You are sitting in your car with your children and you are holding in the mother of all outbursts. You know it’s not their fault. They are children but truth be told at this moment, they were put on this earth to drive you to the brink of insanity.
Once 5 minutes, in an enclosed space, has passed, these 10- and 6-year-old kids have lost all sense of how to behave. Fighting…check. Singing…check. Hopping so much the car may very well take flight….check. Kicking the back of my seat…check. Dying of hunger. Dying of thirst. Continuous questions. “Why do we have school?” “Why are numbers, numbers?” I could go on. But I won’t.
You love them with all your might. This is true. But it’s the tiniest bit of will that’s holding you back from tearing away from the car and moving to Outer Mongolia. Yes, you feel immense guilt for even considering these thoughts. It took many years of trying and heartbreak to have two beautiful healthy children. You remind yourself that you are human. You are allowed to have fantasies of your time before children. A time when you didn’t hear the word ‘Mom’ 100 times an hour. When you sat down to eat and no one called you due to an emergency. As expected, there were no disasters. Unless you deemed a misplaced crayon a tragedy. Now, it is a common occurrence, once you have the first mouthful of food, to be summoned for assistance in the bathroom. When you fell asleep at night and no one woke you until morning. BC — before children — you never had the pleasure of seeing every hour on the hour through the night. Tasks at night include keeping temperatures down, cleaning up vomit, and changing bedsheets. Getting a drink of water because someone hadn’t had a drink “all day long.” Removing a fly as it’s “stopping me from relaxing.”
Of course, when you move to Outer Mongolia, you will feel that sense of longing only a parent will understand. That pull and tear at your heart when you think of their sleeping bodies. The gentle snoring, and little cheeks that you want to kiss. They are tucked up in bed. Quiet. The perfect state.
This is your life now. The life of a parent. You spend your time looking at the clock waiting for school to start. The second they are behind those closed doors, you can’t help but miss them.
You go on a date with your significant other and spend all your time talking about them. How hilarious they are and what they said that made you laugh. You talk about their obscene level of intelligence. This clearly came from your side of the family. You had no idea what you were signing up for that very first day you were told you were pregnant. Like an earthquake shaking and tearing your previous life apart. What did you even do with your time before they came along? You will know the answer to this question when you are sitting in a car together after five minutes have passed.
This post was previously published on Medium.com.