I remember so little of my days prior to being a mom, but this week I recalled something that has given me insight on why I am balls-to-the-wall nuts by 3:00 during the summer when I get not a stitch of time to myself.
Before our kids, when D and I traveled, after about 3 days I was about ready to ring D's neck. Not because of anything he had done or not done (he is, overall, a very easy person to be around). I just needed s-p-a-c-e. I was just tired of talking to the same person, being around the same person, watching the same person's idiosyncracies and routines day in and day out without a break.
And so even though my kids are, at times, irritating, frustrating, and annoying but overall completely awesome kids, the problem really and truly is not them. It is me. I just need space.....some downtime away from them....from someone saying, "Mom, look at this," and then proceeding to pick his/her nose or some other completely mundane and inane thing that kids think warrants an audience and validation. Even though I am an extrovert and generally get my energy from being around others, the truth is that I need a variety of others to be around or my energy begins to drain.
I think this is why I really liked middle school teaching. Even if there was a student or a class that I found particularly aggravating, I only had to deal with them for 50 minutes (possibly up to 90 if we had extended schedules). Perhaps this was why I very quickly nixed the idea of becoming certified to teach elementary when N began kindergarten. The idea of spending 6+ hours with the exact same group of kids would drive me nuts, as it does now with my own kids during the long summer break.
As I continue in this mothering journey and have these little revelations about myself, I feel a clearer understanding of my own parents' limitations as parents and why they weren't able to always give me what I needed. It is simply impossible. I cannot change the core of who I am and what I am able to be simply because I carried and birthed children.
These revelations reaffirm my belief that I need to play to my strengths as much as I can and explain to my children (in this blog and in other ways) that certain things are just the way I am.....and it really and truly is not them....although, like me, it might take until they become parents to get it fully.