This morning I heard David in his bed “talking” to himself and making sweet baby noises. Immediately I thought, “I miss him! I want to go cuddle him!” So I went in, picked him up, changed him, talked to him and began our day. He was happy and smiling and I was blissful. In the middle of our routine, Ella woke up and came in. She, like her mother, is not a morning person, so it took her a few extra minutes to become charming. Ella requested pancakes and I thought, “Why not?” So I put David in his bouncer, made myself some coffee and started making chocolate chip pancakes. It was all very glossy magazine, very 1950’s housewife, very Pinterest perfect. Until I realized that we had to be out the door in 20 minutes, my hair was still in a towel, I was in my robe with no make up and I had two children still in pajamas. The hurricane that usually defines our mornings hit and we sprinted through each room, brushing teeth, grabbing toys and food for daycare and running out the door.
Why is so hard to find balance as a mom? When my kids are underfoot, I often feel frazzled and dream of “me” time. I find excuses to distract them so I can take a break. Our mornings are often filled with the sounds of, “Hurry! Get your shoes! Have you brushed your teeth? Hurry!” But, when I’m away from my kids I miss them so much, there’s a physical ache. I could hardly wait to burst into David’s room and see his sweet smile. I get excited when Ella wakes up and I can give her a big hug and ask about her dreams. But, that all usually lasts for about 10 minutes. And then Ella bites David and he needs a diaper change and I still haven’t had coffee and I’m wondering why I was so eager for them to wake up early.
This last weekend, I was able to get away with a group of dear friends. We stayed in the mountains, ate at delicious restaurants, spent the entire day at the pool and actually chatted and read and never set an alarm. It was amazing and just what I needed. By Sunday, however, I missed my kids and husband. The last two blocks home seemed to take 30 minutes. I couldn’t wait to hug & kiss them all! It was an awesome reunion and a wonderful 36 hours of family time. So, why by Tuesday morning am I ready for a break again? Why is it so easy to swing back and forth from obsession to aggravation? Is there any consistency to motherhood? I can imagine that the minute I feel like things are actually good & everyone is happy and at peace, they’ll be teenagers and not want anything to do with me. I know I’m going to miss these days, but the fear of the unknown future doesn’t create a peace about the present.
This isn’t even necessarily the guilt I’ve felt in the past. This is something different. This is not being able to have consistency and personally, that’s something I thrive on. When I want to have blissful moments and happy playtime with my kids, I want them to be easy and polite and fun and engaging. But, when I need to do dishes or cook or put laundry away I want them to quietly color at the table and not scream and never cry and make even my chores seem easy. So, that’s never going to happen. The only thing that can change is my attitude. That, and an earlier alarm in the morning. I’m not going to pledge to enjoy every minute of crazy mornings and feisty toddlers. I know I’ll never relish in screaming and hitting each other and having to give time-outs. But, the mess makes the good times that much sweeter. So when David sits up by himself and Ella brings him a toy and they are laughing and I get to be a part of that, I will soak it in. I will let it overwhelm me and then when it’s not so pretty, I’ll have some wonderful images in my head. Oh, and I’ll let my children sleep and have just one more cup of coffee before I wake them up.