Thursday, June 03, 2010

Crazy Eights

Today I'm bringing you another guest poster, Kirsten from Nilsen Life. The first time I ever read her words, I thought she was an absolutely gentle writer. Gentle. She has such a gift of getting her message across without knocking you over the head with it. And in that way, what she has to say is that much more powerful.

She's also brilliant and uses big words which I pretend to understand. She might be on to me. Anyway, she has lived a fascinating life, full of travel, and now brings her sense of wonder to her three kids. She blogs about her life, her faith, her memories - and every post is beautiful. I hope you check out her blog.

Her post today is one to which all of us can relate. Motherhood is so hard sometimes. So hard. Sometimes we just have to remember to be kind to ourselves, too.

I muster every last bit of patience I have, and lean over to give one last good night kiss. I feel long arms around my neck, and a whispered plea - "Mommy - can you stay and cuddle me? Just for a little while?"

My heart sinks.

I remember the exhausting battle it was to get hair washed tonight.  I remember the screaming fit the two year-old pitched because we weren't reading FIVE [Curious] "George stories".  I remember that we didn't agree on an outfit for school tomorrow, and that means a battle looms in the morning over whether we can wear Hello Kitty glitter shoes and a skirt without tights.

In a split second images flash through my head - the stacks of dishes waiting for the dishwasher, the bills that need examining, my laptop blinking its compelling '5 new messages', the botttle of red wine that is waiting its turn to glug glug glug into my glass.  I imagine the 5:30 wakeup call that smirks from the far side of the night.

Putting the kids to bed on my own for the fifth time this week has once again reminded me that the 'work week widow' gig isn't always as sweet as it sounds.

No, I say.


I believe - believe with all my heart, in fact - that you should always take the moment to hug them an extra time. I know that life turns on a dime, and that each second is precious.  I know that their growing up years will flash by too quickly, and I will find myself wondering where my good night kisses have gone.

And yet - I say No.

Tonight, all I had was the strength to say No. I am not enough, I don't have enough, and I will be more for you in the morning.

We all need a card to play when we don't have anything left.  A crazy eight, designed to cover for the worst hand. A card that gets us a free pass.

Tonight was my Crazy Eight card.


Varda said...

Hey, I get to be first commenter! Let me savor that a moment... OK, done.

Kirsten, so nice to see you over here. I get two of my favorite virtual bloggy mom friends in one place, yum yum. Love your post. I get the night clingy stuff all the time and often feel so guilty when I say no, feel like the meanest Mom in the world. Thanks for giving me a "get out of jail free" card on this.

Cheryl, that "guest blogger" concept is awesome! (note this is an unsubtle hint for you to ask me to be your guest sometime the future)


Marit said...

sounds like a tough one, kirsten. even though i've told you about a million times, i will tell you once again: you are an amazing mom! we all need that crazy eight card at times. esther and i are sending some fairy dust your way & heaps of dutch kisses. wishing you well. always. said...

i read her posts regularly. thanks for letting her guest post.

Unknown said...

Crazy Eight card...I'm afraid to use mine! I think maybe I use it when I shouldn't and then I don't when I should because I remember when I used it earlier for no good reason!! The card is powerful and I don't like having that responsibility. ACK!

kirsten said...

Joanne - I think when you find yourself wondering if its time to use it... it's time to use it. :) I wrote the post so late, so tired, but what I was trying to say is that we need to be gentle (read: forgiving) of ourselves when we just don't have it in us.

Jen C said...

Ah yes, the work week widow. Ugh.

I'm glad you recognized the limit and weren't afraid to give yourself a little 'you' time. I think we often keep giving and giving and giving without ever replenishing the well. Eventually that well goes dry and then we (ahem, me) can get bitter.

I love the crazy eight analogy.

Salt said...

That was so well written. This is going to be a toughie for me. I already have a terrible time saying no to my little nephews. I can only imagine how much it will be magnified when I have my own.

But when stuff gets to be too much, what else can do you really?

One Photo said...

First of all Cheryl I think the way you describe Kirsten's writing is just so very apt. She is indeed a gentle yet oh so very powerful writer - and just so very nice with it :-)

Kirsten this is a wonderful post - I know exactly that feeling at the end of the day, as I am often lone parenting 5 days of the week too - when you just want done with the day and some time to yourself. I think it is good that your children know there are limits, that once that last long hug is done then so are you. As always beautifully written.

Pamela said...

Great post! And, boy, can I relate. I've been a work week & weekend widow for the past few weeks now. Although I only have one kid, between working full time & taking care of him full time is exhausting! Yay for saying no sometimes:)

Cheryl said...

Glad you all enjoyed my guest poster - and thanks again Kirsten for doing it!

Sometimes we DO just have to say no!

hezro said...

I totally agree that your description of Kirsten is perfect. Kirsten is one of those people who makes you want to be a better mom...a better person - but she's so subtle and gentle that you never resent her for it.

And through Kirsten I stumbled onto your blog, Cheryl, which I'm also enjoying. So thanks ladies for doing what you do (and doing it well, I might add).

(And sorry for making you ill when you came to visit my blog. Oops! *wink*)

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