Children are miraculous. They are perhaps the only creatures that you can love more than life itself yet feel complete rage towards 75% of the time. Between the near constant fighting, exhaustion on my part, inability to listen EVER, and the disastrous messes they leave in their wake, sometimes I forget that I LIKE my children as well as love them. Let’s face it, you don’t have to like someone to love them. We all have that one relative, you know the one, the one who you wish no ill upon but you wish wouldn’t show up for birthday parties channeling Clark Griswald. But I DO like my children, they are funny, interesting, enjoyable little balls of fury, I just forget sometimes.
There are days when all I feel like I do is yell and nag at my brood. Stop fighting. Do your chores. Put my tampons away. Where are ALL your shoes? Eat your food. If you don’t do your chores I swear to God!!! Rinse and repeat. Add to that the fact that I haven’t slept through the night since the beginning of pregnancy numero uno, 10 years ago, and there is a recipe for petulance brewing at every moment.
I get to the point where I answer every question with irritation and I forget to smile at the naughty things they do on accident or the embarrassing facts that come out of their mouths. For example, the other day my 3 year old said, “You have a funny peepee…Are girls’ peeps on the inside?” And instead of laughing, all I could think was that I didn’t have time to explain anatomy at the moment. Jesus, get your sh*t together woman! When you can’t remember how to laugh at your kids idiosyncrasies or take joy in their little nuances, you need to take a step back, grab a glass of wine and reset yourself. Irritation and annoyance should not be your go to place with your kids.
Thus, I have spent the last week remembering how much I like my kids. I promised myself to wait a beat before answering their constant and sometimes ridiculous questions so that I could enjoy the question as well as search for a decent or, at least, equally obnoxious answer. I put my phone down and let my dishes wait awhile longer so that I could read my little ones an extra story or cuddle and extra minute in the morning. And I DO like my kids! Now that I am not acting like such and an a$$h*le they are acting less insane and we are enjoying each other more! Imagine that.
I’m not saying my kids are any less annoying. I would be worried about them if this were so. And I am certainly not less annoyed at the mess, the homework battles, my sleep conundrum, or the general amount of crap that a mom constantly sifts through. However, for the last week, I have been able to compartmentalize all those things and savor the little moments with my kiddos. Moments that are passing very quickly and that they won’t want to share with me much longer. So I have to keep it together, I have to remember that I like as well as love my children, and not let the bustle of daily life make me forget again.