Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making the right choices

I just wanted to go out today.

I wanted to go out yesterday, but it was snowing, and my big girl had a runny nose, and I was so far behind on the housework, and there was nowhere compelling enough to go to make it worth the fight.  So we didn't.  We stayed home.  We watched too much TV.  We folded some laundry.  My big girl didn't nap.  My little one slept too long.  I dropped a vacuum cleaner on my foot and thought I broke my toe.

It kinda sucked a little.  And it kinda didn't.  We also cuddled, and played outside,and all made dinner together, and at bedtime everyone was happy and pleasant, and got into bed.

But man, was I tired.  And I was even more tired when I woke up this morning at 6, after being up with the baby every 20 minutes between 2 and 5.

And so, today I wanted to go out.  I wanted to go out to see other adults, so the day didn't feel as long.  I wanted to go out to quell my mom guilt about my two year old sitting still and watching TV for so long, so she'd run around and hopefully nap better.  I wanted to go out because there was a playgroup today, and it was the only one all week, and I had a sense of panic that if I missed it I would NEVER GET A CHANCE TO GO OUT AGAIN.  Ahem.

But then this morning kinda sucked a little too.  And it didn't.  My big girl was still snuffly, but she was pleasant.  I left the TV on for longer than I should have because it was the path of least resistance.  The baby wanted to eat, BG wanted to change her doll's diaper, and for the life of me I could NOT get our acts together and get us out the door.

But I did.  An hour late, with unbrushed hair, and without anything for the potluck breakfast, but we made it.

And it was kinda great.  And it kinda wasn't.

The other moms were lovely. It was a small space, so there wasn't much kid chasing.  We got to talk a lot.  BG's best friend was there, and a few other kids her age, and she seemed cheerful and playful.

And then suddenly she didn't.  She looked sicker than she did when we left the house this morning.  She wanted to sit next to me on the couch while I nursed nonstop and play with the same toy for an hour, which she NEVER does when there are other people around. She didn't eat any of the snacks or really even ask for anything until we were about to leave, and then I told her we were on our way home to eat lunch.  And right before we left, she dropped something and started sobbing, and none of my fabulous tricks could get an answer out of her as to what was wrong.

She fell asleep in the car on the way home, without lunch, and transferred effortlessly to her bed.  Effortlessly for her.  I didn't want to put my biggest baby down.

All I could think of for almost 24 hours before was how much I needed a break, and I didn't want to put her down.

But I did.  I put her down, went back and got her sister, ate lunch, switched my laundry over, emptied my dishwasher, listened to a podcast, and tried to numb all my yuckiest feelings of having made the wrong choice for my babies, with productivity.

And now I am nursing my baby again as I curl up on the couch and write.  And I wish I was sleeping and I wish I was folding my laundry and I wish I was curled up in the toddler's bed and I wish I could be alone for a while and I'm glad to be right here where I am right now.

There never will be a right way to do this mom thing, will there?  No matter what choice I make, it's always gonna kinda suck a little.  And also kinda be great.


  1. I have often lamented the multitude of contradictory feelings of motherhood. The push and pull. The joy and insanity. I believe it will always be so.

    By the way, my son was a TERRIBLE napper. NEVER in his little life did he take a good, long nap. By the time he was 2, I decided to stop. Apparently he didn't really need the sleep. And you know what? It was fine. People couldn't believe I wasn't bothering to make my 2yo nap, but it worked for us.

  2. Yesssss. I want my child to nap, then I miss her. I want to go out, but I want to stay home. Motherhood is so full of conflicting feelings and vacillating from one thing to the complete opposite. Why is that??

  3. Yes! That is exactly how to describe motherhood all the time! It sucks a little, but it's also kind of great! Every day I look forward to bedtime, when there can be peace and quiet and I can completely relax, but then when my son goes to sleep, I miss him. My husband thinks I'm crazy every night.

  4. Yes, yes and yes to everything that you wrote.

  5. I know this push and pull so well. I love my girls, and they exasperate me in equal measures.