There is a constant joke in our family that we are in survival mode. Even though we adore our children, two active toddlers can be exhausting and I am usually ready to throw in the towel by 8 am. After a particularly hard couple of weeks, it is time that I confess a few things. Confession, after all, helps our souls heal, right? (Catholic friends, feel free to correct me.)
1.There are moments (read: like every 10 minutes) when I need time away from the screaming and whining. Since I have various chores to complete in any given 18-hour period, I use those as excuses to plug in my headphones and listen to podcasts or music. Not only am I knocking out things like washing dishes and folding laundry, I am getting the much needed adult interaction–even if most of it is in my head and one-sided–that I often crave. This, of course, means I must resort to gating myself in the kitchen to ensure my children aren’t trying to climb in my lap and smack my face (in the name of love) or bugging me for a snack every 5 seconds.
2. When Ben and I are feeling distant, we will corral the kids into a small area in the living room, gate them in with plenty of snacks and a movie, and run upstairs for some, ahem, “time” together.
3. There are some days where we just need to get out of the house. However, since we sold our stroller*, taking a walk is an even more exhausting option, so I choose to go to the store, the library, or a friend’s house. The store becomes problematic when I begin spending money, or too much money (which, on our tight budget, happens to be any time I spend money); the library becomes overwhelming when Andrew starts tearing pages out of books and the librarian gives me the stink eye; and my friends probably don’t appreciate the messes my children make at their own house, especially when it adds to the messes their own children make. But, I’ve got to keep my sanity somehow!
4. At night, when I finally get “my” time, I respond v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to my children’s cries. I figure 7 pm is when I can officially clock out.
5. I love my children, but sometimes they drive me crazy. At the same time, sometimes I drive them crazy. I think that’s why they prefer their father’s company when he gets home. It might also be the reason they ask to see their friends all day long.
*Nema, Ben’s mother, has remedied this situation by buying us a stroller. I guess that means I don’t have any excuses to stay cooped up inside anymore. Drat.