sometimes for blogging). M is still little enough that time is marked by her naps and 50-60 minutes is barely enough time to slow my heart, sip my coffee and answer my email. I am treading water. Always.
Dot, at four-and-a-half, is so fun now. She can do real activities, has a long attention span and an inquisitive mind. And I rarely get to be with her, or focus on her. There, I said it. Her sister takes up so much of my energy, and requires such constant focus (and that’s an age thing, not so much her personality) that a break from her equals attacking the 120 trillion things on my list since school started in September. And then the babe is up and everything has to happen on her terms.
I feel like if I could just get a long enough break–from the both of them–I could get caught up on my stuff, them myself, and then I could make proper use of our time. But I’m starting to think that’s just not gonna happen. And then what?
I feel so sad, like Four is passing me by and I can’t seem to grab a hold of it.
And I’m resentful as hell of One. In my memory of raising Dot (ha, as if we’re done) 12-18 months was my favorite age. It’s like they just blossom into little people at that stage. They’re communicative and cheerful and they can’t talk back yet. With M I’m remembering some other things. There’s no pause button. There’s no patience. There’s no sympathy for sickness or stress. There’s no break. There’s no relaxation with a movie. There’s no acknowledgement of “just a second”.
There’s just need. And mess making.
The tricks I’ve perfected going to school (non-stop) since Dot was 16 months are failing me. I forgot how hard it was that first year, and Dot was older. My classes were all online. And she was One.
Sometimes Two feels like Twice As Much Failure.
Twice as much resentment. Twice as much juggling for life to proceed with some semblance of smooth.
It’s twice as much energy going out with one-quarter as much time to re-up.
And (need I say this?), of course I love these kids. Of course I adore them. Of course I miss them terribly on long days and ultimately I just want more time to be with them. But I want it to come with less stress, less nagging in the back of my mind and more focus. I want to enjoy being with them instead of feeling trapped.
Nothing it perfect, least of all me. Least of all motherhood or parenting. Least of all our family. It’s a trying time, in a lot of ways. I remember when I began to feel like I person again after Dot was born. It’s wasn’t until she was almost two and I began taking a night class and did a 40 hr. training that regularly got me out of the house (coincidentally, also when she weaned). And I didn’t really feel like a real-life autonomous person until we put her in daycare (a couple month after two). I’m not sure where the line will be this time. But when I find it, I’ll be sure to let you know.