I had all three of my children within 4 years. Needless to say that my life was a non-stop mad dash for a decade.
I really enjoyed those early years of Mommyhood. It was hard, but I was aware of the blessing I was living out. We were poor, going to school full time, my husband had a full time job, had 2 kids in school full time, I was the room mom for both, I was on the PTA board, and we worked at a church. I loved it. But it was hard and I was exhausted. I remember thinking: One day things will slow down. One day I’ll be able to go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door. One day I’ll get to go shopping by myself and actually be able to think about what I want to purchase. One day I’ll be able to talk without someone screaming over me. Today, I went shopping by myself and it hit me: one day has come, and I don’t like it.
My children are pretty well behaved (in public) so I don’t have to worry too much about them acting up, or even embarrassing me while we’re out and about. To be fair, we actually get compliments on them quite regularly. So, it’s not like I want to go shopping by my self because they’re naughty. It’s simply because I’m never alone! But as I walked through the doors of Hobby Lobby today it hit me hard. In December, I will have TWO TEENAGERS, and a big kid! How does it happen so fast? Did I miss important things because I was so busy surviving. Did I miss something special because I was so desperate for a moment alone? They’re almost grown! I don’t want them to leave home. I have to make sure I’m diligently and consciously pouring in to their impressionable, fragile hearts and minds. I love them. I want to be the best Mother. They deserve me to be my best! And just like that, I was walking past the Christmas stuff (that has been out since May) with my eyes whelped up with tears, wishing that my kids were with me.
Come to find out, I don’t really want to be alone. I just need a little quiet time now and then. And if I’m patient, I could actually have that time every day when they go to bed. But I forget. And lose my cool. And then regret my reactions. And then beat myself up about it. And feel like a failure.
I know I’m not a failure. I know my children are growing up in a happy home enveloped in love. My heart explodes with love for them, and they know that. But the struggles still pull at us. It’s ok. That’s normal. Just remember, sooner than you can imagine, after wishing for alone time a thousand times, you’ll be shopping alone one day and you’ll wish that you weren’t.