Girl, Interrupted (CONSTANTLY!)

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I often wonder how pioneer mothers got anything done.

‘Ma! Junior is looking out my side of the wagon!’

‘Am not! Ma — she’s touching me with her rag doll!’

‘Can I have a bread and jam snack? Can I cut a piece of smoked ham? Can I open a jar of pickles?  Can I have a cookie? Can I eat that pie?”

‘But I don’t want to milk the cow….I’m thirsty NOW!’

Am I the only modern mother/wife that rarely has two minutes alone in her head before some sort of chaos erupts — or I’m needed yet again?

Before children, my free mornings allowed me time to journal, plan my day and do some writing. I’d get a work out of some type in several times a week. Yes, I worked. But in my free time, I read voraciously. Tinkered with writing. Planned for the future. Looked forward to life.

Enjoyed some solitude. (I no longer know what that word means — and just for the record, it’s taken me a week to write this due to continual interruptions!)

Now — if I’m lucky — I migh have a half hour to myself in the mornings before someone realizes Mom is sitting down, quietly enjoying the peace and a cup of coffee.

And needs me.

Some mornings might be relatively quiet with the youngest (and I can usually tell within a few minutes of her rising what kind of day it will be). Interruptions might only be at 5-10 minute intervals. (Can I have breakfast? Would you pour me another glass of milk? I want a different breakfast. I need the TV channel changed. Can I make a craft?)

Then, there are the days where I envision life bearing down on me like the giant, rolling rock in Indana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Where any plans I made can be chucked, because no one is going to allow me to get them done.

Many of the distractions are due to sibling rivalry, made more difficult with my youngest’s special needs and her refusal to care if she loses privileges. (She’s touching me. She’s on my side of the couch. She’s in my way. She won’t leave me alone. She’s playing with my toy. But i WANT that toy! She’s stupid! She’s hitting me!!….well, you get the idea.)

But the mental distractions are also overwheming. After all, I have girls. Girls that need to talk. And talk. And talk. Constantly.

A few days ago, I was outside picking dandelions to make syrup, and my oldest decided to weed the nearby fruit bed. The dialogue with herself, the weeds, me (at intervals) and a passing butterfly were almost comedic. Except that she couldn’t stop talking. For even a few seconds. I’m not even sure she was taking the time to breathe.

We only get a few hours (on good days) with the youngest before moodiness and difficulty move in. She can’t leave her sister alone. She needs to argue with me over simple things (wear a jacket — it’s cold. Put your shoes on. Don’t leave the fridge open.) She makes messes and refuses to clean them up. She tells me what she wants for lunch, and then refuses to eat it because something is off half an inch on her plate.

And if I’m honest, the interruptions are not just limited to the children in my life.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and profess my selfish desires. I don’t need jewelry, cars or expensive vacations to make me happy, people!

I just want to know what it’s like to get up for periods of time — perhaps once a month — and not be everyone’s go-to person for the day.

To be allowed to move at my pace. To think about what I’d like to do that day, and not take anyone else into consideration.

To not talk to anyone, except myself and God (who is probably tired of my complaining!).

To have hours of time to sit and write. To find that creative place inside of myself that has been interrupted into hiding out of sheer survival.

To not be responsible for another human being’s meals, clothing, lessons, entertainment, happiness and safety.

To just be me. Alone in my head.

Uninterrupted.

But for now, I’ll — oh, never mind. Duty calls…..

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9 thoughts on “Girl, Interrupted (CONSTANTLY!)

  1. I hear you. And with 3 kids, 6 and under, the oldest with Asperger’s, and the oldest 2 being girls who are arguing at least 75% of the time… I can SO relate! This post gave me a good laugh, thanks for sharing- If we don’t laugh, we’ll go crazy, right?

    • How do you do it?!!! I am so grateful we did not have Child #3 (we tried) because I would literally be pulling out my hair. Especially now that I’m caring for my mother from 3 hours away (she’s 86). I just want to scream most days. Hang in there! And thanks for laughing with me 🙂

    • Ha! I keep thinking of the movie “The Patriot”, with Mel Gibson. I want kids that well-behaved, smart, polite, respectful, obedient and able to understand when something was serious! Oh — and who can take out a British regimen 🙂

  2. Tracy Spangler

    Oh wow- thank you for posting this- I thought I was alone!! I have a 2-year old daughter and a 7-year old daughter and while I am blessed by their good health, I am mildly disabled and have been dealing with a rare nerve disorder every single moment of each day for the past three years. It is incurable, and now after two failed surgeries and innumerable procedures and medications I’m being told to expect to be in this much pain (imagine a burning steel rod being rammed into your right ear repeatedly, all day long). I adore my children, but especially my 7-year old daughter who we are now homeschooling, loves to talk and talk. It truly doesn’t matter if anyone is listening! ( So the part about your daughter in the garden made me laugh out loud!)
    Some days I look back at my ill-spent younger years, before the marriage, children and pain and know that I absolutely would have lived differently if I knew where I’d be today. Mostly I would have read more, enjoyed more quiet times, saved money, but also I would have built up a group of friends, that now in my time of great pain and need do not exist. I dream of blogging to reach other mothers, as you have, to share my stories and make connections so as to not feel so alone. It would be nice to have a grown up conversation now and then as well! The conversations with my husband now revolve solely around what not to forget at the grocery store and if our two-year old has used her potty chair. I regret not having other mamas to relate to, during this challenging chapter in life,
    Thank you, again for this post which touched my heart! I cannot imagine how difficult it is to raise a child with special needs, but since I was one myself I have a pretty good idea. You sound like a fantastic mother and woman! I can’t wait to read more of your posts, and perhaps connect in other posts along the way! My family and I also have a small homestead which I hope to grow one day in the future when I’m not consumed by such constant pain. For now we have chicks, chickens, some herbs, veggies and I try to study essential oils and medicinal herbs while juggling my girls’ needs. I hope you have a good day, and that one day soon you get some much needed alone time, to just be you and not “mama!” constantly. (It’s absolutely not selfish!) Have a great day!

    • Thank you for sharing your amazing story! I’m so sorry for everything you have gone through — and are still going through on a daily basis. I can’t imagine having to raise children, especially the talkers, with that kind of discomfort. I admire you greatly! You should start a blog or FB page. My Country City Me page on FB talks about gardening, homesteading, canning and all that stuff – there are so many of us that have connected as a small “FB family” because we share similar interests and have our pages. Come join us! You need adult time 🙂 And thank you for encouraging ME!

  3. Though it feels like it’ll be forever you’re there for just a season . . . that’s what I try to tell myself. Keep writing – for your sanity’s sake (that’s what I try to tell myself too!). Many blessings to you and yours and may find the good L-rd’s touches throughout every aspect in your life – even the interruptions!

    • Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement! Yes, the writing is my sanity-saver. I share your “pain”, lol. Blessings to you, as well!

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