As I write this, it’s 5:15 pm. I should be making dinner, but I’m sitting comatose on the couch. This happens, you know. It’s a crystal clear snapshot of what parenthood can do to a person, yet something the outside world never sees.
You see, this whole day (save for the 5 minutes I was shoving warm homemade chocolate chip cookies in my face) I have wanted it to end. And I am one of those new-agey type people who really tries to “stay present” and enjoy the ebb and flow of life. But, still, I sometimes watch the minutes on the clock tick by at a painfully slow pace. I sometimes want to—or do—scream into the sky “please, just let it be bedtime!” I sometimes cannot find it in myself to read my child a book, or answer her (never-ending) questions (why? why? why? MOM, WHY?!!). I sometimes find myself pleading with a 2-year-old 3857374 times a day for space, and some silence.
I am cranky in a way I can’t snap out of. The type of cranky only a mother can understand. After too many days without adult interaction, or too many nights being woken up 5 times by a crying child, or too many days without help or a break, or a way too busy week, or way too many tantrums or fights with a person whose prefrontal cortex is not nearly developed enough to reason with in any sane way. It happens. And, oh man, is it fierce.
Sometimes, some sort of super human powers invade my body in these moments, and I spontaneously jump off the couch and clean the whole house, do all the laundry, read Emerson 17 books, put together some insane Montessori experience, make homemade lotion for the whole family, set up appointments, pay the bills, and giggle with my child for an hour. Miraculously.
Other times, like right now, my body, mind, and soul shut down, and I go on some sort of involuntary strike. And I send my husband a text saying “sorry, no dinner tonight” and he responds, “aww, great,” all while Emerson begs me to play with her….talk to her….something, mama….anything. But, nothing.
These are the days that will never end. They come in all shapes and forms in parenthood, but they are all long. These are the days that I start thinking about bedtime about 20 minutes after I wake up in the morning. It’s an unfortunate fact, but true. But, the beauty in these moments is that they will end. We will all crawl into bed at some point, the silence will come. And I will close my eyes knowing that tomorrow will probably be completely different from today…because that’s parenthood.