Who else wants to scream?

I like my kids, really I do. I was actually kind of sad to see them go back to school. You would think, then, that I would be super excited for them to come home every day, but this is not quite the case. For one thing, they get home at 3:00. I barely have any down-time after the babies go to sleep for naps. It’s barely long enough to eat some lunch (I love to have lunch in peace and quiet. I never eat with the babies), do some perusing on the internet, and get a couple of things done around the house.

That deep cleaning that I’m always saying will happen “later” never quite occurs because “later” is just about when the kids walk in the door. At least they get home in phases now. Elementary gets home first, followed by middle school an hour later. It’s less overwhelming that way.

Still, my peace suddenly disappears. Massive quantities of snacks are consumed, notes and flyers are littered everywhere, and everybody talks at once to tell me all the little facts abut their day. Not that I don’t want to hear them. I do. I totally do. It’s just that I feel like sometimes it’s more like a swarm of insects than a family of children. Frankly, it’s exhausting. At least during the summer I could pace myself with them. It was more like a mothering marathon, but now it’s a full-speed sprint.

Lasting several hours.

Then they’re off to trash the house. It’s amazing how quickly things can deteriorate. Don’t even start with, “just have everyone clean up after themselves.” Really, I feel like throwing up when I hear that. Or strangling someone. It’s my second most hated phrase (after, “just eat less and exercise more”) I don’t want to be the rolled-up-and-thrown-on-the-floor sock police. Or the who-was-playing-with-the-Leap-Pad police (because the answer is always “not me”. It’s the ghost children who live in my house and are always playing with toys while the human children sit innocently on the sofa, hands folded in their laps.)

They have a chore chart, which they have had for a couple of years now. But it’s like some sort of revelation each day when I ask them if they’ve finished what’s on the chore chart. “Chore chart??? Whaaat? I don’t understand those words.” Gaaah! Give me a break!

India broke her foot last week, so everything is messed up on the chart. She can’t unload the dishwasher or walk the dog with crutches. So now everyone has to take on extra chores. You can imagine how well that’s going over. But every day I have to repeat the phrase, “She can’t. Why not? Because her foot is broken. I don’t know how much longer. Just do it.” If they complain I usually give them an extra chore. But some of them are denser about this than others. Bella gets an extra chore just about every day. It’s really hard to think up those extra chores on the spur of the moment. Cleaning out the microwave is a good one, but I can’t use it every day. Vacuuming the family room is also good, especially since it needs to be done about every ten minutes. For some reason they are all scared of turning on the vacuum. They just sit there, waiting to get up the guts to turn it on. Like I just asked them to jump off the high dive. I want to scream, but I don’t.

Actually, I think that pretty much sums up motherhood. I want to scream, but I don’t.

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9 thoughts on “Who else wants to scream?

  1. Sometimes I fantasize about running away…far, far away where no whining can reach me, without having the guilt of abandonment hanging over me. Maybe screaming would just be healthier.

  2. I went through all of that when my kids were little—-and I didn’t have sooooo many!

    And then I could have been done—and married again—and had another one…

    Talk about wanting to scream! Most of my peers are in the empty nest stage and I am still trying to get another one to do some chores. Don’t get me wrong—he’s amazing, you can read about him on my blog:
    http://www.swaneesinger.blogspot.com

    But…I guess I am MORE than tired of it all…

    Then I feel guilty because I am not enjoying his childhood more—
    I actually DO scream a lot!

  3. My life doesn’t even approach the level of chaos yet that yours does. But I still want to scream, and sometimes do, at least a dozen times a day. Mostly when Beck has dumped out the cereal, dropped magazines into the toilet, colored on his hands with a sharpee, and dumped milk on the couch I just had cleaned. So I can at least relate on some levels. so sorry.

  4. Have you ever read the poem “Mr. Nobody?” Sounds like he lives at your house too. My boys have that poem memorized.
    We’re homeschooling this year so it’s even MORE fun even MORE of the time!
    Good thing they’re so cute.

  5. I didnd’t realize India had broken her foot. That’s s bummer! I can’t imagine how frustrated you must get with the mess-making with three times the number of kids I have. It’s amazing how much just one ten-year-old son can whip up.

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