A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.

11 Mar

The clamouring starts before I’m even out of bed.

“Mommy, can you get me breakfast? Mommy, can you help me with my panties? Mommy, I don’t want THIS bowl, I want THAT bowl! Mommy, Jayden says that you don’t like me. Mommy, open the sock bin? Mommy, where’s my hat? Mommy, I can’t find Cheer Bear….”

If verbal assault could be explosive diarrhea, my children are official biological weapons.

Since I’ve been home, a lucky win fall for my daughters, the requests and needs and desires have been incessant, and I feel like I’m constantly being poked and prodded by a pack of wild monkeys searching for nits, the howling growing when I deny the T.V, the computer or more food. It’s almost as if they can’t believe their luck, and need to suck every inch of blood from my body until I’m just a husk a pod person comes out of.

I need to go back to work. I enjoy the time, but I’d enjoy it a LOT more if there weren’t kids under foot and I still didn’t need to get up most days to take Vivian to school. I have another job lined up, waiting to hear about one I want better, but DAMN, I am NOT suited to this stay at home thing.

I’m tired of cleaning, especially since no one else seems capable of keeping it that way. I don’t have it in me to constantly run behind everyone, or scrub the bathroom sink for the 5th time in a week. Reading is difficult since children, mine especially, have this irritating habit of talking. I really don’t have the capacity for games or experiments or anything arty. It’s just more mess. Winter has turned into that strange crunchy/slushy winter-spring hybrid, which means going outside is cold and sucky and boring.

I’m going a little nutty. I’m trying to just get away for a little while, since I also know I screwing with the patterns my husband has had for months, but this is a small city and there’s only so much to do. I’ve pretty much settled on spending a few hours at Starbucks or Timothy’s every day to read and maybe write if I’m up to the fierce outlet competition that ensues. Plus, it’s fun watching all the horrid 80’s hair on women far too old to pull it off. The odd poncho I saw today was also a nice touch.

Don’t even get me started on the hugging and the kissing and the cuddling. As people who have met me can attest, I am NOT a hugger, even if I adore you. Not a fan of touching-more a fan of the 3 foot personal space bubble. My kids are ALL up in my shit. I’m touched out in that regard. I don’t know if I can hack it anymore.

I LIKED leaving for the day, and coming back, happy to see my family. I could interact, pee without someone staring through the key hole, eat all my food, all by myself. Now, I’m so bloody lonely for human contact, for adult human contact that I’m being actively nice to strangers. Not just my usual good deed blather, but starting conversations and enjoying them.

This just won’t do. It just won’t.

Look, I love my kids. I do, with every fibre of my being but dear FSM I just cannot get them away from me, even at night. It’s all MOMMOMOMOMOMOMOMOMOM!!!!!, always with the inflection at the end like I’m some strange german word. But I just couldn’t do this forever. Rosalyn won’t stop peeing the bed no matter how many times she pees before hand, Vivian has nightmares nearly every night, and both of them only want ME. Santa could walk in with a pony and all of the Care Bears and no one would care since it’s not me.

SAHP’s-how the hell do you do this? How do you carve out anything for yourself without feeling guilty? These kids are relentless, like the black death….

13 Responses to “A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.”

  1. CharmingBitch March 12, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    I am virulently anti-touch with just about everyone and I struggle with that with these very touchy, sometimes clingy kids. J (3) I don’t mind it so much from but H (5) is a lean, mean machine and is therefore like holding or hugging a bag of very sharp elbow and knee shaped needles. J is a big bag of soft squish so when he throws himself at me, it doesn’t ”sting” so much. I feel bad because everytime H even LOOKS like he’s going to touch me he gets a chorus of EASY! EASY! BE GENTLE!! So much gusto for a little guy, seriously.

    Yeah, some days the hours are interminable to nap-time or bedtime and I just want to run out of the house screaming but I also know that I have at least a few more years until everyone is in school even part-time so I just count to ten, hope I can pee alone once in a day and mark off the days until D gets home to offer some relief.

  2. de March 12, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    Heh. You’ve described my world for the last several years to a T, right down to Santa and the horse he rode in on.

    My daughter turns 7 this week & I flashed back to when my son was born and I realized that I had just re-upped for another five years of SAH-domy, and it will be OVER in a year (and a half-ish). For about five minutes I had a rush of this-is-my-chance, I-can-make-a-real-impression in this last year, and then I was back to muttering, “I hate this” as the whining demands blocked my ears and strangled my breathing.

    What it comes down to is that I just don’t like people enough to want that much of anyone, even someone I made.

  3. Caitlin March 12, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    The hard part about being a stay at home parent is that your kids get used to you doing everything and naturally come to you first. I have to leave the house with instructions not to call me unless it’s from the hospital, otherwise I get bothered with really trivial stuff. I also try to take one day of the weekend as mine, otherwise the incessant 4 year old chatter, whining, and touching puts me in a bad place for keeping depression at bay for the following week.

    I try and take my son out to the playground at least once a day and it helps. When it’s too cold/nasty for the playground, I usually spring for $2 worth of stuff off the McD dollar menu once or twice a week, so we can spend a couple of hours in their indoor playground. There are usually other kids there, which means I might get left alone for 20 minutes.

    As for the cleaning, I have a “if the only thing you’re contributing to the state of the house’s cleanliness is dirty dishes and clothes, you don’t get to bitch at me if I get overwhelmed and behind” rule. Unfortunately, I still seem to be the only one who has figured out the complicated chores, like taking out the trash or running/unloading the dishwasher if it’s full.

