A few nights ago, things got real over here.
Zach and I stayed up way too late doing not that important things. I think I finally fell asleep at midnightish. So I was at that point where you've only been sleeping long enough to really get into a good REM cycle when little busy feet Jonah decided to crawl in bed with me. (Zach had fallen asleep on the couch.) I usually don't mind when he gets in bed with us, but on this particular night, he was feeling mighty kitten-ish. You know how kittens like to knead your face with their paws? Well that's what Jonah was doing to my back. I pushed him to the other side of the bed, he rolled back in to me. Oh how sweet. Kristen, why didn't you let the little guy snuggle? Oh did I forget to mention that his blanket smelled like a homeless man because he peed on it at nap time and wouldn't let me put in the wash before bed? So. No. I wasn't feeling it. Get out of my space, ya little bum.
Almost simultaneously with Jonah's kitten kicks, Emery woke up in a panic. Screaming, crying, searching for a hero. I told Jonah to get in his bed and he climbed out of bed, wrapped himself in his urine soaked blanket and went and stood next to Zach who was getting Emery out to rock him back to sleep. Zach kindly whispered to Jonah to go back to bed.
This is the moment that all hell broke loose.
Jonah screamed, "NOOOOO!!!!! I don't want to go to bed!!"
Emery was inconsolable, back arching, mad at the world and letting everyone know it.
I tried calming Jonah down to no avail. He was just screaming, crying, "I want Daddy! I want daddy! Daddy I need you! DADDY!! DADDY! DADDDYYYY!" This went on for an hour. AN HOUR. At one point I looked over at Zach and yelled, "What the hec is happening right now!!??!"
I started getting so angry as I was trying to calm Jonah down so that Zach could get Emery calmed down. I was flipping. angry. Biting the pillow, fighting back tears, trying so hard not to snap at Jonah or act on my anger, but totally ready to punch a wall. It was probably mostly because of the manner in which my sleep was interrupted and definitely mostly my fault for going to bed so late, but whatever the reason, I was unreasonably ugly angry. And then I started hearing the voices.
"They're only this little for a while."
"One day you'll miss being woken up in the middle of the night by tiny toddler feet."
"Sooner than you think, they'll be teenagers and you'll miss having them so close to you all the time."
"In the blink of an eye, they grow up and leave you! Enjoy every moment."
And so I tried to think about those things to get me through the chaos and then I was like, "Well screw that. Screw all of that!" Because those comments do nothing but add to the mom guilt I already carry around with me 24/7. Why is it ok to feel every other emotion of motherhood except the annoyed, angry, really just want to sleep, why are my kids out to get me ones?
TRUTH TIME. I can't enjoy every moment. I can't. Physically impossible. There are times where I take big breaths and find some hidden patience deep down in my soul, but enjoy every moment? No. I can't. And I don't really understand why so many people say that. I mean, I guess in retrospect when you can see the big picture of parenting and you have years of experience and you know how extremely short and rare those difficult days are, it's easy to say, "Enjoy every moment". Because you know that one day, in your old age, you'll look back on those days with fondness and warmth.
Well I'm not in those days yet. I'm in the moment. And if there is a single person out there that can honestly say that they enjoy getting kicked and woken up in the middle night, or being punched in the face, or screamed at, or whatever other terrible things children do, then .... well ... I call bull crap cause there's no. way.
I will not enjoy every moment. Not when they're little, not when they're weird preteens, not when they're teenagers, not when they're in their 20s, not when their adults, not ever. Being a parent isn't about enjoying every little thing your children do. It's about what youdo in those moments when parenting is anything but pretty and enjoyable. It's OK not to enjoy the ugly moments, the exhausting moments, the annoying moments. If you hold yourself to that kind of standard, those moments and memories will be filled with nothing but regret and guilt. So don't enjoy them. Hate them without guilt. Cause sometimes parenting sucks and there's nothing wrong with that.