There are days that I cringe when I hear you running toward my room. I curl up under the covers, pretend to be sleeping and pray that you decide to make TODAY the day that you learn to play by yourself.
On these days I am sulky and mean. I yell at you for not moving your little legs to the table fast enough. I yell at you: Eat your waffles, I’m not a maid, you must drink milk/water/juice, stop asking so many questions, I can’t stand the dog, you’ll wake your sister, you can’t watch the iPad, you have to wear pants, you peed on the toilet, stop asking so many questions, I told you the answer already, we’re going to be late, I just need coffee, I don’t have chocolate, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast anyway, stop asking so many questions, don’t ask why…
I yell and yell and yell and yell because…
Because sometimes, my darling little child, sometimes when you’re a stay at home parent you feel like nobody ever hears you. Nobody is listening or understanding. You can manage this feeling for a bit, for days or for weeks but then one day…one dark day when the child who you love more than life itself asks you for the 1000th time if he has to brush his teeth…
…on that day you’ll completely lose your mind. You’ll wonder if you’ve gone insane, if anyone can actually hear you. DOES your voice work? You’ll feel useless because if you can’t even teach your child that he has to brush his teeth every morning you MUST BE FAILING and soon his teeth will fall out and the dentist will judge you. You’ll start looking for a desk job because at least at a desk job you’ll have more control over the results.
Because parenting is the most rewarding but stressful thing I have ever done in my entire life and the guilt at not being constantly & overwhelmingly grateful is crushing.
Then you, my slow walking, darling little child…you slowly walk up and sit next to me, knowing that I’m overwhelmed. I feel guilt that my almost 5 year old knows what the word overwhelmed means. You hold my hand.
You tell me you’re sorry for asking about brushing your teeth again.
I tell you I’m sorry for yelling.
The clock tells us both it has been 10 minutes since all of this began and now it has already ended.
We acknowledge that it was a rough start to the day and vow to get McDonald’s for lunch.
…and I vow to be a better, kinder, more patient mother tomorrow…