When Mama Ain’t Happy… (Christmas Countdown Day 11)

Yesterday I wasn’t my usual chipper self. Call it hormones or stress or exhaustion (gee, there are a lot of excuses, aren’t there?), but I was grumpy. I just wanted to sit and knit all day. I wanted to pamper myself, let the house go, let the kids play outside. