I need your advice on how to deal with kids being home all summer? Yesterday, I was having a “poppin Xanax like they’re tic tacs” sort of day. Not really, but that’s definitely how I’ve been feeling. You know when you just feel like things are too much and swallowing you whole? Not in a depressed sort of a way. For me it’s a wheels spinning, engine stuck in neutral sort of feeling. It’s frustrating and emotionally exhausting. It makes me feel out of control and anyone who knows me, knows that I do not do well with feeling out of control. I’m like a heat seeking missile when it comes to this sort of situation, I will seek out control to the detriment of all else. Thankfully, I can feel myself amping up; the crazy has been kicked up a notch.
I’ve been “on” for about 2 weeks straight and I am in desperate need of some quiet alone time. Quick, someone send me to a corner for a timeout. We’ve been constantly busy this summer and I’ve been sandwiched in between my mom and my children, all three talking incessantly about nothing at all while I try to squeeze in deadlines around the fringes by waking up at the ass crack of dawn (I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning) and staying up way past midnight. The pretzels are making me thirsty!!!
I just want to be alone with my thoughts and get a furlough from this insanity that is my life. I’m feeling on edge and increasingly annoyed by things like loose hairs and the sound of people chewing their food. Is it wrong to want some peace? Just five minutes to myself or alone time with the Big Guy.
The constant chatter is waning on my nerves. I want to yell, blow shit up and go away but I can’t because that’s just not what one’s supposed to do (after the age of 2) in these situations plus where would I go? Everywhere I turn, there I am right smack dab in the middle of a shit sandwich with nowhere to go. I feel like I’m about to be eaten alive by it all.
I can’t even tune out mindlessly to television because inevitably someone will want to “talk”. For some reason, they feel the need to fill every second of silence with words. I just want to hear my own thoughts. The long sighs and exasperation in their breathing is becoming more than I can take. I’m beginning to feel like I’m failing every expectation and being rushed to nowhere. Case in point, yesterday afternoon they got ready to go someplace and decided to go wait in the car for me before I was even dressed. No pressure there.
I realize that it sounds like I’m complaining when I should just be enjoying the summer with my family but the point is that even though they are “off”, I am not. I love them and I love seeing their beautiful little faces every day but they are making the mom guilt hit me hard. Inferiority is creeping it’s ugly little head into my mothering gig.
But then there are other moments when I hear my girls laughing hysterically as they jump on the trampoline with their friends, or we’re lying on the grass reading the BFG together under the summer trees or I get to enjoy wine slushies with my mom at a baseball game on a perfect June afternoon.
I still have work to be done and deadlines to be met. I need to find a balance. The only thing summer break means for me is that I’m working double time and a half with no sleep and my house is always full of extra people and if it isn’t I have two children on repeat telling me how bored they are and asking when can we go to the pool. Never, I want to yell. We can never go to the pool. I can’t tell you how excited I was to get the neighborhood email about the pool closure due to a “fecal accident” because I knew the kids wouldn’t touch that pool with a ten foot pole for at least a week. I was wrong, it was only a day and they were ready to wade in shit just to get to the clubhouse.
To make life even more strenuous, my youngest has a raging case of hypochondria. We know that we can’t watch movies where people or pets die but I made the mistake of forgetting that every sickness or health crisis she hears about or sees in a movie or reads in a book, she immediately believes that she has. This child doesn’t even know what WebMD is, heaven help us all when she finds out.
Last week, we watched Miracles from Heaven. I thought, happy ending and miracles should be fine. I loved it even though I sobbed through most of it because as a mother, I know the unrecoverable kick to the gut that watching a child you love suffer delivers. Unfortunately, my 9-year-old took away not the miracle of God’s healing powers as the moral of the story but instead, got it into her mind that she too must have a motility issue and it could be fatal, or maybe she’d get it later, or maybe one day, her child would be born and develop it.
It might sound funny. You might be chuckling. But I assure you, when your child is that sure that they are dying it is simultaneously heartbreaking and infuriating, when nothing is wrong. I’ve been trying to comfort her and assuage her fears. I tell her nothing is wrong but I understand her fears, then I assure her that I am taking note of how she is feeling and I will always take care of her. Then, I feel guilty for not taking her to the hospital immediately but we’ve been here before so I do my best. My nights are sleepless, my mom brain and heart are at battle and I’m torn between wanting to coddle her and wanting to shake her. In the end, I usually end up biting my tongue and just cuddling with her until she falls asleep. It might not be the best answer but it comforts her and eventually, her little mind lets go of the idea that people die.
I think I’m just tired, exhausted really. I need rest. A nap could probably do wonders for me right now. Is summer supposed to feel like a prison sentence? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all been bad. We’ve enjoyed a week of lots of fun memories being made together but yesterday just sucked. It happens.
I was looking so forward to this summer and it was going brilliantly and then it just wasn’t. The thing is I know that if it were just me and the kids, it would be awesome but as soon as you add to it any extra people, places or plans it becomes a chore. I don’t want my summers with my children to be a chore. There are so few left that they will be living here. I know the next few years will fly by, they always do. I want to soak up the goodness not want to drown my sorrows in Xanax and silence. So, I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning to get work done so that I can deliriously enjoy the rest of the day being furiously happy with the people I love most in this world, my daughters, my mother and the Big Guy. Wish me luck and health, patience and perspective.
It’s not all been bad. I’ve really enjoyed having my kids and my mom here to see the first thing in the morning and the last thing I see before I fall to sleep but every day can’t be awesome, some days just suck. But then there are moments like this when being there mom makes me happier than I deserve to be.