Yesterday was a day where I really didn't want to be mommy anymore. The Kid had been assigned to clean his room, and what would've been between ten and twenty minutes of work turned into an all day event. As in, 9 long hours of repeating, "Clean your room!" and "Pick up your toys!"
Of course I know that it would've gone by so much quicker if I had stood in the room and directed him the whole time, but I'm committed to getting the little monster to learn that he has to do what he's told when it comes to chores. So it was a very long day, to say the least, with the Kid making one excuse after another to leave the room or why he couldn't clean, ending with him crying over the whole thing. And I was doing very well to be calm with him (for the most part), so I have no idea what lead to him crying.
Needless to say, I wasn't very mommy like yesterday. Boredom, annoyance, and a nagging headache all contributed to a major zone out and wishing I had the old freedom back, just for one day. And it's not as if I could have that if I had a job outside the house, because I would still have the mommy alert system going plus my own biological and emotional bond to the Kid making me miss him. I guess a day without him would help if he was in the trusted care of the husband, but since in this house I'm the one up with the Kid every day because of the Husband works late so has to keep a late schedule, I would still not be able to sleep in as long as I would like, which at this point would be all day for several days. Last Spring the In-Laws did take the kid for a week to their house out of state, but again the mommy alert system was on overload along with the missing him, plus I didn't want to squander the free time.
So it's a catch-22. I love this kid to death, but there are plenty of days where I yearn for the child free days again. I know every parent feels like that at times, and I don't believe anyone who says they don't, because being without a kid is so free. Sleep as late as you want so you can stay up as late as you want, eat when you want, not have to follow any schedule but your own, do what you want whenever you want, with the biggest thing being that when you're sick, you're not also caring for another person, so you can be miserable all day.
Ahhh, just remembering those days makes me long for them!
But at the same time I wouldn't trade those days for my son, because I remember the biological drive I was feeling to have a child. For me it was something that started when I was 16, and went into overdrive when I got married. The desire to experience pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood was so strong I would fantasize about it all the time. And even though my post-pregnancy emotional state went crazy, I wouldn't trade the Kid for the world, not even for a few days back in a child free life.
I guess that's just part of being a parent who loves their child, who truly wanted their child; the ultimate parenting dilemma. Every day when things get rough, where the kids are driving us crazy, and we desire so much to be completely free again, we chose to stay the course of parenting these kids, of loving them, of making it through the rough besides them. On the truly maddening days where we feel so overwhelmed we want to shake, scream, and hurt, we decide instead to control ourselves and not cause harm or run away forever.
I can understand how there are times when a parent does realize that their desire to be child free is too strong to be a good parent, and so they leave. I used to have fantasies of just driving away and making a new life for myself during the most sleep deprived days of babyhood, and in the worst days of my untreated bipolar I fantasized about the ultimate escape. But something stronger than that freedom kept me around, and I'm glad it did. It's something very strong that keeps all loving parents around, even during the most stressful of situations such as having a child who has a disability or has a life threatening illness. It's something more than simple love. It's indescribable, but it's the It that helps us make it day to day despite the fun and freedom of childlessness calling to us, to stick around to see these children fulfill everything they're meant to.
So I guess in the end, yesterday was just a bump on this whole parenthood trip. I did end up sitting in the Kid's room this morning, entertained by my iPhone, directing him. I did yell a bit when he kept trying to make excuses why he couldn't go on, but eventually he finished and now everything is calm again. I hate yelling at him, but he's 4, so it's going to happen, and I'm going to have to do plenty of things I hate while hanging out with him, but I guess it's not too bad being a mommy. Little arms wrapping around my neck helps. Just a bit.