So it’s 4:01 pm. My 2 month old Elizabeth is chugging her bottle, and my 16 month old Isaiah is up in his crib staging a nap-time coo. My hubby Wayne and 11 year son old Thomas are currently embarking on a paintball extravaganza, no doubt running around like ninjas avoiding the potential for “getting taken out”. I on the other hand can’t help but think about the extra load of laundry that will follow. All the while, I sit here and ask myself, “Can I just get a minute?”.
It’s amazing what I can accomplish in one minute. It doesn’t seem like much time to the average Joe, but to me it’s an eternity… when it’s uninterrupted of course. For example, it may seem like I wrote the above in just a few moments, after all I have written less than a paragraph. However I have made a bottle, changed a diaper, made several trips upstairs to soothe the coo-leader, and changed another diaper. All the while, silently asking myself yet again “Can I just get a minute?”. I think it would be fair to say that most mothers I have spoken to also tend to wage the war of parenthood vs. solitude. The moments when my children look lovingly at me, or do something silly to make me laugh are the moments that reaffirm the incredible gift that I have been given to be a parent. However, I must say, that the moments of fingers under the door trying to get in the bathroom, the screaming for just one more cracker, and the calls home from the principal’s office, leave me longing to re-live my teen years. I remember when deciding what to wear to the mall was my biggest problem. These days getting to the mall requires 1 hour of planning, 1 hour of prepping the kids, possibly getting an opportunity to shower, and then loading everyone up and hoping that nothing was forgotten at home that will cause a future meltdown.
Yet alas, here I am at 4:21 p.m. in silence. The crib prisoner upstairs finally succumbed to sleep, and the bottle chugger is slow-blinking. The house is quiet just for a moment, and upon me is the minute I have been wondering about since this morning.
My mother was recently visiting us from Texas and her and I were talking a lot about marriage and parenting. My sister and I are 1 year and 11 months apart. I like to say 2 years, but my sister enjoys pointing out that I am not a full two years older than her. Anyways, my mother used to nurse us both, make our baby food (including yogurt), wash our cloth diapers and hang them to dry, and work the night shift as a nurse. I don’t know how she did it. And I am sure that there are many times that she too asked herself “Can I just get a minute?”. I do know though, that like my mother, we just do what we have to do. I may not make my own baby food, or wash out the cloth diapers.
I may not always have the opportunity for a moment to myself. What I do have though, are children that know that I will always put them and their needs before the dishes getting done, or the laundry getting folded. They know that I will stop and laugh at their silly faces and soothe them to sleep. One thing is for sure. One day I will have so many uninterrupted moments that I won’t know what to do with them, and I will be wishing that someone was here for me to fawn after. I guess I have many minutes, they just aren’t spent alone wishing that I had more love in my life.
So I have gotten my minute. I guess my mother has gotten hers too. I’m off to enjoy it.