After waking up sick (snot dripping out of my nose and remnants of it crustified to my face that had dried while I was sleeping, and razor blades in my throat) to an eager, and quite frankly, annoying 3 1/2 year-old this morning, something dawned on me. Why the hell don’t I get any PTO days? Now, PTO can stand for two things in such a case, its traditional meaning, Paid Time Off, which clearly a stay-at-home mom deserves and has more than earned, or a Parent Time Off day. Either one, I am in DESPERATE need of! Did I mention I also woke to that little monthly reminder of the gift of children too..which by the way, since baby number 2, gives all Kohler products a run for their money? Apparently, this is common after having multiple children. Wish someone had told me that…I might have reconsidered. Okay, maybe not… but not my best morning to say the least.
Once you have a child, there are NO days off. Even if you are on a vacation, a true vacation without children, (a trip is when they are with you) your mind is still very ON. I can’t remember a span longer than 3 hours (which I had to work up to this) while awake, where I haven’t thought about my children. Pathetic, I know…but reality, yes! Again, if you are a working mother, no I don’t mean on the streets, you probably have a slightly longer span, or don’t you? I would love to know other mother’s prospectives on this. Maybe it is just my neurosis that have made me this way? I am what you call, “a tortured soul”, sort of like damned if you do, damned if you don’t. For example, when my daughter was younger, I used to yearn for time for myself, but when I would actually get it, I would like a love-sick puppy dog, stare out the window, wagging my tail if I had one, waiting for her to get home. No Joke! Even now, I could be SO DONE with being a parent that day, get a break from my kids, and still not completely turn off the parenting light. I would simply switch it to dimmer mode instead. Sometimes, I even end up feeling guilty for enjoying the time I do have without them. Not because of them, or their feelings, but because I feel bad for feeling happy to be away. I would like to reiterate, I am unclear if other mothers minds work this way, I am only an expert on my own. I have a suspicion that you if tend to be, a type-A obsessive perfectionist, such as myself, you will or have, a similar problem. I call it a problem, because I am not sure it is healthy for ones mental state. In fact, I know it is not. My mind needs a PTO more than my physical self (expect today, I really do need one so I can rest but instead I am typing this blog). I see a couch and a bearded man wearing a sweater vest holding a pen and a notepad in my future.
For real though, no one tells you that you almost NEVER stop thinking about your children, or will sometimes feel guilty when you actually do. I guess it is pretty incredible to love someone so much that you literally can’t stop your mind from thinking about them. Who knew that having a child would out power any other need or desire you might have. Wowza, my friends. The universe has spoken… or is it just the DayQuil?