Summer is here. I have 5 kids of my own (19,17,15,11,9). We have one extra college kid (19) staying with us for the summer. That makes 6. I have a work at home husband who needs me alot (translated, “Get me this, get me that, yada, yada”)–that makes 7. School is out for summer and my six hour days of quiet are over. Sure, I can sleep late, and that is a good thing, but the noise in the house is chronic. There is the TV, which my husband has on 24/7, the sound of my 17 year old and his friends having band practice in the basement, and the sound of voices through the house at all times of the day and night. I can’t even play my music on my computer because my husband has the TV on so loud, it drowns out any sound, however pleasant, in the kitchen where I sit.
There’s never a welcoming dull moment to speak of. My family stays up late, my husband has no discipline- he stays up late working and sometimes sleeps a good portion of the day. He works from home, which means he is always around. I wish he go in to the office 3 days a week–Too much togetherness is harmful to a relationship. He just tells me I’m crazy when I say that. He’s wrong. Really the only time I can have my quiet, peaceful moments–my solitude is in the morning. Maybe some people don’t need quiet. But, honestly, I need a bit of solitude to just keep my sanity, recharge my batteries and gather my thoughts–and frankly, I prefer to get my quiescent moments in when I’m not sleeping.
I love my children. Please don’t get me wrong. I’d die for them. They are all good kids and they are my heart. They all love me and enjoy me as their mother. I’m fun, lighthearted, fast to yell and quick to forgive, and funny. I make them laugh and their friends like me. I am just weary. I want my life back–Gasp! Horrors! Is that what good, mother’s of the world say about their motherhood? Let’s not be pretentious here….I’m sure all good mommies feel this way sometime. Motherhood is not all Koolaid and roses. What do I mean when I say I want my life back? I suppose it means not having people coming and going through my front door, and up and down my basement stairs multiple times every day. I guess it means not having a messy house to contend with, which multitudes of people just naturally bring. It means just having less aggrivation, and boy I am aggrivated.
It’s going to be a long summer, I can tell. I am too nice for this job. In fact, some of my friends think I let my kids walk all over me, (which I seriously disagree with. I’ve seen moms who let their kids use them as the door mat. That’s NOT me. My problem is I’m too nice.) Maybe I need to be more of a bitch, or maybe I need to be bossier or more like a drill seargent and demand “the chores better get done and no one is getting any handouts till the work is finished, damn it!!” These kids feel no guilt, no sense of obligation to help. When I was a kid, I did stuff around the house without being asked. I could just see what needed to be done and I did it. What the hell is wrong with kids today? It’s like pulling teeth to get my daughter to load the dishwasher! She doesn’t have to stand and hand wash and dry–she has to load the damn appliance that does the hard work for her. What gives?
While on the elliptical this morning,(yes, I go to the gym to escape) I was reading an article about today’s middle aged parents on the subject of ’empty nesters’. The article was talking about how people no longer curl up and wait to die, feeling forlorn and lonely after their children move out. Todays parents have lengthier life spans, and much more to do after the kiddos find a new address. We take over their rooms and remove the concert posters, and trade in the milk crates for office furniture or other grown up stuff. Some couples decide to sell their suburban homes where they raised their family and make the move to the city to become urbanite condo dwellers. They travel more. They feel like newlyweds again. They begin a new career or home business. They have peace and quiet and solitude. The article talked about how raising kids has now become a brief interlude in our lives. We have 20-30 years left after our children are gone to enjoy this life and do some really interesting things. It’s a new stage in life.
In the next decade or so, my grandbabies should begin being born. This time, the kids who come to visit me will get to go home with their parents and drive them crazy. And so the cycle begins again. I hope my grandchildren bitch about loading the dishwasher to my kids…I can’t wait.