Happy Mom-Monday, everyone!
Please welcome Kathleen Basi, who is guest-posting here today.
Kathleen is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, flute and voice teacher, composer, choir director, natural family planning teacher, scrapbooker, sometimes-chef, and budding disability rights activist. She puts her juggling skills on display at https://www.kathleenbasi.com/.
When Kathleen sent me her article below about the back and forth pull that so many parents feel, I knew I wanted to post it. After you read it, be sure to leave her a comment and share your thoughts.
Have you felt this tug of war as a mom (or dad) too?
Tug of War
by Kathleen Basi
I wish my body would make up its mind.
I walk around my disaster of a house—the baby socks thrown helter-skelter by whichever of my children decided to remove them from his poor little feet…the germ-fest that is every light switch cover and door handle…the disaster area beneath the kitchen table—and I recoil.
I want to run away. Far away.
And then I see a pair of little boys’ size 13 shoes with Spiderman webs, one black, one red, lined up in the mud room…and my heart squeezes. After five years, three pregnancies, three C-sections, and all the drama of parenting a child with special needs, I still can’t believe we have children.
I growl and pull my hair when I see the mess of kids’ books thrown haphazardly on the floor for the third time in one day.
I pull the baby out of the trash can full of used Kleenexes, dead batteries and broken plastic ties, and when he screams, it’s all I can do not to pound a hole in the wall with my bare fist.
And then we sit down to nurse, and he grins up at me with that first, almost invisible tooth, and I can’t squeeze him hard enough to express my love.
I feel physically ill at the thought that there are years left of snotty noses, children too small to talk screaming for no reason I can puzzle out, kids grabbing my leg and pulling down on my mouse arm and laundry without end and demanding, demanding, demanding.
Please, let it be over! I hear my brain shrieking.
Oh, if only they were all fifteen years old and able to dress and toilet and bathe themselves!
And then we walk across the parking lot of the hospital where I delivered my children.
“See that?” I tell Julianna. “Up there, in one of those windows—that’s where we stayed when you were born.”
And a searing wrench tears across my gut, a longing to hold another newborn, to nuzzle velvet skin, to feel the dreamy sleepiness of prolactin descend, picking me up and sliding me easily, softly, into sweet oblivion.
They giggle, they scream, they fight, they whine, they shout, they pester, until the noise, the noise, the noise makes my eardrums rattle—literally—and I send my own silent scream skyward: I can’t do this! I can’t I can’t I can’t! Make it stop!
And then my preschooler says, “I want more babies”…and I sigh, shaking my head.
So do I, Alex.
So do I.