Please Dear Internet,
Please tell me I'm not the only one who looks back on her weekend and feels like she's totally missed the mark. As I approach weekends and eveings after work, I always look forward to one thing the most - spending quality time with the kids. In my head, it's a magical, wonderful time involving much laughter and many smiles.
In my mind, we make pancakes together or enjoy a nice bike ride around the neighborhood, or explore our local library. The kids say cute things and ask me inquisitive questions revealing their ever expanding and curious minds. We make up funny stories and share our own jokes. We nestle together on the couch and watch a movie. In my head, it's an amazing time that fills that void in my soul that needs love and attention after a long busy day (or days) at the office.
Except it's not like that at all. In walks reality. The fantasy world dissipates and I find myself in the middle of an apocalypse disaster zone. Often Ryan doesn't nap and erupts into tears at the slightest wrong touch or word. I put Jon down for a nap but the other two kids keep waking him up so he's a clinging, crabby baby for the rest of the day. The oldest two constantly fight. Ryan is forever rough housing with Jon and making him cry. Jacob disobeys the house rules over and over and over. It's not intentional, he's just too focused on what he wants to do that he doesn't see what's happening around him. Every five minutes someone is demanding something of me (food, snacks, drinks, binky, help going potty, bottle, reaching a toy, more snacks, potty again). They run around the house leaving all the lights on and doors open. And me? All I do is nag and yell and scream and put people in time out and cook and clean.
By the mid afternoon I'm COUNTING down the hours for everyone to go to bed. And when bedtime finally arrives, after supervising all the potty trips and pajama dressing and room cleaning, the damn kids won't even go to sleep. Ryan whines for me to lay in his bed. I oblige and then he's on and off his bed to grab books and toys and stuffed animals. So I threaten to leave and he still doesn't lay down. So then I actually leave and then he cries for twenty minutes. And then Jacob complains that he can't sleep. Then he needs a glass of water. Then he has to go to the bathroom. And I lose my shit about three times before I give up and lock myself in my bedroom door.
Even when I've folded and put away two loads of laundry, ran and emptied the dishwasher and made a meal (with leftovers) for the upcoming next two days, I still walk away from each weekend feeling like I've completely fallen short.
The other day I was exhausted and thought maybe we could at lease bond over a family movie night. Movie nights can't be disasters, right? WRONG. HORRIBLY WRONG. We sat down to watch a movie and there was a ten minute squabble about what to watch. And then they spilled their popcorn all over the living room (and Jon kept trying to eat the mysterious reappearing kernels), and then they didn't even watch the movie but kept throwing blocks at each other and playing pig pile and then crying when someone got hurt (duh, that's what happen when you smack each other with plastic). Then someone sat on Jon and everyone was either crying, whining, or screaming, so I gave up. I turned off the TV and forced them all to go to bed early. I was NOT very popular, as you can imagine.
By the time I lay in my own bed, I'm completely drained of everything. And all I can do is ruminate over my failures and short tempers and nagging and angry outbursts. Did I even enjoy the weekend like I had wanted to? No. But not for lack of trying. The kids are impossible to enjoy right now (at least all together, they are awesome individually). And even though I desperately want to spend quality time with them and make fun memories because I know I will never get this time back with them, the reality is that they destroy my very soul and I can't wait to head into the office on Monday morning where no one verbally abuses me, ignores me, shits on me, demands that I hand deliver all their meals, or comes running to me to break up a fight every three and a half minutes.
Please PLEASE dear internet. Please tell me that I am not alone, that this is normal, and that children cannot die from being over-nagged. Cause I may need an intervention soon.
I honestly don't remember any of this shit from my own childhood. We sat and ate snacks and enjoyed movie nights as a family. We went outside to play during the day and left our mom alone. We said our good night prayers and went to bed at bedtime after being tucked in once or twice. We didn't bludgeon each other with toys (at least not often). Am I mis-remembering my childhood or are my kids honest to goodness demons? Is there any hope for me? How soon is too soon to be thinking about boarding school?