I’m not sure how I’m feeling right now or how I should be feeling. Angry? Anxious? Guilty? Resentment? Fear? Exhausted? Yes, definitely exhausted. Maybe that is the problem when you’re a mom. The divide between how you are actually feeling and how you should be feeling or how you think you should be feeling.
For the past few nights, my almost three year-old has not only fought going to sleep, but he has woken up screaming like clockwork right around midnight. It doesn’t help that we are on vacation and he shares a tiny room with my husband and me. He sleeps in his own bed next to ours.
And who do you ask wakes up with the little one? Well, his mom of course! I actually physically wake up the minute I hear him, like I have some internal mom radar. Where is my husband you might ask? Oh, he is next to me, sleeping soundly and snoring even louder. In creeps the resentment and anger. I want to scream at him, “HOW COULD YOU SLEEP THROUGH YOUR CHILD WAKING UP CRYING???!”
Not to mention, my child decides he wants to go potty and for some reason when I flush, the toilet starts overflowing. So there I am, in the bathroom, towels on both feet gliding on the floor to soak up the water while holding tiny human in my arms all to the musical accompaniment of my husband’s garbage disposal sounding snores. When I finally get our child back to sleep, he rolls over towards me, strokes my hair as if to comfort me. I don’t even know if he is awake. I don’t care. Don’t touch me! I want to punch you in the face!
Then of course I can’t fall back to sleep. Too many thoughts going around and around in my head. Husband, I can’t stand you right now. Child, why are you doing this again? Hello fear and anxiety. I’m so not cut out for this. This parent shit is way too hard. I hate this. How am I even old enough to be the one to do this for a child when I remember my mom doing it for me like yesterday. I love that little boy so damn much. I hate when he cries and gets upset or scared.
Is he even scared or is he manipulating me? He is so good at manipulating me. It doesn’t take more than a hug and an “I love you mommy.” No, I will not let him sleep in our bed. I won’t start that habit which I know is impossible to break. I really want to let him sleep in our bed when he asks because we can cuddle. And it means I can sleep too. I love sleep. Come on B, stop thinking and go back to sleep. Your husband has no issues falling and staying asleep. Why can’t you?
When does this get easier? Does it ever get easier? Other moms tell me it does at age 5. Age 5? Fuck! That’s two years away! I’m not a patient woman. And I just want to sleep! Let me sleep! I’m not ever taking my small child on vacation ever again until he is 5, unless I can bring a nanny. How do people do this with more than one child? Everybody does, but I never will. Maybe I don’t want to be a mom this week. Enter guilt. Shouldn’t I be cherishing these moments?
When he is 5, will I miss when he was 2? Did I waste that time complaining and missing the days before being a mom? When I could sleep all night and wake up late and come and go as I please. Or when I didn’t want to punch my husband in the face most of the time?
Finally, exhaustion. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.