Last night, while my husband was thousands of miles away on a business trip, and I was hours behind on my sleep, I decided to get the jump off on our bedtime routine for my two cherubs. By 7pm, everyone was bathed, teeth brushed and lotion slathered and all cuddled up together in my bed watching Toy Story of Terror. (Probably not such a great idea considering Harrison’s dream from previous night)Anyway, as I laid there, praying both kids would drift off to sleepytown so I could catch up on work and laundry, I had a moment of reflection. Here’s what I saw.
In the previous life of my youth, I had always craved the attention and affection of those around me. If there was a party or gathering, I could not miss out. I longed to laugh and socialize with my friends and loved ones. I wanted to be smack dab in the middle of the action.
And yet, in my current stage of life, I had two little ones who wanted nothing more than to party with me. To be where I was. To do whatever I was doing. To sit and chat and sing and be silly with me. And they wanted to be touching me constantly.
So why is it that I constantly want to get away?
Why do these needy little humans tugging and pulling at my pant legs and shirt, much like my drunk girlfriends did, set me off and make me just want to retreat to the bathroom?
Did becoming a mother take the fun out of my every day party? Did my transition from party girl to imaginary tea party guest make me bitter? Did I lose a piece of my identity when I became a stay at home mom?
Thinking about this in the dark with my two children twirled around me like ivy to a tree, I felt a pang of guilt. These children of mine, why couldn’t they be my party guests?
Why does the party end when you decide to have children?
After all, they’re always here. It’s like the never-ending party. The fun never stops. I even have the disastrous house to prove it.
My new party guests are hard core too. They wake up at all ours of the night and want to dance, sing or jump on me. They’re quite the party animals.
All joking aside, these crazy little ones are the ultimate companions. They fill every need I once desired. They depend on me. They want to be with me. They want to hold onto me and feel safe and secure. They want me to hang out with them, and talk to them. They look to me for approval. Why has it taken me this long to see it?
As my daughter clenched my left arm and snuggled in to find her favorite spot nuzzled up against me as she does so many nights, I realized I’m just where I’m supposed to be.
Those sleepless nights and the constant demands to “hold me momma” and “play with me” are exactly what I desired from those in my youth. The togetherness that I once craved has resurfaced in the faces and needs of these little babes I never knew I wanted.
I haven’t evolved into this zombie of a mom because my kids need me so much. I’ve become this way because I hadn’t realized just how blessed I am to be their first choice for everything from hide and seek to snuggletime.
Motherhood is exhausting on almost every single level, but one thing it is not is lonely.
And if I really did the math in my head, I’m probably getting more sleep now than I did in my 20’s. (Maybe)