I am no longer the mommy that I want to be.
When my kids were younger I was one of the good mommies. We spent endless hours at the park, and did crafts, and read books, and rode our bikes. Sure there were tough days, but generally speaking our time was fluid and carefree and fun.
I don't know where it all went wrong. Actually, that's not true. I do know what happened. They got older and they went to school, and that is horribly ironic because during those younger years about which I was just waxing poetic I used to fantasize about this time... all my kids in school for a full day... all at the same school... old enough to be somewhat responsible and accountable for themselves.
It doesn't get better once we are home. Everyone attacks me with homework and forms to be signed and reading logs. No one gets my full attention. Throw sports and other activities into the mix and it quickly becomes ridiculous. It's not like the kids are over scheduled either. They each do one sport at a time, plus Girl Scouts, but you multiply that times four and, well, it's just a lot. I feel like it's a constant struggle to keep from running into myself at the intersection of crazy and busy. But how is it that I was bored a couple hours ago while they were at school?! Talk about a study in contrasts.
I know she's got five and I only have four, but I swear this is what it feels like when they all get home from school.
I do realize this is nothing new. Every single one of you is probably reading this and thinking, "Cry me a river, lady." The problem is it's sucking the joy out of my time with them. I know it's not all sweetness and light, but it seems wrong when the most fun I've had with Hannah lately was when she was sick at home recovering from the stomach flu and we played endless games of Sorry together. She is such a funny kid with a dry, sharp sense of humor. A lot like mine come to think of it. But it's not like I get to see it that often.
And then I wonder... was it really that great when they were younger or am I conveniently forgetting just how hard it was? Did I really read them a story peacefully or were they crawling all over and standing on one another in an effort to try and get the best spot to see the pictures? It's probably a little of both, but right now it seems all I do is nag and complain. And that is not the mom I want to be.
I've gone back and forth and changed this last paragraph at least five times. As I read back over this post, not to proofread but to problem-solve my own situation, I think I get it. It wasn't perfect then and it's not perfect now. Then I was agonizing over why my twins wouldn't sleep through the night. Now I'm frustrated trying to manage complicated schedules with panache while still being a meaningful (not grouchy!) influence in their lives.
I guess this is why they say being a mom is such tough work.
So, I'm going to make some changes. Basically, I'm going to try harder to speed up when the kids are at school and slow down when they get home. Either that or I'm going to make an appointment with my doctor and see if she can prescribe a chill pill.