I spend my life yearning for peace and quiet. Literally my head throbs for it, my stomach aches for it, and my body shudders for it. It is few and far between for me to find it. My kids spend every waking hour fighting, screaming, hollering, and yelping. All I want is a little peace and quiet.
Before you start to feel bad for me, let me explain the whole story. I grew up an only child with a single, working mom. My house was always quiet. Even when it was loud, it was quiet. I would go to friends’ houses with the hustle and bustle of siblings and long for that life. I wanted fighting, screaming, hollering, and yelping. Careful what you wish for…
My day starts out with children screaming at each other before my 7 a.m. alarm wakes me up. My day ends with a reenactment of that Chuck-E-Cheese game where the groundhog rears its head only for you to slam it down and another pop up. Get one kid into bed, another pops up with a demand, and so on and so forth for quite some time. In between those two scenarios, I spend my recklessly deafening day chauffeuring my loud mouths to and from school and activities all while mediating fights, brawls, and complaints!
Oh yes, I’m living my dream life. When I was young, I had no idea how hard, how draining, and how exhausting that life was on those parents. I looked at their houses with kids coming and going, siblings fighting, parents nagging, and saw only the beauty of it. There was noise and excitement. I craved that, not at all noticing how draining and frustrating all those things could be if that was your life.
At the face of all the tumult, all the tears (mostly mine), and all the madness, I find myself longing for peace and quiet—and especially some peace and quiet in my head. Having three children that occupy every ounce of your life makes it impossible to ever stop thinking:
Drew needs coins for school tomorrow.
I have to remember to pick up Gabby’s snow pants.
Run to the grocery store to get Noah’s preschool snack.
Even when the madness of living with them subsides, it doesn’t stop. It never stops for the CEO and mother of a home with five people.
I’ve tried separating the children in efforts to lower the noise volume. I’m constantly the first one to bring up the “Quiet Game” with the hope of bringing down the madness. But until the voices in my head quiet, I’m not sure all the silence in the world will calm my nerves.
Maybe the irony of the fact that this is the life I wanted makes it even harder to stomach. What right do I have to complain when I have it all? I got the 2.5 kids and the picket fence (well, three kids and no fence but you get the point). I would never change the great fortune I’ve been bestowed, but sometimes, maybe too often, I’d like a little peace and quiet.
Is that too much to ask for?! Maybe a night off would be my answer—then again, I’d probably just be thinking about the lunches I have to make in the morning. Doh!