I’ve been struggling a
little bit lot over the past few months. Not really with my mood, but rather with the “voices” in my head. No, I’m not actually hearing anything, silly. I just mean the kind of self-defeating conversations you have with yourself when you feel like you have made a poor choice or you aren’t living up to your own expectations about what being a mom and wife looks like.
My boys (ages- a couple days from 2 & 5 and 7/12- his words, not mine) are having a rough go of the sibling thing. They are at two completely different stages and have mostly different interests…except of course when one brother is playing with something- then it becomes absolutely the ONLY thing the other wants to do. Anyway, I feel more like a referee than a mom most days, and I’m fairly certain that I’ve been about as sweet as rotten eggs as a wife since our second became mobile. L2′s nickname is “the bionic child”, and for good reason. He challenges me to my core with the physical intensity required to keep that boy safe. While being extremely independent, he is also an expert climber, jar opener, mess maker, and sharp item finder. Being awake means he’s at risk for injury and so I can’t leave him alone. Even for a minute. Even to pee.
L1 is at an equally delightful and challenging age. The one where his curiosity has blossomed from self endangerment (which he never really suffered from) to research. However, it also means that he asks a million questions a day and is incredibly sensitive because he is analyzing everyone’s words and actions. What used to be wishy-washy playground talk by 4 and 5 year olds has become “the world is going to end because so-and-so told me he’s going to lock me in the squidapod…”. What in the world is a squidapod anyway???
Yesterday was a random day. My husband was out of town. A couple of friends and neighbors stopped by. The landscaper was moving mulch from some trees we had cut down last week. It was sunny and warm, but not too hot. The stuff of ordinary Wednesdays in May in Atlanta.
But, for me May 8, 2013 was extraordinary. Why? Because it was the first time in as long as I can remember that I felt like I was doing an okay job. That my boys weren’t constantly in a competition to see who could irritate the other more. That I didn’t feel the need to rush to beat the bedtime clock. That we just were.
This morning we slept in a little. We had just enough (but not too much) time before school to do the things we had to do. We got to school on time. Not late, but not too early for carpool, either. L2 and I came home after dropping off L1 and he and I played a bit. I cleared out my inbox a bit. We ate a bit. He actually watched part of a TV show! He brought me a shirt out of his drawer and asked to get dressed. He threw his own trash away and helped me clean up a few of his toys. We hugged and laughed and giggled. He fell down and bumped his head and instead of getting hysterical he walked over to me and asked for a hug. We snuggled.
I found some breathing room in the past 24 hours. For the first time in over a year my shoulders are not pulled up to my ears as an outward sign of the inward stress. I am breathing a bit more deeply and peacefully. I am seeing the light of what life will soon be like more regularly.
While I adore the infant phase and I am able to tolerate the toddler phase, by far, 5 years old is my favorite so far. I miss the newborn smell and the ease of a child who can’t harm himself since he doesn’t move much. But, I also miss being able to pee by myself. And, reading. Oh how I love books…and I miss them so.
My kids are growing older everyday. Whether I like it or not, they are rapidly changing and developing. So instead of living my life in mourning for their infancy, I am going to choose to be present and find the beauty in having older children. The contentment and freedom that come with their independence and ability to communicate their needs. The joy of finding myself again as I get to know them better.
Bless your heart ,