Oh how I envy the irresponsible, the individuals who are only responsible for themselves. I remember a time when I had total freedom, I could have lived as a Nomad if I so chose to (and there was a time in my youth that I would have loved to be a hippie). But that isn’t how it is any longer, now there are times where I start to feel like Atlas, holding up the sky all on my own. After a time it starts to wear on you, like a weariness that sinks right to the bone and leaves behind doubt.
I find my self shaking my head at how much people take for granted in their lives. Some times I think what I would do if given a chance, a day, to just do whatever it is I want with no worry, no stress (first thing that comes to mind is usually silence, blissful silence). But in truth I don’t even remember what it’s like to not think about my kids and the responsibility that comes hand in hand with parenthood. I have realized that being a parent means that your wants and needs come second to those of your children. It is a slightly depressing thought and even though I don’t like it, in the end it is worth it
As a single parent I can say with complete certainty that raising children is definitely not a one person job. Sure it’s doable, it is possible, but it takes its toll on those that do it. I constantly wonder if I’m doing it right, if I am being a good mother. I am sure that I will always live with this inadequacy, this question haunting my every action, but live with it I will.
So those of you without responsibility, without things to really worry about, I envy you your freedom so please don’t waste it.
There is just about nothing better then a soft bed, a comfy pillow, and a fluffy comforter. I love my bed and yet we have a very complicated relationship. No matter how tired I may be as soon as my kids are in bed and silence finally descends on me all I can think about is how much stuff I can get done without them under foot, or the chance to actually watch something other then cartoons (though I must confess, there are some cartoons I get as much enjoyment out of watching as they do). But no matter what it is sleep and my bed are usually the furthest things from my mind. I am a night person and so I usually feel more energetic and awake once the sun goes down (might also be because my children are in bed). Then morning comes around and even on those lucky days when my kids actually sleep in my oh so pleasant internal alarm clock wakes me up at 8 anyway. Oh how I try to deny the fact I am a wake, how I cling to the fading dreams and pray that sleep will return, but in the end it never really works. I lay in bed for as long as I can (usually the increasing need to pee makes staying in bed impossible) and then its back to morning routines.
There are times when I am talking to others and they like to tell me how they slept in until noon, and how tired they are, and I can start to feel my hand twitch with restraint. Don’t they know that you never talk to a parent about sleep? We don’t want to hear about your 12 hours of sleep, or how tired you are since you just worked eight hours. Being a parent is working full time and then going home to work another full time job. Luckily the little monsters are cute and are usually good for a laugh or two, most of the time they don’t even know why they are being funny which just makes it even better. It amazes me sometimes to think about my pre-mother life and how I would feel exhausted if I didn’t get eight hours of sleep, and now I could get four hours and still function (pretty sure I’m just working on auto-pilot on those days).
So enjoy every hour of sleep you get and never take sleeping in for granted. Even though I am sure most parents are like me and if you do miraculously sleep in you just end up thinking about all the things you could have gotten done in that time.
It makes me cringe every time it happens and yet I feel powerless to stop it. Sometimes when I open my mouth and speak I can’t help but wonder, “What the hell did I just say?”. But in the end it doesn’t matter, I am turning into my parents. I remember being a kid and I couldn’t believe some of the crap my parents would say to me and now I find myself repeating them to my kids. The empty threats, the bargaining and the little schemes. It is kind of funny in a way because I know exactly how full of poop I am and yet they seem to fall for it (I don’t swear. I didn’t really do it often before I was a mom but I do it even less now and I have even made up my own swear words, my favourite are “For Pete sake’s”, “For crying out loud”, “MOTHER”)
I actually dread the day when my kids start calling my bluff. My favourite empty threat is if we are out and they are being difficult and/or not listening I say “would you like to wait in the car?” I obviously wouldn’t do it but it works on quieting them down. I am waiting for the day they actually answer with a “Yes”. and I’m left with trying to come up with a good retort. The funnest one would be the one my dad used while we were on road trips, “Don’t make me come back there.” I said something similar to that the other day and as soon as I said it I started laughing. It is just something so ridiculous and yet they believe it.
Growing up the idea of being like my parents was scary. I’m sure a lot of kids had the thought that they would be better, do better then their parents had, but in the end you can’t seem to fight nature(or nurture depending on your side of the argument). I have actually come to appreciate my parents and my family in a new way since becoming a single mother. I don’t even want to think about what my life would have been like if I didn’t have the help and support of my family. My life isn’t perfect and it is far from easy but things could have been a lot harder if it hadn’t been for them, so maybe turning into them isn’t such a bed thing after all.
A tip for new parents: never trust silence. Kids are never up to anything good if they are quiet 😉