I love M.J. so much but he is so clingy lately. This morning I told him I needed to take a shower so he asked to watch Frozen 2. When I put the movie on he asked me to watch it with him. I told him I could watch a little bit but then I needed to take a shower. While we were watching it he cuddled with me and kept asking me to watch it with him. I finally told him I needed to take a shower and he said “Don’t shut the door. Are you gonna be right back?” I told him I wouldn’t shut the door and I was just going into the bathroom to take a shower. He has wanted to come with me whenever I let our dog out to go the bathroom. He tells me not to shut the door when I go to the bathroom. The other day I told him I wanted some privacy and he said, “but don’t shut the door when you have some privacy.” He clearly doesn’t understand what that means.
We have gone through a lot of bubbles during quarantine because that seems to be the only thing M.J. will (sometimes) play with by himself. I am really missing playdates and I can tell he is, too. We need interaction with other moms and kids. I can’t wait until we are able to leave the house again!
I know I’m not the only mom who is struggling through the quarantine. Some moms have to work full-time from home while watching their kids. I’m blessed that I don’t have to work but sometimes I wish I did so I had an excuse to not play with my son. I know a lot of moms are wanting to go back to work or doing things outside of the house. Then, of course many moms feel guilty for wanting to be away from their kids. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a break from your kids. Taking care of yourself helps you to better take care of your kids.
I used to think I couldn’t share with others my struggles I was going through as a mom. I had wanted to be a mom for so long and I was finally blessed with my son. I felt that struggling as a mom made me ungrateful. I thought if I told people I sometimes want to lock myself in the bathroom just to have some alone time they would think I was a bad mom. When I started sharing these feelings I learned many other moms have struggled with similar things. Most moms feel that they are not qualified and most moms worry about messing up their kids.
I shared with my therapist my worries about being a bad mom. She said it was clear I am not a bad mom and told me I should write positive things I did as a mom at the end of the day. It can be helpful and if anyone is struggling I would recommend it. Of course sometimes I will be too self-critical and write things like I fed my kid dinner and I will think, well duh, I’m supposed to do that.
I think Jeannie Cunnion put it perfectly in her book, Mom Set Free (which I highly recommend):
“This parenting thing is hard. Really hard. And there will be a lot of mornings when you want to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed because you don’t have the mental, physical, or emotional strength to meet the demands of the day and be the mom you want to be. And when you do muster up the strength to put your feet on the floor and take that one next step, you will want to say, with the little energy you can summon, ‘Who wants to play hide and seek? Doesn’t that sound like fun! Okay, so you go hide, and be sure to find a really great spot where I’ve never found you before, and Mommy will come look for you after I count to five hundred.’ Yes, you will do this because you are falling apart. It won’t mean you don’t love your children with all you have. It just means you’re human. And that’s okay. And you will make mistakes. Lots of them. And you will have regrets. Big ones. And you will need Jesus like you’ve never needed him before! But, girlfriend, what I most want to tell you is this: On the days when you feel like you’re not enough, hold on tight to the truth that you have a savior who is enough. And what is hard for you is not hard for Him! So run to Him. Rely on Him. Depend on Him.” (pg. 5)
I have realized parenting a toddler is not something I can do on my own. I need to ask God for grace and wisdom every day. I have other mom friends who I am able to share my struggles with. We can ask each other for advice or just share what we’re struggling with. I can joke with them about all the gray hair I am getting during quarantine. I’m so glad I have a “village” to help me.
“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” John 1:16 NIV