The youngest is screaming. Again. And you have no idea why. Your head is killing you, you had a horrible day, and your other child is trying to demand your attention. You haven’t decided on dinner (hence the kids crying and whining) and all you want to do is either pour a huge vat of wine for yourself or run into your room, dive into bed and pull the covers over your head. Once the monsters have been fed, bathed, and are finally in bed, sleeping (after numerous pop ups to ask for water, crying about a “sound” they heard, or asking for their door to remain open), you wonder why you became a parent at all. You are always tired, you want to call in sick for a week, and you’d rather be at work than at home with your kids. (Come on, you know you sometimes feel this way.) So why is it that you love them like you do?
Flash forward two hours. You are trying to enjoy some (ahem) quality time with your significant other and you hear the cry. You go into your youngest’s room, who is sitting up in their crib, sobbing, but yet still asleep. You pick them up, against what ALL child-rearing books say, and cuddle them into your shoulder, rocking them in the glider. They snuggle in, just like they did when they were days, weeks, months old. They calm at your touch, your gentle “it’s okay” whisper. And then everything, including the nooky you were about to have, melts away. This. Right here. Right now. This is why you had children.
Parents always have that question. Did we make the right choice? Are we really ready? Will I ever sleep/have sex/have time to myself ever again? The moments you have with your children are amazing, the good and the bad. I spend more time just watching my kids than anything. I am now starting to hear, “why are you looking at me, mommy?” with a sly smile, and I have to respond, “because I love you.” It’s 110% true. I like to watch them while they play, interact, enjoy their food, try something new. The list goes on and on. But why is it that I want to scream and cry and rant when they are driving me bonkers? Especially when your eldest does something small to piss off the younger one, and it erupts in screaming and crying. Or the constant question, what’s for dinner? threatens to throw you off the edge.
What is it about parenthood that feels like a roller coaster that makes you want to throw up one second and then scream with delight in another? Is it the hormones that come along with getting older/having kids/PMS/being pregnant or just recently pregnant? Or is it the children who are constantly asking you for attention, spiking fevers in the middle of the night, demanding your attention in the middle of whatever it is you are trying to do? Why can’t we just sit back and enjoy it, anyway? I wish I could stop time during the times they are precious, giving each other a hug, smiling cute for a picture. If I did, I could bring those moments back when I needed them most.
At times where they drive me crazy, I try to remember what it was like before kids. Sleeping in until noon, going out when I wanted to, hitting the gym for fun not because I had to. And then I look at their little faces, smiling at me, saying, “I love you so much mommy” and I realize, I don’t want the before. I want the now. Even with all the ups and downs that come along with it.