Let me just preface everything I am about to write with these words: I love my kids dearly. Yes, I love them oh so much.
But . . .
Yeah, I know. The very fact that I had to preface what I’m about to write, and the very fact that I’m following it up with a “but” is grounds for my parental rights to be terminated.
However. Is that better?
What I’m trying to get around to saying is that I love my kids, but the essence of vacation cannot, at this point in their young lives and my newly-single-parent reality, include us being together in any one place at any one time where I have to do any of the following:
…clean up after anyone.
…unload a dishwasher.
…wipe someone’s rear-end after their third poop for the day.
…clean throw-up off the carpet.
…cut up meat into tiny little bites.
…tell a child to be quiet, calm down or stop interrupting me.
Need I say more?
Over and over again, I am stretched as a parent, and over and over again, I feel like I fail miserably. My patience wanes. Heck, my patience is flat out non-existent. I snap, I snarl, and sometimes I yell. I feel fried, burned out, tired in a way that I cannot put words to. In fact, I’m too tired to try.
There’s a collision I am caught in the middle of between my expectations and desires for rest and the anything-but-subtle reality that I am a mom, and a single one at that.
I think the rub is with my expectations. I expect perhaps more than I should from myself and from my kids for that matter. I expect boundless energy and patience from myself to be lavished upon my children who are exceptionally aware of the challenges their poor, tired, mom is facing. I expect myself to be perfect. And I expect, even though reality dictates otherwise, that vacation would feel like vacation. But it just doesn’t. And it just hasn’t, not so much since becoming a single mom but, rather, since becoming a parent.