WTF is Me Time

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Motherhood is a 24 hour a day job. Really, it never ends. From the time you roll out of bed until the time you crawl back in it a mom is working. Even after you are snuggled in the warmth of your blankets you are always ready to be called back in to action. Maybe a hungry baby awakens you from dream land, or perhaps it is a toddler needing one more hug or a sip of water. No matter the reason you must always be ready.  It is a thanks job, as well. Unless you count the thanks yous that are immediately preceded by the word, “what do you say?”

The constantness of it all often means mommy starts feeling a little frazzled. Following the frazzled feelings are often recommendations, from well-meaning bystanders, for “time for yourself.” Furthermore, you may here things like, “a happy momma means a happy baby,” or “you have to get some me time!” I know these people mean well, but “me time” is not a luxury that all of us can afford.

When should I schedule my me time, I wonder. Should it be after Lady Bug’s morning poop, or right before Wee Man wants his breakfast. No, that won’t work. Let’s try for lunch time. Maybe I can find a minute in between nursing the baby and pulling out the arm load of toys Wee Man tried to flush down the toilet. Crap, looks like early afternoon is out. Okay, maybe when daddy gets home. That’s it I will just have daddy watch them and I will get that me time. Well damn, is it still me time if I am listening to all of the kids crying outside of the door that “daddy is meeeaaannn!” And they nnneeeddd me? Oh well, I need to nurse the baby anyway so I’m not staying in my room.

First, me time, in my opinion, should be spent doing something you want to be doing. It shouldn’t he hiding behind a locked door, with your fingers in your ears chanting “I can’t hear them screaming” repeatedly.  Honestly, that is just added stress.  Second, I never heard my mother complaining about needing to have her own time. Have we gotten so far from family that we look at our time spent with them as moments getting in the way of what we wish we could be doing?

Sure, sometimes I have those “give me a break,” thoughts. I think we all do. But, when I go to walk out of the door I am bid farewell by the tears and screams of my two youngest children. Oh, how they beg me not to leave them. Should my me time be at the expense of my babies who can’t tell time and have no idea why I would need a break from them. After all, they never say how tired they are of me, or how badly they need to get out of the house.

Please, don’t misunderstand. I am not one of those parents that claims to not get stressed out by the day’s events here and there. I am also not complaining and then saying that their little smiles make it all worth it. As a matter of fact, when I walk in the bathroom to find the toilet over flowing and my son’s toys, which are circling the bowl, his little smile is the last thing I want to see! When I work my tired butt off to clean the house and the kids trash it immediately, I don’t care about those little toothy grins! I just want my house clean again.

No, I get over it. I just hate the idea of me time. Who made this up? Probably some one with a nanny or something. I don’t use the bathroom alone. I share almost every plate of food with someone. I run around exhausted with a baby on my boob, helping kids with homework, and entertaining my toddler simultaneously. It sucks sometimes. It is hard sometimes. Every once in a while I find myself mourning my pre-kid life. But, having children was my choice. Raising my children is my job. I love my job. I love my kids. One day they will be too busy for me. One day they will have school, friends, and activities to entertain them, and I will be but a source of funding and support. I think I will schedule my me time then.

I was going to be done with this post/rant but I wanted to add that I am talking about regular just “I am sick of these damn kids” me time. If you are depressed, really in need of help, or feeling desperate take a minute for yourself. If you need help, ask for it. Do not feel like a bad mom because you need a break! A sure sign of a great mom is being able to recognize when its all a little too much and getting the help you need!

As a Mother of Five You Must Know Everything By Now!

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When people see me walking with all five of my children I get a lot of looks, comments, and questions.  One of the most frequently asked questions is, “how do you do it?” This question is almost always followed by a statement about how he or she can barely handle his or her one, two, or three children. So, I am writing this to tell the world, or more accurately the one person that follows my blog, that  I don’t know everything about parenting.  But, I would love to share the few things that I have learned as a mother.

First, being a mom is messy! Be it pudding on the wall. Oh please let that be pudding!  Or crayons on the floor there are always messes. A clean house, in my opinion, is one that if you were to pick up all of the toys that cover the floor then it would look reasonably presentable. But, never, and I mean never open a closet door when company is over.

Second, kids always say exactly what you don’t want them to say in front of people. So, if you don’t want your children to comment on Aunt Either’s hairy mole, do NOT say in the car on the way to her house not to mention it! Seriously, chances are good that if you say nothing the kids will get so caught up in their new surroundings that they won’t even notice, but if you talk about it in advance you are guaranteed to have your kids staring directly at that hairy mole snickering and whispering until one of them bursts!

Third, newborn boys always pee when you open their diaper. I mean always. Urine streams are more powerful than you think, too. They can hit the ceiling, but are more likely to get themselves in the eye! Keep a rag handy to throw over his weenis ( yup, that’s what we call the wee penis) in those early weeks!

Fourth, poop stinks but it also shoots. Poop comes out fast and shoots straight. With spot on accuracy, poop will hit you! So stand to the left or right of that baby bum, because you never know when the poop will fly!

Fifth, formula stinks! Yes, formula stinks going in and even worse coming out! Also, formula stains everything it touches, so if you plan to formula feed (I hope you don’t) have stain remover, and be prepared for a lot of stink!

Sixth, kids will spend ten minutes in the bathroom wetting their toothbrush and making a mess, and come out with stinking morning breath swearing they brushed their teeth! If you don’t see them brush assume they didn’t!

Seventh, stress levels, while shopping with kids, rise in direct relation to the number of children present. If you take five kids to the store expect meltdowns. It happens. And the only people judging you are those with out children, so don’t worry because the rest of us are looking at you and empathizing!

Eighth, there is always going to be someone offering you advice whether you want it or not.  It sucks, but yes everyone thinks his or her way of parenting is best! It doesn’t matter if you spank or don’t, formula feed or breast feed, CIO or cosleep there are people that don’t agree with you. Stick to your guns and follow your instincts only you know what is right for you, but make sure you know what you are talking about before you go spouting off at the mouth. Nay sayers love to make you look or sound like an idiot, so don’t give them ammo.

Ninth, kids are always hungry when they are bored, always bored immediately after an activity, and never want to do any of your ideas. To battle this I start the day with a list if chores my kids can do if they get bored. I post the list, and I draw attention to it first thing in the morning. No one complains they are bored when chores are involved!

Tenth, and this is the most important. I have learned so much about parenting over the years, yet I know nothing. Each of my children has the ability to do something that will send me back to the first day I brought my first child home. I stand bewildered wondering how they could send me home with something but not tell me how to raise it! I know that I am learning something everyday, and look at each day with out a trip to the emergency room as a success. I look at the days with a trip to the e.r. as a lesson in love, patience, and wound repair and maybe a different kind of success.