Motherhood Can Be Jarring.

Tonight I got really sad all of a sudden because my children are getting SO big, SO fast, that it’s jarring. It takes a substantial amount of something to truly¬†jar me. I stood in our darkened living room, watching my boys, and tears spilled onto my cheeks as I whispered to my husband, “Asher doesn’t need his blanket anymore.”

He used to need it.

I am jarred.

I know that a lot of mothers who are also writers seem to go on and on about the beauty and sadness that comes with seeing your children grow up. This post is just one among thousands like it. In fact, I wrote one almost exactly like this one, almost exactly one year ago, and it still makes me cry when I read it. (If you want to read it, click here.)

Except that, as I pulled my toddler into my lap tonight to rock and sing to her before I tucked her into bed, her legs dragged farther down than last week. And as I stroked her hair and talked to her softly, she talked to me back. She answered my questions, my mindless questions, the ones I apparently ask every night without thinking.

“Pepper, are you sleepy?”

“No. Pepper not sweepy.”

“Do you want to sing a song?”

“Yes! Sing a song! Siiiiiiiilent night, hoooooooly night … “

She used to be so tiny. Now she could climb out of her crib, if she wanted to. She climbed out of the bath tub today. I walked away for a minute, heard a THUMP, and there she was, dripping wet in the hallway.

“I get out?” she said.

Yep … you got out.” Bath time was over.

8-month-old Penelope. Back when she was tiny.

8-month-old Penelope. Back when she was tiny.

My oldest child is going to be taller than me one day. Much taller. I know this because he is 6 years old and the top of his head is boob-high already. He is all arms and legs.

He can read. I catch him peeking over my shoulder trying to catch a glimpse of what I’m working on.

He gets my jokes.

He used to scream unintelligibly when I asked him to put his pajamas on, and now he’s talking about the anatomy of bugs and asking me questions about space travel.

I used to know the answers to all of his questions.

I don’t anymore.

This photo was taken in 2012 when we announced that I was pregnant with baby #3!

This photo was taken in 2012 when we announced that I was pregnant with baby #3!

My middle child was so attached to his green blanket that he wore it to pieces and we had to replace it with a brown one. We fretted over how long he would drag it around.

Then, suddenly, he stopped. And I cried. I CRIED ABOUT MY CHILD GROWING OUT OF A HABIT THAT DROVE THE WHOLE FAMILY CRAZY.

When my babies were babies.

21-month-old Asher with his blanket and brand-new baby sister.

It’s so weird, this motherhood thing. The things that cause me pain can also bring me great joy, and the things that irritate the ever-loving shit out of me are also sorely missed when they stop.

I stepped over my children to make my way out of the living room tonight, wiping the tears from my cheeks. I stopped for a moment and leaned down to tell Asher goodnight. He smiled up at me, dimples cracking.

We whispered back and forth for a moment, saying our good-nights, and then he paused.

Mommy? Can you get me my blanket?

Yes.

Yes, I most certainly can.

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Wife Guilt.

I am sitting here at 8:30 p.m. experiencing my first stretch of quiet in 14 hours, feeling the sting of wife guilt because I haven’t had a full conversation with my husband in at least three days.

As a stay-at-home mom, I experience wife guilt a lot more often than mommy guilt. How can I have mommy guilt when I spend almost all of my time with my kids?

I say “almost all of my time” because there is a 8-hour stretch at night, after I take my three-year-old to the bathroom but before my toddler wakes up at 6 a.m. screeching, when I simply refuse to deal with them.

I am off the clock. I do not adult during that time. Just ask my husband.

I suffer from wife guilt because by the time Robbie gets home in the evening, I am so done with everyone and everything and I want nothing more than get in the car and drive away. And I have. But don’t worry, I always return … after the kids are in bed.

11095580_10155648126665508_5917505660524626590_n

Me, age 8.

Being a mother is slowly turning me into a terrible wife. I know this because I went to my parent’s house tonight to dig up some old pictures for a project I’m working on, and I happened upon some of Robbie and I when we were 10 years younger and way, way hotter.

He tried to tell me it’s not that we’ve aged 10 years, Harmony. We’ve aged 10 years AND WE HAD THREE KIDS.

Oh, okay.

11141149_10155648088620508_4445009605382191378_nI do admit, though … looking at this makes my heart speed up a little. No wonder I called him “Hot Robbie” behind his back.

So maybe I will try a little harder to be a better wife, and maybe he will pretend that I can still fit into that dress.

If you liked this post, then you will LOVE I Still Just Want To Pee Alone! Click here to find out more!