A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a (much) younger mother of two sons with a husband who worked two jobs. I, also, worked two jobs. I had the same job I have now, only part time, and I babysat for two other little boys, who were, age-wise, on either side of my then youngest child.
In my memory, those were sweet days. I remember giving in gracefully and subsisting on "kid" food. I didn't even bother trying to make adult-like food or meals. I'd get up at 5:00 a.m. to tidy and sweep before the one child care kid was dropped off at 5:45 because my boys didn't go to sleep until after 11:00 p.m. and their father had left for his third shift job so that they could spend time with him. I certainly wasn't going to tidy up at midnight, after nursing the toddler down to sleep.
I remember long winter nights, our house chilly because we were trying to spend as little as possible, snuggled in bed with the the boys...on the futon in the office because daddy was sleeping in the "adult" bed in the other room...reading book after book after book.....yep, we had no TV. I read so many picture books and chapter books out loud, just to keep the kids separated, quiet, not fussing. I suppose at some point, I must have graded essays and planned classes, met with students, and all that jazz....of that I have no memory. I just remember being with young children nearly 24/7.
Until this week, those times were so sweet...in my memory.
However, this week, my husband has been working late, getting home at nearly 11:00 p.m. He now has his own projects going, so he spends his mornings working on them. Our kids are older, too, so this weekend, during the hours he was home, they were asleep. He was out the door by 10:00 am this morning. 11:00 am yesterday. And he left shortly before they got out of school on Friday.
The kids don't demand the constant attention that they did back in the day. In fact, although I'm home alone with two boys right now (only one of which was born in the days of sweet memories...the other came along later and one of the boys from the time of sweetness has since moved out and lives on his own), they are rarely in the same room with me. One is upstairs studying for finals. One is killing zombies online in the family room.
But my goodness, today has been so LONG. Getting these boys to accomplish what I need or want them to accomplish (housework, schoolwork, holiday planning, etc.) is making me remember just how stressful those "sweet" times were. I think I'm having PTSD flashbacks or something.
Here is sit. It's totally dark out. It feels like we should be winding down for bed, but it's really not even 7:00 p.m. There are hours and hours to go before I sleep. I have not been a nice mother today. I just wanted everything done in a timely and smooth manner. How could I have forgotten that no one in my family but me values timeliness and smoothness?
Hopefully those sweet memories will come back when this time also has passed.
Because I sort of miss them. I was much happier in my memories than I think I was during that reality. Hopefully, we'll all create fake memories about the current time which will place us in a happy context because the memories I'm sure I created for these two boys today were certainly not happy.