I’m gonna need you parents with older children to tell me some lies.
Can I get a handful of you to email me and tell me that when my kids get a little older they’re not going to have me jumping through hoops every minute of every day?
Those of you with young kids know what I’m talking about — they need something all. the. time. Right now, as I write, Lu is critiquing the oatmeal I made her for breakfast: I can’t taste the cinnamon, I want more brown sugar on it, it’s too hot, I don’t like this spoon. And SHE’S the easy one.
I’ve been attempting to write for 10 minutes and I haven’t been allowed to sit for more than 30 seconds at a time. Move my chair! The dog is bothering me! I need some socks! Where’s my baby doll! I can’t zip my coat! It never ends!
And I am a mean mom who will tell my kids “You can do that yourself,” or “No, I’m not doing that.” I really do expect them to do a lot of things for themselves, but they are still wearing me out. I’m sure that many of you parents of teens would say you’d trade this stuff for your kids’ sassy mouths and busy social calendars in a heartbeat.
The only way I get to sit down for 10 blessed minutes is if I let them have tablets. I know, I know. Too much screen time, kids who have no social skills, blah blah blah. I get it, and I try to limit it, but this Mama wants to sit and drink some coffee and read for a bit just once a day.
My dad and his brothers tell the the story that their mother would shoo them out of the house first thing in the morning and they would stay gone until she called them for meals. They were told not to come home wet, so even if they fell in the creek in winter, they’d stay gone until their clothes dried!
Y’all, that would never never happen with my little needy people. They’d come home crying, slinging snot and leaving piles of wet, dirty clothes for me to pick up. Then they’d want hot chocolate, a blanket on the couch and their favorite show on TV to make them feel better.
I’m not saying kids today are wimpy, needy little monsters — oh wait, yes I am! I don’t guess I want them walking around in 40-degree weather in wet clothes, but come on, getting their own crackers wouldn’t be so hard, would it?
“But Julie, why did you have kids if you didn’t want to do things for them?” you ask. I am happy to do things for my kids! In fact, I’d say 85% of everything I do in a day is specifically FOR THEM. And I’m happy to work extra so that they can play sports, adjust my schedule to take them to sleepovers, cook their favorite meals, and play games with them.
It’s just these constant nagging things that make me feel like a servant, and my kids’ impeccable timing makes it worse. As soon as I sit down from getting Dude his applesauce, Bug asks me to tie her shoes, and as soon as I sit down again, Lu wants me to help find her hat.
I’ve been trying to wean them off of my butler services slowly, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m thinking of implementing a new strategy where I stick my fingers in my ears and chant “I’m not listening I’m not listening I’m not listening …” until they go away.
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Overheard at the salon: “My diet is going well — I made myself eat a boiled egg yesterday. I just know if you ate an eyeball that’s what it would feel like.”
Julie Holt is a wife, mother of three, hair stylist, runner, reader, writer, and is tired. Very tired. She works in Brentwood, lives in Spring Hill and can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow Julie on Twitter @jh_lighter_side.