Routine… suffocation… is it Thursday yet?

Today their enthusiasm is suffocating. Endless questions, snuggles, and even giggles wear me out. A trip to the North Pole is laced with so many requests for milk and just one snack that the ten minute game of pretend feels like an entire day.

Is it Thursday yet? It must be.

I try to take a stolen minute for myself, but get caught and as I’m dragged back to the North Pole, or China, or wherever else we’ve paddled or ridden a train to this afternoon, I stomp my feet like a two year old and throw my head back, stifling moans and groans of boredom.

It’s the routine.

Even baking cookies has become routine. I believe it’s time to hang up the apron.

When things become routine, I stomp and yell and want out.

I dream of luxurious trips to the gym to walk on the treadmill, of afternoons spent at coffee shops with books, friends, or both. Of dropping my kids off at school and having the day to make less routine.

We have to make it less routine. There’s no waiting for then. There is only now. That’s what I tell myself.

So I walk back to the North Pole where I listen as Santa’s Workshop is explained to me by a three year old, filled with animation as he tells me the part about the elves. I’m climbed on by a one year old who thinks she needs to be close enough to somehow get into my skin. Literally. But her cheeks are soft and she smells of soap and sweetness.

I wait with bated breath as my husband walks through the door. We sit down and consume our carefully prepared dinner {please don’t make me count how many nights in a row I’ve made dinner…} and I wail inside. Screaming with frustration as a child climbs onto me, not able to give me enough room to bring spoon to mouth. Suffocating.

After dinner I find a reason to leave for a few minutes. Practically beg to take the keys and get some fresh air. I wonder around the grocery store, a trip for $5 worth of Ibuprofen turns into a $30 grocery run. But the trip is out of the norm. A way to break free for a moment. To walk at my own pace. To live free from little, and big, tugs at the knees.

On the ride home I listen to NPR and think grown up thoughts for a few minutes.

And then it’s less. And I’m more.

It’s going to be okay.

Tomorrow, somehow, we will break routine. Live on the edge, bake brownies instead of cookies. Something.

And I won’t ask if it’s Thursday yet.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Routine… suffocation… is it Thursday yet?

  1. I know this feeling so, so well.
    Thank God it passes.
    But thanks for reminding me I’m not alone for feeling it.
    xo

    • I am just getting my minute without someone on me, and I logged into facebook just in time to see you had a new post up.

      I love it. And while of course we’re lucky to be able to be home with our kids, you are sooo right about days (or weeks, lets be honest) like this.

      I had a super funk of a day, despite my intention about waking to make it magical. *sigh*

      Thanks for your honesty here. It’s braver than you realize, I think. (An enjoyable read, too.)

      If I don’t catch you again before Christmas — Merry Christmas! Enjoy the time with your family. xo

  2. Funny how the grocery store can be a little haven like that. I’ve “escaped” to the grocery store myself more than once.

  3. I love the mention of NPR, also my stolen moment of adult time. (Along with trips to the drugstore. And, of course, blogging.) Thank goodness for these breaths of kid-free air. As I always say, I never love my children as intensely as the moment I walk in the door after being away from them.

  4. Oh I can so so so relate. Suffocated. It’s how I often feel. Stuck, confined, bored. We all need these little breaks. I squeeze them in whenever I can. Sadly, my breaks are only able to come when my husband is home so it means less time with him but i come back saner. Breathing easier. More me.

    Great post.

  5. It’s nearly impossible to not feel that way during the winter especially. I remember feeling that last winter. But then I found a cure; when we bought our business, routine went out the window. Maybe you need a business? lol. Just kidding. There is no routine when you have your own business. Or maybe I’m just not organized enough for one to emerge?
    I hope and pray you’re able to enjoy the next few days.

  6. I do the same thing…and then always think–ARGH! What kind of lame-ass thinks a solo trip to the grocery store is “a break?” Well, me, that’s who. But dang, can’t the grocery store make Cosmos or something to make me feel like I was *really* getting away?

    I think that’s the hardest part–when they literally are so all over you that it feels like they are Remoras. You get up and they’re still stuck to your skin….

    xoxo

  7. It is so true!!! How well you said it. I would like to say it half as well and not have people think I hate my kid. Because I don’t. I love him to death. (Not literally; metaphorically.) But I NEED me time. I need time to focus on an idea or task for more than 15 seconds. I would like to sit down and read a book for more than 2 minutes. I would like to think in complete sentences. It’s not easy. I imagine it’s not easy even with another parent around.
    Evan is off to the babysitter for a couple of hours and I’m going to revel in my book and NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE unless I want to. 😀 I feel positively wicked!

  8. You need, need, need to find a homeschooling family with a teenager and hire her to watch your kids on a weekday once a month so you can have a bookstore day. Seriously. Not kidding. You *have* to be able to look forward to being off-duty at least once a month, preferably twice. I mean it. Speaking from hard-earned experience. Don’t wait until things get worse, uglier, more desperate. I so wish we lived near one another, because I would come over TODAY and shoo your butt out that door, car keys in hand.

  9. My three year is currently fast asleep next to me & knowing if I dont wake her soon she wont go to bed till at least 11 tonight, but Im just enjoying the peace a little too much so she can stay as she is & I will deal with it later, plus my one year old is enjoying the toys all to himself, I can totally relate to your post & roll on Thursday (it gets to the UK a little sooner so I will think of you) x

  10. LOL– live on the edge and bake brownies– you risk takers 🙂

    I now what you mean, and like Care I let my 3 y/o nap yesterday despite the chances of a ruined bedtime just so I could be by myself for an hour.

  11. I totally get it. I have moments when I envy my friends without kids. They get to do those things, but when I really imagine my life without them it looks terrible.. but clearing out some of the parts of the “routine” that drag you down is a must every now and then. I went back to work partially for this reason (working part time… it gets me out) but I also have guilt about my decision. I can’t win. But reading this post I remembered last year when we’d go the the community center to swim and workout every wednesday… it was like every wednesday was de ja vu… I couldn’t stand it!!! So now we change up the days and sometimes we swim and sometiems we play basketball….

  12. Pingback: Today, I don’t mind « Trains, Tutus and Twizzlers

  13. Suffocated in good and not so good ways. I do relate.

  14. So, so true. I relate competely. There’s been too many days lately where I feel as though I’m screaming (or sobbing) inside, and I feel guilty about it — I wanted to stay home with Sean. I wanted this, but there are days I feel like I’m going to come out of my skin, like my brain’s going to atrophy. Thank you for writing about this so eloquently, it really seemed to resonate with a lot of people!

  15. Those little moments of spontaneity make all the difference, don’t they? I need to remember to “break routine” every day. It’s good for me…and good for my kids too!

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