No, I don’t need a day away from my mom (on the contrary, I could use a visit right now). I need a day away from my kids.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my children. Some days it is just hard to cope with 5 kids underfoot. And it is twice as hard because I work out of my home so I am here 24/7– apart from the occasional trip to the grocery store or Walgreens. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to see a movie in a theater…I actually think it was Willy Wonka (the one with Johnny Depp). And my husband and I go out to dinner exactly once a year for our anniversary (if we’re lucky).
To understand what it is like here, picture this…the average family has 2.5 children so double that, triple the noise level and throw in a too small house filled with the clutter of seven(teen) people. If I’m not tripping over a child or a toy I’m stepping on the dogs half-chewed bones (yes, we have two dogs, Jack, a yellow lab and Bella, a mutt, plus two giant tropical fish, Timmy Turner, a 16 inch Pacu and Oscar the Grouch, a 10 inch Oscar). There is barely a minute of the day when someone isn’t crying, yelling, laughing too loudly or watching TV with the volume up too high.
Even when my three oldest are in school and my 4YO is in preschool (for a whopping 2 1/2 hours each day) I still can’t get any peace. Because my 17MO is a clinger. She wants to be held constantly and if she can’t be held she has to be under my desk playing and trying to turn off my computer. If I dare put her down or remove her from under my desk you’d think I beat her with a stick. She screams louder than anyone I’ve ever met (“Nothing wrong with her lungs” my pediatrician remarked when she gave DD her flu shot).
The only time I find peace is when all the kids are asleep in bed. I can actually hear myself think. With five kids, all on different schedules, most of my quiet time happens after 11 PM. This doesn’t leave me much “Me Time” let alone time for sleep.
Last night’s scenario (a typical night is for me)…my 17MO decided she didn’t want to go to sleep. Finally at 11 I dropped her in my husband’s lap (he was watching a movie and I only slept for 4 hours the night before) and went to bed. She fell asleep almost immediately, of course, and he put her down in her crib. I was just beginning to drift off when she started screaming. My DH picked her up and held her for a few minutes then brought her in to me. “Can you hold her for a minute?” I ended up falling asleep with her in my arms. Oh, and did I mention that my 6YO was also sleeping in my bed. I had to separate her from the pack because she kept waking up the other kids. Around 2 AM my husband came to bed, we shifted all the kids over and I fell back asleep. That was until my 4YO came down crying she had a nightmare. So at 3:30 I had 3 pairs of feet stuck in my back–even a king size bed isn’t big enough for two adults and three children. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep and I had to get up early this morning to work.
To top it off, for some reason my kids decided today that they didn’t have to listen to me. At. All. I asked my oldest to run downstairs and put away her laundry. She walked right past me like I didn’t exist and went outside to play in the fresh snow. I asked my 8YO to unload the dishwasher. When I walked back into the kitchen a few minutes later, the dishwasher was still full of clean dishes and DD is nowhere to be found. My 6YO spilled Legos all over the floor and refused to pick them up and my 4YO yelled at me because I forgot to buy pickles at the store. They are all mad at me because I took away the Wii until they clean up their rooms. Yet not motivated enough to actually pick up all the discarded garbage on their floor. I asked them all to clear their lunch plates from the table and three hours later the table is still full of dirty dishes.
It sounds like the kids are already having a mommy-free day! Someone just forgot to tell me 😉