Last Sunday morning, I sat down in the middle of worship, head in my hands, overwhelmed. My husband sat down next to me and put his arm around me.
What’s wrong? Are you okay?
I’m just tired. I’m so tired.
Are you sure that’s all? I feel like you’re not telling me something.
No. I’m just exhausted. I’m so ready for Hattie to grow out of this stage. I’m just so tired of her.
As soon as the last sentence escaped my lips, the guilt bubbled up inside me, then the shame, then the inadequacy. What kind of mom am I? I’m tired of my own child. And of all places, I knew God definitely heard me talking about his child, and now he probably thinks I’m ungrateful for this gift, the gift some achingly long for for years upon years. A new layer of guilt.
Lord, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I feel this way.
I have read all the hundreds of articles and heard the heartfelt sentiments and shallow platitudes over and over. This won’t last forever. You better soak it all up now because they’ll be grown before you know it.
I know what they mean, what they’re trying to say. I know they’re probably right. And maybe I will miss this stage.
But yesterday I cried when I heard Hattie at 5:30 AM ready for the day. I cried every time I tried to put her down for a nap because she would. not. stop. fighting it. I cried thirty minutes later when I heard her wails echoing from her room. THIRTY minutes? You wake up at 5:30 AGAIN and you can’t muster up a nap longer than THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES? I cried when Charlee collapsed on the floor for the eighteenth time that day, this one in particular because I wouldn’t give her a third bag of fruit snacks. Then, Hattie’s screams filled my ears as I set her down to go take care of her sister. I cried while I was cooking dinner and got a glimpse of the state of the house. And the state of my outfit. And the state of my hair. Then I cried myself to sleep because I felt so guilty for having cried so much.
Can I tell you how I feel right now about soaking up This Time? I feel like cussing This Time out and kicking it in the balls. I feel like locking This Time out of the house and laying down and taking a nap. I feel like telling This Time to go to grandma’s for a couple of months until it gets a little bit bigger.
This Time has me by the neck with all four of its tiny hands and is slowly suffocating me. It has brought me to my knees. I am gasping for air.
I know I can do it; it’s not a matter of knowing whether I am capable of being a semi-functioning parent day in and day out. I can suck it up and do it. But what if I am not enjoying every second of it? What if I wish for these months to pass quickly? What if I feel like a failure because my baby has cried for five months straight and I can’t figure out how to fix it? What if I am so damn ready to be out of the baby stage?
What if I’m not soaking it up?
Does that make me a bad mom?
Please stop telling me This Time goes by so quickly. Because these have been the longest five months of my life. I’m fine. I really am. Just allow me the space to catch my breath.
And in the meantime, maybe on my knees is where I was supposed to be this whole time. Maybe I should just stay here.