Monday, August 12, 2013

You'll never be alone again

Motherhood has taught me that I will never be alone again.

She's everywhere all the time. She reaches her little fingers under the bathroom door. She's pulling a chair over to the sink as I wash the dishes. She's peeking out of the window as I walk to get the mail. She's my shadow. My mini me. My long lost detached appendage.

And some days it's charming. Lately, it's been... suffocating.

Motherhood is hard. I accept that. I knew I was in for sacrifice and less "me" time. I knew for a while I wouldn't be able to pee alone during the day because inquiring minds need to know where I am at all times.

But something has changed in that darling babe of mine in the past few weeks. A bit of her independence has slipped away. She now needs me, my attention, my presence more than ever. I can't figure out what's gotten her so attached but I sure do miss having a tiny bit of freedom in my days.

She needs to "help mommy" with everything. Somethings she can help with like putting away laundry, helping to pick up things that don't belong in the dirt pile after sweeping (like that red block I asked her to pick up 108 times before I started sweeping). She helps out by putting dirty clothes into the hampers and can bring her dirty dishes to the sink. But there are some things that used to be just mine. A few chores that lent me a moment during the day that she's suddenly adamant that she join me in doing. Like the dishes. It used to be 10 minutes I was able to just think and stare out the window as my hands washed dishes in the warm water. A little break in my afternoon. Now it's a battle of the wills as to who will get that ceramic bowl to the sink first. She broke my favorite mug "helping". I kind of needed a moment after that one. 

It's lovely to see her taking an interest in the daily chores but it's also made them that much harder to complete. And Jason will tell you, there have been many days he comes home to things half finished because someone's "help" was a little too much. She has the hardest time listening when she's told to not touch something. She's learned to avoid eye contact when she's being redirected because if she can't see me, she clearly can't hear me.

Should I be complaining about this? Probably not. Are there kids out there that won't ever want to help? You bet. Does it make the control freak in me feel any better? Nope. I would just like a moment to do something without hearing "mommy!? I help you!?" 1,287 times in five minutes. That's all. And I would like to stop feeling guilty for not loving every minute of my toddler wanting to help me. Being as independent as I am, I need to do things by myself during the day.

This point in motherhood has me struggling. The clinging. The constant need for my undivided attention. I make sure I play with her. I build forts and build with blocks. We bake together. I color with her. We go on walks. We chase each other around the house and have dance parties. She gets tons of my attention and it just doesn't seem like it's enough, It feels like I'M not enough. She needs all of me and more. And most days, I am SO grateful Jason walks through that door at 6pm because I am drained.

Motherhood is hard. And whoever thinks it isn't can go stick their head in the sand.

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