I’ve been having some nice talks with new mommies and mid-toddler mommies and early school age mommies, and these are some of the things I’ve been hearing
“I’ve changed too many diapers. When will it end?”
“I’m tired of not sleeping.”
“Between work, kids, housework, etc. I never have time to just chill”
“I’ve got 7 bday parties, karate, ballet, and blah blah this weekend.
“I can’t find a babysitter. Husband and I never get to go out.”
7:00 am Kids wake up. They don’t talk.
7:30 am Kids eat breakfast. They don’t talk.
8:00 Kids leave for school. Sometimes they say goodbye.
2:00 pm (or so) A BBM may arrive. ‘Can you pick me up after school?’ or ‘I’m not coming home after school.’
3:30 Little J arrives home from school. ‘Hi Mom’. Throws his bag down. ‘I’m hungry.’ Then, on the PS3 to ‘play’ with his friends. Sometimes an actual kid comes over or he goes to an actual kids house. He does his homework.
4:00 Diva and Bubba arrive from high school. On occasion they say hello. Up to their rooms, doors closed.
House is silent, until…..
6:00 ‘WHATS FOR DINNER? WE’RE HUNGRY!’ Shocked by the noise, I reply, ‘We’re having xxx (whatever I make will not please all of the troups). I get answers like: ‘I don’t like that’ or ‘Yum’, or ‘I’m not eating, I’m sleeping.’ I don’t mind, because at least they’re talking.
6:30 We sit down to eat. We talk, FINALLY
6:40 Table is empty. Silence again.
6:45 Little J is on his computer or reading, Diva and Bubba are…in their rooms, doors closed (god knows what goes on in there)
8:00 I’m bored out of my skull with no one to bathe, read to or play with. Big J and I look at eachother. ‘You want to go out?’ ‘Nah, too tired.’ We watch TV, Tweet, read, chat. In the summer at least we can go for a walk, get a coffee.
8:30 Little J wanders into our room. ‘Take a shower,’ I say. ‘I had one yesterday.’ he replies. ‘Do it again, you can never be too clean.’ I reply. Its something to do. Then I realize its not, since at age 11, I’m no longer allowed to enter the bathroom and assist with his shower.
9:00 Goes by….Little J goes to get his second dinner. (Concerta has worn off) He nukes his concoction himself, and brings it upstairs.
10:00 We tell Little J to go to bed. He ignores us. We tell him again. Then he goes. The other two are still in their rooms. I think I heard water running, but one can never be sure.
11:00 Our lights go out. Diva’s go out at 1:00 or 2:00 am (which explains the extensive after school napping)
7:00 The dogs wake up my husband. I sleep
8:00 Big J is watching TV while we all sleep
9:00 I get up. They are all sleeping
11:00 We wake up Bubba for hockey. Little J wakes up.
12:00 We take Bubba to hockey. Little J lazes around in his PJs or plays with a friend
2:00 Diva BBMs to ask, ‘Can you drive me blahahahaah. Can I have money blahahahahal’
3:00 We go to Costco cause there’s nothing else to do.
5:00 Big J is napping, again. I’m reading, tweeting, maybe treadmilling. Little J is doing whatever 11 year old boys do.
7:00 I make pizza for Little J while the teens are shlepped to their various entertainments. Sometimes that includes driving Diva to her job dancing for a DJ at Bar Mitzvahs where she earns $60 and we have to pick her up at 1:00 in the morning.
7:30 We go out for the evening, but since the teens are out, and we don’t like to leave Little J alone for too long, don’t go far.
11:00 We’re usually home.
11:30 I fake sleep while Big J watches SNL and waits for the pick-up BBMs. (Why do I fake sleep? It’s not to get out of ‘wifely duties’ but to get out of midnight pickups. SMART, right?)
Moral of the story?
Enjoy what you’ve got, give thanks that your babies want and need you. While its fun to watch them grow up, and you dream about all that free time, its actually boring once you’ve got what you wished for.
We’re in that netherworld where they need us, but don’t want us. Where silence is normal, and encouraging independence is important, but painful.
We’re in that place where we can’t spread our wings yet as a couple, in case we’re needed, so are permanently on call, yet most of the time feeling superfluous.
I’m not sad, really. Its totally cool to see them turning into these fantastic human beings. But, I do miss being wanted. I guess that’s why I keep getting puppies…