My children are watching TV and I am huddled on the kitchen floor. Let’s be honest, I am hiding. I don’t want to get them another drink. I don’t want to get them something else to eat. I don’t want to get them something yummy.
Who knew the job that would prepare me the most for my future as a mother was being a waitress?
To tell you the truth, I have no more patience for my two children. I love them tremendously–of course I do! I am just exhausted. I am tired of giving so much of myself for their every need. And I’ve been doing it for six years.
I wish I had known how exhausting it would be. I wish I had been told how much work was involved. Before having kids, I couldn’t comprehend what being a parent meant. I don’t think anyone can. I was a nanny once before and it’s not the same thing. There is no lunch break, bathroom break, adult conversation, or end in sight! From the moment I wake until they go to bed, I am “on the clock.” Getting drinks, changing diapers, riding bikes, playing tag, giving, giving, giving.
I am not saying I would not have had kids. My life without them would be incomplete and I know I would feel empty. I am not saying I would not have had kids. BUT.
I am tired and I am out of patience. I find myself yelling more and more. The other day, my son was upset because I wouldn’t allow him to watch TV and he began screaming and crying. I was so frustrated that I found myself screaming at him for screaming. A few years ago I would have had the presence of mind to have a much better reaction. But now, I am uptight, high strung, and tense. I need a vacation. But how do you take a vacation away from your family? Is that even possible?
Am I the only one who is feeling this?
Just the other day, I was sharing a meal with a friend who was complaining about the challenges of parenting, only to end it with, “But when they do something sweet it makes up for it.” I am not so sure.
Those moments– the beautiful ones when they hug you and say how much they love you–they are wonderful. They are precious. They are rewarding. But are the rewarding enough? Does it suffice?
I sacrifice for my children because they come first in my life. I temper my selfish wants for their needs and wants because that is what parenting should be. I strive to achieve more patience and kindness because I want my children to exhibit patience and kindness.
Yet I am well aware of my limits and I know that I cannot endure any more. Perhaps it is a spiritual failure on my part, or maybe it is simply a healthy realization of my limitations, but I do know one thing: I do not want any more children. I love the ones I have and that is enough.