  4. bromac March 12, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Because of a teaching career, I spend summer’s at home with my daughter. I love her to death, but the summers are a struggle. I am not accustomed to doing crafts and playing play-doh for seventeen hours. It is so darn hot in this state in the summer that if you want to go outside it better be before 10am or to the pool. By middle of the summer, I am counting the days until it is time to come back to school.

    How do I handle it? Well, I am working very hard on making her play by herself for a period of time, and also on not interruping while I am doing something. She does well with the independent play since she started Montessori because she spends the majority of her day working by herself.

    The other thing I do is utilize my husband when he is home. I will go do something by myself, for myself, at least one night or one day on the weekend. He is good about it b/c he knows everyone suffers if I lose it.

    I also try to do things like story time at the library and a lot of zoo’s and such. What about half day camps? Probably don’t start until the summer. Hmmmm, is there a grandparent around that can give you a break?

  5. Jennifer March 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Yeah. Welcome to my life.

    The kids watch far too much TV, and the youngest has just been put into preschool, so that gives me a whole extra 5 hours a week to myself. Though, thats usually spent cleaning, doing paperwork, making soap or working out.

    I need a job. I’m a MUCH better mother when I work.

  6. Lesha March 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    I don’t have much to contribute. I don’t stay at home, but I’ll admit I wish I did. I’m not sure I could do it, but you know, the grass is always greener.

    But I had to say.


    (it was THAT FSM you were invoking right?)

  7. EJ March 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    They will grow up…. how about exchanging child care with someone with kids @ similar ages?

  8. Kim March 13, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    I stayed at home for 3.5 years and could.not.wait. to get back to work. I am NOT a SAHM. I tried with every fibre of my being. I am a multi-tasker perfectionist and my house was clean all of the time. But I HATED it. I love being at work with grown ups and sarcasm and challenges and spreadsheets and…I need the stimulation. Every other Friday I work a short day so I can spend time with my boys and that’s awesome. But more than that and my head is going to start spinning around. And they know it. It’s all about balance. Know who you are and embrace it.

  9. Hannah March 13, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    I’ve been home now with both boys full time for eight months. And yeah, there are days when the constant chattering monkey-din just makes me want to leave them outside one of those Salvation Army clothing donation bins with a sign around their necks reading “free – to good home”.

    I refuse to feel guilty for taking time for myself. But what’s worked best for us (and I freely admit this might not work for everyone) was setting a loose routine and sticking with it most days.

    So, breakfast. At 8AM I get to watch the news with my coffee – and the children are learning that they are NOT TO INTERRUPT MOMMY EVER, ON PAIN OF DEATH OR ABANDONMENT (see above) during news-time. Once that’s done, we’ll play for a bit. Isaac can have the TV for an hour during the morning while the baby’s napping and that’s when I hit the laptop, make phone calls, shower, read.

    We go for a walk every afternoon unless it’s butt-ass cold.

    I found two other moms with similar sensibilities and kids the same age as mine, and once a week we either get together at someone’s house or at the indoor playground (that I freely admit we are VERY lucky to have access to).

    Library trips are very rare because they have one of those fucking Thomas tables that I avoid like the black death.

    Isaac helps me with the chores, for which he gets $2 a week that he can spend however he chooses. This has worked out really well because I can get some basic destinkifying done and still be spending time with him.

    I could go on but I’m hijacking your comments, so let me just say this. Our job as parents is socializing our kids – and part of that is teaching them about things like personal space, manners, and independence. Decide what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t, and hold firm with no guilt. It is totally OK to tell your kids no, or not right now, or mommy’s busy don’t interrupt. You have to, really – it’ll make for a happier mommy and ultimately, more considerate, thoughtful and self-reliant kids.

    Here endeth the rant.

  10. Marcy March 13, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    I try to get out a few times a week — playgroup, errands, exercise with a friend (the kids play while we exercise).

    I have my computer time in the morning, and deflect Amy until I’m done.

    Afternoons, now that she can open her door and comes out as soon as she’s awake, we have “playing by yourself” time — I sit and knit or whatever, and she plays. I still talk to her, interact a little, but I won’t get up or stop what I’m doing unless it’s really necessary.

    I still feel guilty sometimes, and sometimes I have to make an effort to balance and be sure to have some time directly playing together.

  11. crazymumma March 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    well. maybe we don’t cope. and after 11 years my marriage is ending. Not BECAUSE of my kids. But because of what I BECAME being stay at home.And how he became.

    i know I sound all gushy huggy and in you personal space but good god i love the way you write.

  12. March March 16, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    the one thing I’ve learned staying at home is that you have to push yourself to go past that “just let me be alone for a minute” so you can try to enjoy them. I’ve taught myself to enjoy some craft making and try to see it through their eyes, we try to balance projects together and play alone during the day.

    I would never survive without naptime, they both sleep a good two hours and that is my “me” time… and yes, you feel guilty all the time counting time till nap or till bedtime.

    I would say that you must get to the point of being conscious that they won’t be little forever and that they won’t be demanding so much of your physical self… it’s a very fragile balance between your needs and their needs, and unless you find a way to fulfill everyones to some degree you’ll be miserable.

    being at home can kill your “self” unless you hold on to that self with everything you’ve got… but that holding on to your “self” has nothing to do with your kids, they are not the ones responsible for your identity, you are. this is the toughest part.

  13. daureen March 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    OMG just catching up on your blog after a long hiatus… by Mondays I can’t wait to get Alex back into daycare, and I feel so much guilt over those feelings but DAMN they suck the life out of you. Today I teared up thinking about how much fun I used to have with girlfriends doing nothing and everything… I wondered if and when I’d ever have those type of adventures again. I’m so glad you’re still blogging. Seriously.

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