I am NOT one of those moms who can be with their kids 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year … I am just NOT. Sometimes, I try to convince myself that I can do it, but each time I try, I fail.
I am currently “just a mom,” since I am on maternity leave with our third (and final) daughter, Cambri. In theory, since I am not working, I shouldn’t require childcare for her or my middle daughter, Madilyn, who isn’t in school yet … but, I do.
Last week, I was reminded of this fact again. When I got to Saturday (the first day of my oldest daughter’s break from school), I … just … couldn’t … be … a good mom … anymore. I caught myself “busying” myself with household chores instead of spending time with the kids. I felt grouchy and irritable. I wanted them to enjoy themselves, and have fun at home, but I couldn’t push myself to join them or instigate a fun activity. I … just … couldn’t … do it.
Generally, Madilyn is out of the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-3:15. Sometimes, she’s even out of the house for a good chunk of the day on Wednesdays. This leaves me with a bit of alone time (with the exception of the baby, of course), which I NEED to recharge. Last week, the way things worked out, I only had Tuesday to myself … and that’s why I was TOTALLY spent by Saturday.
In our life right now, we are in the thick of seeding season, which was preempted by a week-long shutdown at the mill where my husband works as a Millwright. Both of these “events” mean my husband is home to sleep, but that’s about it. We are nearing three weeks now of mom manning the fort (which I really don’t mind) … early mornings, all day, after school, suppertime, bath time, and bedtime (x three kids). I am not complaining … in fact, I am very used to it (my oldest daughter is seven), and elected to have a third child (yes, she was planned) knowing that my husband is not around a whole lot, especially during “peak” farming seasons. However, even though I chose it, it certainly doesn’t mean I can do it all, all day long, EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I do know many wonderful mothers who can accomplish some really amazing things while their children are present … but I am just not one of them. There are things that I simply NEED to do to feel good and whole and refreshed … like
- taking a brisk 20 minute walk outside or on the treadmill … UNINTERRUPTED
- completing a mini workout … UNINTERRUPTED
- listening to a good book … UNINTERRUPTED
- listening to music … UNINTERRUPTED (hold the “Cotton Eye Joe” and the JoJo Siwa please)
- starting a task (and finishing it in one sitting)
- making a phone call … UNINTERRUPTED
- writing a blog post … UNINTERRUPTED
- reading something interesting … UNINTERRUPTED
- visiting with a friend … UNINTERRUPTED
- volunteering … UNINTERRUPTED
These things bring me joy. The give my life meaning. They help me fulfill my purpose. Too many days without them, and I struggle to be the mom I want to be. My kids bring me joy. They give my life meaning. They help me fulfill my purpose. Too many days without them, and I would be lost. Too many days with them though, and I can’t be a good mom any more, and I desperately WANT to be a good mom.