"Mom, don't be in a hurry tonight... ok?" she said to me as we snuggled into her bed to read books.
I was speechless, my guilty heart broke.
I guess I am in a hurry by the end of the night. I'm in a hurry to sink into the couch by myself and have a moment of peace-- a moment of indulgence, whether that be binge watching Scandal on Netflix, or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I am admittedly in a hurry for my time. But it never occurred to me that she could sense that. That she felt my rush.
The days are long. There is no break. (Allow me to preach to the choir of mothers reading this.) Never do both children nap at the same time, giving me a moment to myself or to catch up on the 4 laundry baskets of clean clothes waiting to be folded (for a week now) or the dishes, or - I'm going to get really fancy here -- clean the BATHROOM.
No. There is no break.
When baby is napping, big sis wants to build puzzles with me, or read books with me, or do an art project with ME. And I willingly oblige. These are precious moments, I know that. I know that the laundry can wait (another week), the dishes will be done eventually, and the bathroom-- well, the bathroom is just that; a bathroom-- the toilet bowl is still white, so I'm winning.
But I know these times of her asking “want to build a puzzle with me mommy?" will quickly fade and blur into me asking "want to do a puzzle with me baby?" as she rolls her eyes and texts her friends about how lame her mom is *insert cringe here*.
So, the day drags on, and somehow flies by at the same time. By the time the dinner battle is over -- generally with a score of exhausted-mom: 0, stalling-picky-eater-3-year-old: 1, teeth brushed, jammies on, books read... Yes, I am feeling a little anxious for MY time.
I LOVE my girls, I LOVE snuggling with them at bedtime. But in order to love my girls properly, I also need to love my own sanity. And without a few precious moments to myself, I quickly lose that. (I've only recently regained it after 11 months of a non-sleeping baby.)
With that said -- "don't be in a hurry tonight" broke me a bit. I had no response other than "I'm not, Honey," and pulled her close.
Disregard my lack of make-up and pinned back bangs here -- I suppose it goes along with the theme of "end of the day exhaustion."
So where is the balance? When does the knowledge that *these moments are fleeting, soak it up while you can* lose out to *I need a MOMENT for myself*?
Because I know, I KNOW, that when I'm old and looking back on these days, I won't remember the episode of Breaking Bad that I watched, but I will remember the snuggles, the endless books read, the way her breathing steadies and her grasp on my hand lightens as she falls into sleep.
I also know that without my sanity, without a little time to myself, I won't be the best I can be for her or baby sister. So again I ask, where's the balance? What's the answer? For me, I suppose the answer is simply this –
Don't give up my small, precious, allotted ‘me-time,’
Don’t let her feel the hurry.
Embrace the snuggles.
Embrace that she wants me there by her side.
But also, embrace my time-- when it is time.
There's no need to hurry, my alone time will come. And sooner than I'd like to acknowledge, it will come far too often.