I'm just going to come right out and say it. Sometimes I'm too exhausted to enjoy being a mom. I'm grateful for my kids, my home and my job. Keeping all three running at top speed with some (not a lot of) quality takes quite a bit of work. I can't delegate any of the tasks because there are about as many people in my village as there are dollars in my bank account.
It's all on me. Would I go back seven years and change my plans to have a child on my own? No. Absolutely not. Would I go back five years and not try to give him a sibling? No. Never. Do I wish I could sit down for more than 15 minutes each evening? Do I wish I could read a novel in less than 3 months or create something with my own hands that didn't involve peanut butter? Yeah, a little bit I do.
I used to knit, quilt and paint. It physically hurts to drive past a craft store these days. Sometimes, when I take the boys to the library, I hear the 740's whispering to me, Where have you been? Come look at our shiny pages filled with ideas. Hey, come back here... but I must hurry downstairs before the children's librarian rounds up my unsupervised, rambunctious duo and places them in timeout next to the aquarium.
The screen of my laptop is, as I type this, propped up against the first of four filled laundry baskets. Every sock, shirt, towel and pajama bottom we own is waiting to be folded. When I'm finished, I'll go to sleep on the couch only to be awakened a few hours later by my 14 1/2 year old dog whose brain and bladder are shrinking. Oh, and he's completely deaf and mostly blind. I often find him crying in the guest bathroom because he doesn't know where he is and can't find his way out.
Why am I sleeping on the couch tonight? Why, it's raining, of course. That means that in addition to the preschooler who chooses to permanently reside in my room, a certain first grader was convinced there would be thunder at some point tonight and he wasn't safe in his own bed. There's really not room for all of us in there. (Not to mention, I suspect that Henry just wanted to be near his brother. I overheard him wake Liam gleefully announcing his presence.) So I get the couch. And the dog.
Which brings me back to those years, now long ago, when I would have given anything to be a mom. To be needed. To be sought out on a dark and stormy night. To answer that plaintive voice calling "Mommeee". I try so hard to remember how important this is and to be here, right now, mothering my children. But if I do that, who will wash the clothes, clean the toilets, sweep the floors, do the dishes, make the meals, shop for food, pay the bills, keep a job with health insurance?...
My children are smart, healthy and often happy. The roof doesn't leak and I know I'm getting a paycheck next week. Even I don't want to hear me complain. I just don't feel like folding laundry and sleeping on the couch. Again.