Tuesday, January 21, 2014

an interrupted life.

I eat breakfast standing up, holding a baby, or in snatched bites while brushing messy toddler hair and running a comb through my own, my oatmeal bowl perched precariously on the bathroom counter. I eat lunch in between endless demands to "watch this!" and "play with me!" Every night, I slap dinner on the table, say a prayer, and then head upstairs to put a baby to bed while my food grows cold.

At night, when the girls are in bed, I fold a shirt or two, then run in to replace a pacifier for the 12th time, or I watch ten minutes of a show I started yesterday before having to reassure my whimpering daughter that the train going by isn't scary, after all. Even when I'm out of the house, the text messages about who is crying or whether going in to check someone's diaper will make the situation worse or better. And while I'm out, it's hurry hurry hurry so I can be home within 90 minutes or - if the stars are perfectly aligned - 2 hours so unless I draw a detailed map and plan of attack before I leave, I inevitably don't have time to finish all the errands I needed to. Or I'm halfway through sewing a hem when someone announces, "Hey, I'm stopping my work for the night because I need a break, so let's hang out."

Interruption. It's the hardest thing for me to cope with at this stage of parenting. I get so used to not being allowed to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time that I can't even read a book anymore - I can't allow myself to settle in and enjoy the characters or storyline because I'm always looking over my shoulder, waiting for someone to need me to jump up and attend to something on their to-do list while my own collects so much dust I can barely read what's on it anymore. It's why I have a million supplies for household improvement projects but nothing to show for it. It's why there are three unpublished drafts sitting in my Blogger posts, waiting for me to finish them. And it's why this one will have to go to print now, before I've even read through it for typos, because a baby's 45 minute nap just ended and whatever else I was going to say here will just have to wait, like everything else.


  1. Hugs mama! Wish I lived nearby so I could provide a few hours of relief here or there!

  2. Oh Courtney. I know this feeling all too well! ALWAYS with someone needing, wanting, asking, demanding, crying, eating, messing, pouting, getting into places they aren't supposed to be; you giving giving giving giving and wondering where the hell is someone to do things for YOU? Where is the break, where is the person who looks at you and sees that you need a break? A real break, not just a chance to rush off grocery shopping without the kids once? And then when you ask for a real break, and you get it, it's never enough time, is it?

    Somedays we enforce a "mellow hour" after the kids go to bed. It's a chance for us both to unwind with some music and do whatever we want, individually, without being interrupted. My "want to do" list is so massive that it rarely ends up being as productive (or relaxing) as I want, but it's nice to have that time.

    Now the baby eats dinner with us. Now he and Walden will happily play together for 10 minutes at a time so I can hang laundry or unload the dishwasher (or check Facebook, whatever). Things are slowly realigning. It will get there.


  3. I feel you, and with phoebe being so little it must be much harder for you! I'm challenged every day to make life more about my kids and less about me, because if I don't (shock! horror!) I get mad at them for what they are preventing me from doing. I have to constantly remind myself that my time will come later but it's really really hard. I struggle with it too, so much. Solidarity Mama!

  4. I hear you! I only have one toddler and I honestly cannot imagine having a second anytime soon. My little one is a high needs child, so she's quite the handful - a wonderful one, but a handful. :) I'm impressed you've kept up with blogging so well. I haven't been able to put much effort into mine lately, which kind of bums me out. On the up side, I have been able to sew and knit a little bit more. When I read what you wrote about your to do list, I flashed back to the last time I wrote in my "planner" which was the beginning of December. I was happy to check a few things off it anyway. :)

  5. Parenting two kiddos under three is butt-kicking stuff. I'm glad you're getting this off your chest. My 2-1/2 year old goes to school while I'm on leave. I had the two of them by myself yesterday. By the end of the day I had a crippling headache and totally flipped out. I don't know how you do it! Power to you!-- Alyssa