I feel selfish for even saying this. Because everything is good right now. Everyone is fine and mostly healthy. Work is going well. Life is going along as it should be, and I know I should be grateful for all of it. But lately, the unending drudgery of parenting young children has been getting to me.
I want to sleep until 7 a.m. I want to get up and exercise and shower and get dressed, and then sit and eat breakfast. I want to be able to go to work knowing that I will be there all day and that I will leave when I feel it is appropriate. I want to eat whatever I feel like eating for dinner. I want to be able to leave my house in the evening without negotiations and tears. I want to walk through the house without tripping over anything. I want to put things down, like pieces of paper and glasses of water, wherever I want.
I keep thinking back to this conversation I had, and others like it with first-time pregnant women who want to be reassured that they won't lose their freedom when they have a baby. Their friends are always quick to reassure them that everything will be the same, only better! Bullshit. Of course you lose your freedom. Every single decision you make is with your kids in mind first, and not just how you structure your life, but whether it's worth it to attempt to walk down the stairs because you know it will probably wake up your light sleeper and then he'll be up an hour early, or to attempt to walk up the stairs because you know the toddler will follow you and then it'll take you twenty minutes to get him back down again even though you just need to quickly grab something, or to wear that necklace, because it will get at least pulled on and possibly destroyed in the course of an outing with the kids, or to eat breakfast at home even though you're hungry, because you need to eat quick and you don't remember the last time you got to sit and eat an entire meal without having to get up every minute or two to supply the kids with things or stop them from killing each other or destroying something, and besides if you slip out now they won't see you and you'll be spared the yelling and crying when you walk out the door.
Usually it doesn't last too long, this feeling of being pressed by all my obligations. Usually I can find the gratitude and the perspective. But I'm having trouble finding it right now.