Sometimes, I Just Don’t Want to Mom Right Now

At some point, without my permission, my baby turned into a toddler. Now, instead of carrying her around, I’m following her (unless there’s something I really need to do involving two hands, in which case, she absolutely must be held at that moment or it’s power tantrum time).

My one-year-old’s main interests include the following:

  1. Pulling tissues filled with snots out of the bathroom garbage can and trying to eat them (and if you take them away from her: power tantrum).
  2. Trying to get into the dishwasher to play with knives.
  3. Dipping her hands in the toilet.
  4. Throwing 100% of the food you give her at meal times off her high chair tray and onto the back of the dog (think “spaghetti comb” because that’s what I have to do after dinner).
  5. Pretending not to understand what “no” means.
  6. Attempting to fling herself head-first off the couch.
  7. Insisting that you read the same book to her 18 times.

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sharing used toilet paper with mama – so thoughtful

There are moments in our days that are really nice, like when she cracks up about something, or figures out how to put a puzzle piece in the right spot (GENIUS), or makes adorable sounds. But also? Having a toddler is really, really hard, and exhausting, and it caught me by surprise.

Now, in addition to the having to feed, clothe, bathe, care for a baby thing, there’s also a constant battle of wills. She does NOT want you to wipe up her nasty boogers as they slime their way into her mouth. She NEEDS you to let her eat that applesauce pouch right this second or she’s gonna lose her shit. She will look me in the eyes as I say “Lucy, No” and fling spaghetti onto the dog’s head.

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spaghetti

So, I’m tired.

And honestly, if I didn’t have the luxury of part-time daycare (to cover my part-time work schedule), I would be looking for a full-time job. Because honestly, I don’t know if I’m cut out for this all the time. I love every squishy, boogery ounce of Lucy, but doing this for 12 hours a day 5 days a week? Nope. I couldn’t do it.

Admitting this to myself isn’t easy. I still operate under the (incorrect) default assumption that the parts of me that are wrong are just things that need to be fixed, so that one day I can be perfect. It’s like I want to take my 1997 Honda Accord to the mechanic and have him turn it into a Tesla and then not charge me, just because I’m so great. I just want my therapist to boop me with a magic feelings wand and all of a sudden I’m an infallible mom machine.

But instead of doing everything right all the time, I get exasperated a lot. I get impatient. I look at my iPhone.

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here she is feeding printer paper to the dog

I know better than to feel guilty about this. If any of my mom friends admitted to me they felt guilty for this shit, I would tell them they’re nuts. This is totally normal! So what if you look at your phone! So what if you want nothing more than an hour alone after a 12 hour day! That is NOT WEIRD.

And yet.

The internet is a place full of faerie moms, who breastfeed their 11 year olds, and cosleep with their 12 year olds, and whose 1 year olds gleefully slurp kimchee without ruining their clothes. They have faerie babies who never get sick, and all they do all day is run around together holding hands in fields of wildflowers.

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don’t ask me about the last time I vacuumed

By 5pm (or, ya know, noon) I am desperate for reprieve. I am counting down the minutes until my beautiful girl is tucked into that crib, and I can finally sit on the couch with a cup of decaf and watch Top Chef totally alone.

Sometimes I miss it; being alone.

 

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10 thoughts on “Sometimes, I Just Don’t Want to Mom Right Now

  1. Today I came home from work (as a middle school teacher which is a whole ‘nother story) took off my boots, let the babysitter go, and my 1 year old woke up- an hour and a half early. Somehow… I fell asleep on the couch while she ran around in our baby proofed living room. I woke up when my previously mentioned boots were being slammed into my face by my lovely daughter.

    So yeah, my motto these days is- do what you need to do :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so perfect. My house is a mess and, no, I don’t want to clean it once my 15 month has gone to bed. I want to rest. And I feel guilty for needing a break. All the time. I talk about it in therapy. My therapist told me, “look, no one can do ANYTHING for a prolonged number of hours without needing a break. At work, you’re legally required to take a break after so many hours. This is also work.” Everyone needs and deserves a break. I’m glad to read this and see I’m not the only one. My little man throws his food on the floor/dog/wall, and taunts me with his little eyes as he sloowwwlly reaches his chunky little hand into the dog water, daring me to try and stop him. We’re all in this same snotty boat together, and I’m glad to see I’m not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU! Oh my god I think our babies are cosmic twins. And yes this is work, like the hardest work I’ve ever had to do, which makes me feel guilty, too. The more I talk about it, though, the more I realize how all moms (who exist IRL and not on the Internet as like, imaginary people who wear their babies while scratch-baking low sugar wheatberry quinoa muffins for the pope) feel this shit. We are doing great.

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  3. I have part time daycare right now and seriously considering full time. I figure (or trying to convince myself) that he will be better off in a consistent, structured environment run by paid professionals with a curriculum other than “just get through the day”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I also feel guilty for having the same thoughts. I have part time care and we really can’t afford anymore unless I go back to work full-time. Some days that sounds amazing. Though my mom keeps guilting me. She keeps reminding me that she didn’t have any help (or the Internet) and managed. She also told me labor took 15 minutes and it didn’t hurt so I don’t quite trust her memory of how things were for her….

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  5. I would do anything for a job right now. I keep saying it out loud to people and they think I’m kidding. And my mother-in-law said, oh no you don’t, you’ll regret not having this time. And, no I won’t. I would love having a job outside the home. I’d miss my kids and there would be days that sucked because everything has, as Liz Gilbert says, a shit sandwich, but this “staying at home with the kids” stuff is not just hard, it’s relentless, and it’s not for me. It’s not in the cards for us right now for me to work since we homeschool because they have some special needs, but I dream of the day. I just wish more people would talk about a way to be a mother who wasn’t obsessed with her kids. Mothers who were glad they were mothers but didn’t need to prove it every single moment of the day. There’s so much damn pressure to prove your devotion. It makes me crazy. I mean it can get to the point when it makes me question the quality of mother I am (and my kids are adopted, taken from an actual terrible mother), and I know I love my kids, but somehow if they’re not drinking kale smoothies, sleeping in my bed, and wearing organic cotton that also happens to be Instagram-worthy trendy, it’s not enough. It’s like I need to be staring at them all day and relishing in it the whole time.

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  6. Never feel guilty….I put my 2 year old in daycare so I could spend 1 on 1 time with my youngest. I could have kept him home with me as I was on maternity leave but I just needed the reprieve from not have to run around after a toddler all day long.

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