Wednesday, February 2, 2011

cranky pants

I felt my motherhood mojo slipping away from me today. Forty degree heat for two days in a row is too much. And any night where the temperature does not dip below thirty is just awful.

I woke this morning feeling the way my husband looks every morning, bedraggled. He is a night owl, and often doesn't get to bed till two a.m. I feel like that that is his choice to some extent, his own fault if he's tired when the kids wake us. I, on the other hand, had good excuses for the way I felt. I've been getting to bed after midnight just to have some time to write to sew, to facebook, to blog.

The older kids have been getting to sleep as late as 9.00 or 9.30 these last few weeks, during school holidays. My ten-year-old lingers, trying to stretch it out, asking questions, wanting to talk. Now I love you honey but I am sorry, I don't want to see you at night. I have seen her enough all day. Does that make me a bad person? I mean aren't I entitled to be me, someone other than a mother, at night at least? If I went to bed when they did then I just wouldn't have any time to do the things I want to do.

This morning after Aaron left for work I wondered how long could I lay here, under the sheet? Would I move when I heard a chair drag across the terracotta floors in my kitchen, or the tinkle sound of plates being shuffled in the cupboard? Would that be too long, of course it would, but gee I wanted someone else to be me this morning: Someone else to take the baby off the chair for the fiftieth time, someone else to then take that chair and place it up on the table, someone else to turn to see her find another chair moments later.

My husband and I used to do the bargaining thing where we'd mumble from under the pillow "You go. I got up to give such and such medicine," or "No, you go, I was stuck in Eliza's tiny Ikea bed till five a.m. and couldn't stretch my legs out."

But that was then. Things have changed a little. Eliza, she's had a star chart for sleeping all night in her own bed, several weeks full of those now. In a rare streak none of the kids have been ill for a while. The husband snores happily. But I've had Circe teething, and I am still feeding her most nights, I am even sometimes going to Eliza when she calls out.

Then I am waking most mornings to them all, whilst Aaron sleeps an extra thirty minutes. On weekdays he even keeps the sleep face on while walking to the station in order to continue to sleep on the train, no fair.

I am mad, I know. I think I have reason to be and I hear you all nodding.

We have one designated sleep in day each his is Saturday mine is Sunday. He can sleep through anything. I can't. He gets two hours. I get less. He even gets in after me on a Sunday for another sleep! I am insane, I have been being really rather courteous. I am not too sure why when I am not getting eight hours yet in one chunk.

This morning I woke at five a.m. to feed Circe and then was back in there at six to give her another little cuddle. I'd also gone and given Eliza some comfort after she cried out at two a.m., only to be told that she didn't want me she "wanted Dad."

By ten a.m. when Circe began to look tired, worn out, irritable. Just like me. I wasn't the one on the floor whining, crying and intermittently sucking my thumb, not yet. I wanted to join her, but I knew we'd need to push on. I was looking after two other children today, and I knew she really only actually has one sleep these days. A quick mental calculation while dishing out the waffles showed that she if she slept then would be up at twelve if I was lucky and then be up for seven hours. The way I felt today a seven hour stretch of crying just seemed unimaginable. Her crying, me doing it seemed about even odds.

The last week or so she has gone from being relatively easy to being a lot of work. Ohhh the crying the second she's put down. I get afraid to let her see me when there is a period of quiet. When I can hear her in the other room with the others and they are rolling around and she is giggling I just want that to last, just till I finish these dishes.

I have been being a little selfish of late I think after almost sixteen months I can begin to be, actually on the whole after ten years I think I ought to be. I try to sew whist she naps, It's really hard to stop when she wakes from a nap, I want her to just play by my feet with some dominoes till I just hem up this dress.

I think the internet is a curse. One of my favourite bloggers, Soule Mamma, is always knitting with a child nestled to her bosom, he is not teary and crying or pulling thread from the machine like my little pitiful monkey who just wants Mum to look away from the sewing and give her all of her attention.

I can't even talk on the phone.

I know the time will come when the two of us can each do our thing, she some colouring and pasting me some sewing or just some dinner and some dishes so the house doesn't look like a bomb site. I know that she will someday move away from me, that like Eliza who is eager and ready to go off and be left alone at kindergarten on Friday this week. My last and smallest baby will let go of my apron strings and go off into the big wide world of friends, teachers kinder and school. I will then have all the time in the world and will probably pine these days of being needed and wanted.


  1. Oh, Inez, I feel your pain! Bex is my last, and I try to hard to appreciate the moments he wants to be held because they will soon be gone. There are some moments (quite a few I admit) I just want to be left ALONE for 5 min! It's obvious how much you love your children and wanting a little "me" time is justified!

  2. Ines, you have just summed up how I feel. Until this year I have had 3 still at home, just Max at school. Jed starts school on Monday and Neve and Sam start Kinder 3 days as well. I feel like I have earnt the time I am soon to have to myself, even if Dale is suggesting it is time to get a job now....'cause 4 children under 3.5 years wasn't a job!!??
    If ever you need a change of scene, we have a little house by the beach that you are welcome to use...perhaps on your own for a couple of nights?! I try and get one or two nights off every 3 months. It is possible with the support of your partner, and well worth the me!

  3. The only reason I stay sane is I have Thursday evenings out - EVERY Thursday. Hubby comes home early from work, and I leave the house at 4 or 5, and don't come home til late. Coffee, reading, writing, dinner with friends, mum's choir at school... then I am ready for little people to grab, hold, yank, stroke, snarl at and sleep with me again for another week. At least school starts tomorrow!

    Love is so demanding.

  4. I had ben unable to leave a comment, I wrote 2 today and they are not here.
    It has been nice to hear the echoing sentiments from you guys and some others on Facebook. Teki I here you when you say you just want to be ALONE, I feel that esp when they are so clingy. I've ahd 2 better days since this post, we spent time out and she is so much happier. I was spending a lot of time staying at home or going out with the other kids and leaving her with Aaron, the poor girl probably felt housebound. I am so glad school is back and we can get out and about again, carting around 4 kids just wasn't what I wanted to do these holidays.
    Alison: I'd love to use your beach house, will need to convince my sun hating husband to come along, we all need a break. I am so glad you are going to be getting some days to yourself, you deserve it so much :)
    Alison S. I like your regular Thurs evenings that sounds great, I envy the choir thing seems like you all have such fun. I will need to join maybe in a couple of mths. Aaron does get me out of the house on the weekend in blocks of 3-4 hours he is great like that. I had a friend say exactly what I have been feeling, it's great to go out but I want to be home sometimes on my own, I think that is true luxury. So I am going to need to get them out more as well.