Sometimes I reach breaking points with my anxiety and those times are always inopportune.
Today was one of those days.
We’re on a Super Mario Bros./Yo Gabba Gabba/Despicable Me 2/Goldfish crackers overload because of Winter break and Freezemageddon and the chaos in my brain has been threatening to overwhelm me all day long. I couldn’t shake the fog in my head brought on from multiple nights of little sleep and being ON for days on end when what I need more than anything else in the world were just a few minutes to myself.
Time to breathe. Time to be.
But I do not have children who understand that sometimes what Mama needs is 5 minutes of silence. When I need a moment of quiet, my kids sense it and get louder. The requests come faster and faster. My personal space is non-existent, the bubble burst with the climbing up and down from my lap.
“Mama, can I have some milk?”
“Ooooooooooo Abba Abba!!!!”
“Mama, what is this word? S-n-o-w-b-o-a-r-d-e-r?”
“Eat! Eat! EAT!”
“Mama, I need a snack…”
“Mow-mows? Mow-mows?” with one of her little hands signing for milk while the other rips my shirt away from my chest.
I know that all of this is normal and healthy and good. Kids aren’t wired to be anything other than seekers of instant gratification. I know that Murphy’s Law means that no two kids will need something at the same time and one will very often need something as soon as the other is satisfied and mom thinks she’s good for a bit.
I know that it’s a blessing that they are here and able to ask me these questions. They want to know and tell me things! They can (and do) say my name 29 times in 5 minutes. (Yes, I counted.)
But none of that knowledge and thankfulness, both of which are plentiful, erases the fact that sometimes what I need is a few minutes alone.
In between the requests that pummeled my foggy brain today, I tried to sneak off to the bathroom only to hear the caterwauls of a toddler whose life was positively over because I dared lock the gate behind me. And then Joshua opened the gate and both of them were suddenly in there with me while I’m trying to do my business and recharge at the same time.
In case you were wondering, there’s nothing exactly relaxing about trying to regain your sanity on a toilet in the first place, but it’s especially not relaxing when you’re wrestling tampons and shampoo bottles away from a toddler while on said toilet.
The kids tore out of there and I went slinking back into the living room. Just as soon as I’d gotten settled on the couch, Joshua looked at me.
“Mama, can I have some more milk?”
I sighed, heaved myself off the couch, and obliged. He followed me into the kitchen to claim his cup.
“I love you, Mama. You’re my goofball.”
“Hey, I love you, too, Kid.”
My heart swelled a little and the fog lifted from the corners of my brain. Just a smidge. I went back to the living room and sat back down. Emma climbed back up into my lap and pointed out the parts of my face for the 10th time this morning.
“Eyesssss! Seeek! Noooo!! Eyebowww!! Mooufff!”
And then she did something she’s never done before. She took my cheeks in her tiny toddler hands and looked me up and down and then gave me kiss after kiss after kiss, totally umprompted, giggling the whole time, but also looking a little puzzled. Like she couldn’t figure out why she was doing what she was doing, but she knew she needed to do it.
My heart swelled a little bit more.
I made it through the day.