My last post was all about gratitude. At this moment I want to give the self that wrote that a big ol’ eye-roll. Don’t get me wrong – being grateful for my life is awesome and all, but on this side of a red-eye with a 4 and 2 year old I’m not feeling all that warm and fuzzy. I’m downright frazzled. My vacation glow has been downgraded to a splotchy glare (the frigid temperatures might have something to do with that as well).
And it’s led me to wonder yet again, why does it feel so hard? Why does even just 12 hours non-stop with the kids feel completely exhausting.
Was it like this when we were kids? Is it that all kids are exhausting, full-stop? Likely.
Or do we have different expectations and thresholds for our patience? Vastly different ideas of what parenting should be.
Take car rides for example. Hawaii should be the background of those cliched road-trip-in-paradise tales. Instead every single trip, whether 5 min down the street or an hour to the other side of the idea was an exercise in “interpret Peanut’s shrieks to make them stop”. Endless rounds of Frere Jacque and Old MacDonald combined with the ludicrous game of “Baby Talking” where mama tries not to hurl as she twists backwards and put on a hilarious ventriloquist act via Baby Lala, Peanut’s BFF.
Ugh. I just want to put the window down, blast some tunes and bliss out on those views.
Not to be.
And let’s not get into red-eye flights that leave at 11pm. What in god’s green earth are you supposed to do with kids between the hours of 7-10:30pm? Hang out at the airport and slowly watch your vacay buzz ebb away, is what. (“And here is a really cool vending machine! And over here is that mural that will maybe occupy your attention for 4 minutes and look! A plane!)
I kid. Mostly. Maybe not so much at all.
But here’s when I can’t help but think – what is wrong with me? How can I not pull my shizz together for these couple of hours and be madonna-like in my patience and empathy. The poor things are just simultaneously exhausted and wired up and so far from their routines.
My logical self knows this. My irrational self just wants some shuteye.
It’s when I realized that I can be crazy grateful and crazy exhausted all at the same time.
And like every other day, I’m just left wondering why this parenthood thing is this hard. Or if it just feels like it.