I Used to Feel Bad

by Ginger on July 15, 2013

in Mom Thoughts, Working Mom

It was the kind of weekend where I was glad to disappear into my cubicle this morning. I wasn’t feeling well this weekend, I was grouchy, it was hot, the kid was being 3.5, the house was a disaster (of my own making), I felt verbally assaulted by the incessant chatter/backtalk/whining/yelling of the kid, and my patience was RAZOR thin all weekend long.

Escaping to my cubicle this morning, where I can effectively hide out (when I’m not in meetings) and not SAY anything or have anything SAID TO ME not have anyone TOUCH ME for a few hours is just what I needed.

I’m not my best self when I don’t get some down time, and one of the challenges of being a parent is that there is precious little of that when you’re around your kid(s). J is in this stage where he’s simultaneously pushing us away but also super clingy, and so there’s lots of yelling and backtalk (and the subsequent consequences, which are loads of fun) from him one minute, and then nonstop chatter and “mommy I need you to come play with me” the next. He wants to do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it–and very often that thing he wants to do is to climb all over me/cuddle with me/generally touch me ALL WAKING HOURS. This push and pull of neediness/pushing away feels like whiplash sometimes, and, on weekends when my patience is already being tested by non-kid stuff, it can be hard to hold on to what semblance of calm I might have.

I used to feel bad that I would feel this way. I spend a lot of the week frustrated that most of my hours with J during the week are during his…well, not his best hours. It’s the after school/dinner/bedtime gauntlet, and it’s often a tough part of his day. I don’t get a lot of relax time with him, and so the weekends are where I bank on that stuff. So when I know I need a mommy time out by going to work, it used to bother me. It’s the double edged sword/catch 22 of working mom guilt.

But when I’m on edge and he’s on edge, it’s not always a good combo, and sometimes all we can do is make it through the weekend without everyone losing their damn minds. Oh, I mean it bothers me, still, but now it’s more about feeling bad that I was on edge and grouchy all weekend and that I wasn’t as patient (with ANY of the living beings in my home). But I don’t feel bad that I wanted to escape a little bit, about wanting a break from the noise and the touching and the whining and the playing, about wanting to be able to think a full coherent thought before 8pm. The reality is that weekends are an adjustment for us both. We both do better with the rhythm and structure of the week–him for the outside influences and learning and socializing and other authority figures and structure, and me for the break for my introverts senses to rejuvenate.

So today, I was happy to escape to the quiet of my cubicle. So that tonight I can go home and reenter the whirlwind vortex of whatever it is my kid and family need from me.

Tragic Sandwich July 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

There has been more than one point at which Baguette has wanted to do nothing but climb on me and hang from me and it drives me absolutely bonkers. I always try to remind myself that she won’t always do that, that she needs something right now that (apparently) only I can give her, and that the day will come when she wants to push me away much more than she wants to hold me tight.

It’s hard, though, and doesn’t keep me from sometimes saying to Mr. Sandwich, “I need you to take her NOW.”

Jesabes July 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

The weekend does that to me, too. They’re just kind of nuts. The good thing is, come Monday morning the kids are also in need of quiet and downtime. Plus, after busy weekends they’re happy to be reunited with their toys. So Mondays are pretty quiet and I can get downtime, even home with them. It’s nice!

Erica July 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

That was one really nice thing about working… Peace and quiet! (Sometimes.)

Ana July 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I needed to read this today, as I am blissfully back in my office after NINE DAYS of basically non-stop family time with 2 young boys. 3.5 years olds really are…the worst…and the best…but mostly the worst. And after a week of being over-sugared, under-slept, and spoiled by grandma, yesterday was a hell of a crash back to earth for them.

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