This is how I have been feeling about the job I am doing as a mother, and as a wife. I feel like the minute I get home from work, I’m yelling at the kids to not hit each other, to listen, to eat, to SOMETHING. They’re 2 1/2, sure, and sure we’ve recently moved, totally uprooting them and probably making them feel a bit uneasy about their surroundings even though the furniture is all the same, but I swear ALL I DO IS YELL EVERY EVENING. The level of frustration I feel makes me wonder if the Lexapro dose needs to go up. Because did I mention the yelling?
So of course, my next thought process is that I’M doing something wrong in being unable to get 2 2 1/2 year olds to listen to me, come when called, stop hitting their sibling when told to, and eat without spilling macaroni and cheese all over the brand new carpet. That and their lack of reliability in potty usage is all my fault. And while intellectually, I should know better, at the end of the evening all I want to do is cry. Did I mention H lost her job, we moved, the Governor is threatening layoffs of State workers, it’s the holidays, my Grandpa just died, and to top it all off our dryer outlet and our internet are not currently working. To say it’s been crazy at our house is a bit of an understatement.
So I get it. In my head, I get it. I know that I should cut myself some slack and just try and ride with the tide a little bit. I get that I should understand that job loss in the family and moving are two of the biggest stressors you can deal with, and throwing the rest of it in there too just provides kindling for the fire.
But last night, I chose to lay on the floor in the kids’ room with them while they fell asleep (on the floor – it was slumber party night apparently) because it was literally the only quiet time I got with them. N laid in the crook of my left arm while J leaned into my left shoulder for awhile. A few minutes later, I was on my side (the floor and my back – not a good combo) with my hand on J’s chest while N snuggled up and played with my hair. It was my favorite hour of the last few weeks. I tried to savor it. I tried to hold it as close as I could. Because I know today when I go home, it will be just as chaotic as it was last night. And while I know that we’ll get to a routine that everyone settles into eventually, it doesn’t make it any easier to feel like the ogre in my house.
I was so frustrated last night that even a hug from H wouldn’t work. And I felt bad for telling her I was too frustrated to relax and let her try and quell that frustration. Early in the morning hours, both of the twins ended up in our bed, and squeezing 4 people into our king size bed is harder than you’d imagine. So there we were, J, then me, then N, then H, all snuggled up. N was a bit restless, and H reached over him to rest her arm on his body and she held my hand. “I love you,” she said. “I love you,” I replied.
Thank God for that. Because at least when I don’t love myself very much, she and the kids remind me that someone else does.