Everything Changes, Right?

These Blurs Are My Loves. MomsicleBlogI have to tell you a secret.

I came up to my husband tonight and all I could say was, “I want to stop parenting these children.”

I put our kids, at any particular moment, on a spectrum. They are either helpful, neutral, or actively unhelpful.

We spend so much of our time on the actively unhelpful side of the spectrum that I wonder if we will ever come out of it.

I tell myself that the four-year-old and two-year-old age combination is uniquely challenging.

I look to God and say, “Everything changes, right? Right?!”

The idea of having a room clean or a glass of milk unspilled or five minutes without whining or yelling when PBS Kids isn’t on…. These things are unattainable.

Right now all of the toys upstairs are under the kitchen table in a reenactment of their new favorite book The Garbage Barge. This followed on the heels of all of our fruit being relocated on rocket ships into the master bedroom. In between we had to put gym socks on the legs of an Ikea chaise lounge-turned ferry boat so it would stop scratching all the floors at each ferry stop.

I mean, this is awesome stuff, this imaginary play.

So why can’t I just roll with it?

I heard this mom on the radio the other day talking about how she was so caught up in doing all the “best” strategies for her child that she forgot to play with her daughter. And it made me think, “But it’s not that fun to read children’s books and play pretend all day long.” And then I thought, “I guess I missed the point of the story.”

I feel like I don’t fit in. I don’t love bathtime. I don’t like reading books at night. I don’t make play dough for preschool. And right now I’m mad at the kids for taking the joy out of cooking—they’re literally taking the spice out of my life and replacing it with bland chicken and potato wedges.

And yet I love these two gremlins. I love them more than anything. I think they’re hilarious, and creative, and they love us and each other.

It’s just hard for me to roll with all the punches right now. The volume on our whine-o-meter is very high; the gremlin brains are literally still building the architecture to allow them to make good decisions on a regular basis; and life’s outside stresses are piercing.

So I’m just trying to persevere in the face of constant chaos, say a few nice things to myself each day, and remember that everything changes: It has to.


16 responses to “Everything Changes, Right?

  1. Parenting is indeed very hard, very exasperating and very frustrating. I found when parenting you and your siblings that as soon as I was at my most exasperated, things changed for the better. You and your brother and sisters got older and certain frustrations faded away. New ones emerged, but they were different and it changed my outlook and approach. You are wonderful people. Your children, my grandchildren, are wonderful people. We will all make it through these chapters and be better for it.

  2. Thanks, Dad! I really appreciate your online and off-line support! I needed to get some perspective to *hopefully* hang on to through the day. 🙂

  3. Oh Evelyn, I totally can relate. I’m exactly the same as you. Sure, I like to read books every once in a while, or play Barbies, or build with Legos, but that goes away quickly.

    My kids are also two years apart and they are now 7 and 9. I can tell you it gets better. The get more independent and even begin to crave some responsibility, so those toys everywhere and the spilled milk? They will be able to take care of it.

    The reality is this days of chaos are but vapors in the windstorm of life. Before you know it you will look at them and actually wonder WHERE the toy stuffing, milk spilling, floor scratching little gremlins went. 🙂

    • Thank you, Tina! These “days of chaos are but vapors in the windstorm of life.” Love that!!!

      It’s so funny, because I love to play trains and build stuff with Legos. But we can do that for about five minutes before a track gets thrown at my head, or a train car is being fought over. I’d kind of just like to play with the trains by myself for a little while… 😉

  4. They can’t possibly stay two and four forever, right? What you need, my dear, is a champagne cocktail made by those Mumford guys! Wish I was there to escape with you!

    I hear you, though. some days, especially, just drag, and you feel like a bad mom for resenting it. I am convinced that this long winter must be contributing, because so many moms I know are in the same funk. Maybe it’s that the gremlins aren’t able to actually be outdoors to use those infamous “outdoor voices”…

    They will drive us to the brink, and just as we are about to break, they will look at us and say, “I love you, Mama. You’re my best friend.” and I guess that makes it okay.

    • LOL. Yes, I guess that makes it okay! 🙂 I have to be careful not to get to know those Mumford guys by name. Thanks for the great thoughts and for making me laugh, P!

  5. How awesome that your dad reads your blog! I spent the whole summer 2013 with Amina playing tennis in the back yard (which Wally made over; you should see it), tending to our garden, napping, eating ice cream and going to the pool. Sounds fun, right. It was not, and I say this humbly. There were meltdowns, whining, crying, refusal to get out of the house or take off pajamas. And I’m only talking about myself here! 🙂 Then I decided to get a part time job, 21 hours how bad can it be I’m thinking. I’m into my 2nd month and I.Hate.It.With.Passion. I’m not home, I don’t get to nearly see my beautiful child, weekends are spent worrying about going back to work on Monday and dealing with a co-worker whose ego has the capacity to resurrect Eda Goldstein. And I don’t get to cook :((

    Everything has two sides, is what I’m trying to say, and your dad is right: you will get through all of this. They are just children and will do everything to not follow rules and wreak havoc in your home. You will talk until you’re blue in the face and eventually they will hear you. But not now. Now is not the time. xoxoxo love and hugs and miss you lots

    • Great point, D! I don’t want to be doing anything else. I love the flexibility and creativity we have. It’s just that keeping perspective on a daily basis is very difficult right now!:)

      And of course–you make me laugh hysterically as usual! xoxo

  6. I’m building a rocket in my backyard – for me, not the kids. I think Mars seems like a peaceful place and a good place to get guilt-free “me” time.

  7. I have never been the traditional Mom who enjoyed reading bedtime stories and legos are still *basically* non-existant in our house. I don’t enjoy playing with Barbies. I am a single Mom with a seventeen yer old girl and a six year old girl. I adore them but my favorite moment is the quiet space that they are dead asleep curled up next to me. They are amazing independent thinkers who hold their own in arguments because they practice so much with each other. I wouldn’t change them but there are times when I would give anything to be able to use a bathroom without interruption and not have the clutter constantly creeping across the floor. but it is okay. Life is good. Just breathe.

    • “They are amazing independent thinkers who hold their own in arguments because they practice so much with each other.” I love how you phrase that, Wendy! I see my four year old becoming a super independent, smart, savvy negotiator. Skills that will serve him well in life, but will be honed on my for the next fourteen years.

      I love hearing dispatches from people with older kids. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding me to breathe.

  8. I get bored playing with my kids too long. I love spending time with them, but I know that if I were a stay-at-home mom, I’d go crazy playing make believe and cleaning up messes all day. My kids are 3 and almost 18 months old, so I can relate to the special challenge that creates. I see all the benefits it has to offer though too, like how close they are and how they can play together. Hope there’s a plan to be able to get some alone time soon so you can re-energize. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  9. Don’t worry it gets easier as they get older and all that hard work will pay off.

  10. I completely relate to this right now… Completely. You are not alone! Some days I can keep the spilled milk in perspective; other days I just want to escape. Thanks for your honesty. I knew having boys ages 2 & 4 would be difficult but OH MAN.

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