Some days, I am so deeply grateful to be a stay-at-home mother. Preciousness and gravity hang from every wipe and hug and cup of milk. I can almost physically feel the fleeting nature of time and so I relish the gleeful toddler cackles and bizarre preschooler dialogues, awash in gratitude for my supreme good fortune.
Other days, I long to be somewhere else, doing something, anything, else. I feel my brain disintegrating inside my skull with every turning page of "Goodnight Moon" and imagine each dendrite drying up like a worm on hot pavement as the 'wheels on the bus go round and round', squashing every single crispy one. I feel time dragging on in an endless parade of laundry to be done and wiggly bottoms to be wiped and crusty dishes to be washed.
Some days, I hug my children enough, and, still, can't hug them enough. I use words I am proud of and set limits with reason and respect. I watch with admiration and pride as my children walk and run and follow rules and use their manners and make me think and feel and wonder at the beauty and intensity of life.
Other days, I yell too much, just too, too much. I grit my teeth and roll my eyes and use words I am ashamed of, even if it's only inside my head. Some days I look at my children and wonder if they will ever be grateful enough and then I hate myself for needing their gratitude.
Today is one of those other days.
I just hope that tomorrow is one of the some days.