I am trying, okay?
My kids will not give me a break. I feel like I can’t do ANYTHING when they are around because it quickly becomes about them. If I try to exercise, they get all silly and wound up and start shouting for me to watch them. If I try to watch a movie, they talk to me or fight with each other loudly enough that I can’t hear it. If I try to read something, one of them will want to read with me by grabbing the pages, or by asking me repetitive, unanswerable questions about the book cover illustration – while the other one will engage in some sort of illicit activity designed for my swift and direct intervention, like, say, hitting the dog with a plastic gold club. Even if I try to just sit with them, near them, while they are playing, I can’t be unnoticed. Soon I am covered in blankets and stuffed animals, sat on, my hair pulled by my daughter “the twirler”, or I am solicited for snacks and stories.
I don’t think I realized when I decided to have kids how much they need. The first year, the baby year, is so much easier than these preschool years. I feel as if I am constantly working at a job where the employees are undervalued and overworked. I often feel like I am drowning, suffocating, unable to breathe without another little face there claiming my air as his or her own.
Sometimes I get snappy. I don’t think it’s resentment I feel. I just feel lost, like the world has no place for me anymore, which pisses me off. I get angry when I finally sit down to eat my lunch and as soon as my ass hits the chair one of the kids asks for more to drink. I want from my kids something that they are unable to give me – recognition of my value as a person APART from them and their needs. I assume that this will change when they get older (fingers crossed).
And so I do what I need to to get through another day. I try to focus on the smallness of the moment and not the enormousness of lifetime. I try to decide how I will spend today, not next weekend or my birthday or next summer. I try to remind myself that eventually the kids will not want to be around me at all, that their secrets will really be secret, that they will soon feel irritated and restless because they have to be with ME instead of the other way around. I try to just embrace what the day has to offer.
I try to find the little pieces of who I was in the now of me.
I am trying. I am trying.