The other day a friend of mine told me to have fun with my kids.
I said in reply – I don’t know if I know how to do that anymore.
Just typing that brings tears to my eyes.
I know how to be the busy mom – moving from one urgent to another urgent to another there’s no toilet paper and the toilet’s overflowing and the kids are fighting and the smoke detector is going off and I can’t find my math sheet that was due three days ago urgency. I’ve mastered the art of building lunches with almost bare pantries and finding last minute presents and helping with homework that was to be done the night before but now it is 7:11 and we need to leave at 7:18 kind of days.
I’ve figured out how to survive on three hours of interrupted feet in my face kids waking up sleep. I know the quickest way to Starbucks and that on certain days, like today, it is perfectly acceptable to order the extra shot of espresso and to get it extra hot and maybe with a bit more sugar. I determined that making my bed isn’t required but that the kitchen island better stay clean or it’s a green light telling everyone that the rest of the house is okay to be messed up.
I’ve mastered counting to ten ten times in a row and gathering my resolve and dealing with stress and listening to music to calm me down or trying to take an extra long shower so I can have maybe four minutes of quiet without hearing mo-o-om called and dealing with one boy who decided to sneak the last chip bag and throw the wrapper in his closet behind the box of legos. The beast of laundry may still haunt me but even that has become putty in my mom hands as I know that those pants that were needed in the morning will get done even if I have to stay up to 2:30am.
But having fun? Laughing? Just being the happy mom?
Sometimes I fear I’ve lost it in the busy and the stress.
I’ll try to play a game with them but my mind will race through the to-do list that has it’s own index and days of rolled over I’ll do it tomorrow items. While they’re drawing cards and laughing I’ll be creating a list of things I’ve forgotten to do and need to do and don’t really want to do but I can’t put off much longer.
Mom! It’s your turn!!
And I’ll be thinking about the toys that should be sorted or what to do for dinner or how to hide the card that brings you back to the beginning of Candyland because the game isn’t ever ending. Yeah, yeah, yeah… that’s a skill of motherhood. Perfecting the art of not going back to the CandyCane Forest.
Oh, please don’t get me wrong, I love love love my kids.
But sometimes I feel guilt. Guilt about not being more present or laughing more or having fun or not doing all the cool things that I think my kids deserve. I’ll feel guilt about having to work and telling them just give me fifteen more minutes to get this done and then those fifteen minutes turn to thirty and then they’re on to something else. It’s so much mom pressure that I don’t think we talk about.
I want to be the happy-go-lucky, fun mom.