I’m going to start this by saying that I love my kids.
You can tell that I feel guilty because I felt the need to tell you how much I love my kids. Of course I love my kids, you know that already, I know that, but I feel like a horrible Mom right now so I feel the need to MAKE SURE YOU KNOW.
I love my kids.
Okay? Got it?
So, like the rest of the east coast, we got a little snow around here this past week or so. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and I heard we got a good dumping comparatively, but that doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter because in the south, if you get more than an inch, life changes. Before the snow flies, at just the prediction of snow, all of the milk and bread disappears from store shelves. When a few flakes fall, people want to leave work early. If they land and don’t melt immediately, school is cancelled. If they melt, but don’t dry up and so there is the possibility of the water refreezing over night, school is cancelled for multiple days. In Willa’s words – it’s bananapants.
Now, this isn’t completely fair of me, since I’m a Northerner, and I think of a 12 inch snowfall as less of a “world ending” type of snow, and more of just a proper snow. And I’ve driven to work in snow that came higher than the bottom of my car door. And everyone I know has kitty litter or salt in their garage, with their snow shovel or blower, and an actual ice scraper in their backseat. My northern friends own snow boots, and their kids have snow pants, and more than one pair of mitts. But people here aren’t like that. The south doesn’t have the infrastructure – not enough plows, not that they could do anything about these squirrely mountain roads and private drives anyway. People don’t own the stuff they need to be out in the snow, cause it hardly ever falls here. So, in all fairness, I should be more understanding.
But I’m not.
I’m not because my children have been home from school for a week now because of the weather and I’m about to lose my mind.
You might need a little background. My kids usually go to preschool for the morning, (9-12) but they spend the rest of the day home with me. I love spending time with them. We do crafts, color, play outside, bake stuff, play with their toys, have a rest, etc. My children aren’t quite at the age where they play alone, or together for long. They need a lot of supervision and guidance. Oh school days, everything is in balance. They get to play with other kids and be crazy, they get tired. They come home to me happy to play quietly and do little projects. When there is no school I have to find something interesting for them to do every half hour for the entire day, or it’s bedlam.
The bedlam makes me crazy. The crazy makes me feel like a bad Mom. Kids have freak outs. Kids have meltdowns. They have attitude problems and they ruin things. These are all normal and not the end of the world, but when you are all trapped in a rapidly shrinking house, it begins to feel like the apocalypse.
Redding harassed me for three hours today because he really wanted an empty water bottle and I didn’t have one to give him. Willa, while doing a project that I set up for her, will tell me that she’s bored and wants to do a different one. If I hear “I had that first” one more time my head might blow off, and apparently, no one knows the meaning of “Mommy would like a little privacy please.”
So, my kids are behaving badly, I must be a bad Mom. By day three or so I’ve run out of fun things to do, I must be a bad Mom. I know all of the words to the theme songs from “Paw Patrol,” “Team Umizoomi,” and “Fresh Beat Band of Spies” – I must be a bad Mom. I want to cry when I get a text from the school saying there is no school tomorrow – I must be a bad Mom.
Cause, oh, the guilt. I’m supposed to be cherishing these moments, right? They are only little for such a short amount of time, and I know this! I was just lamenting to my husband how Willa was 5 now and I don’t know where my baby went, and so how Redding is going to have to be a baby forever cause “Oh God my babies are growing up!”
But a drowning man doesn’t think about how water is precious and beautiful. Wanting/needing some alone time doesn’t make you a bad Mom.
I know I’m a good Mom, if only because worrying that you’re a bad Mom is a sure sign you’re not. And when they get home from school today I can cherish the moments that I have with them because I had the chance to miss them.
When I got the text last night that there would be school today, (granted a one hour delay on a 3 hour school day – but it’s something) I told my kids and they were both sad. Neither want to go back to school. They both want to stay home with me. That makes me feel amazing. I love that they want to be here, that I’m still fun and cool Mom, even after all these days of wanting to pull my hair out and drink wine for breakfast.
So I said, “Oh baby, that’s so sweet. I want to hang out with you too!” when I was thinking, “Sweet baby Jesus you’re going to school tomorrow! Maybe Mommy can poop alone.”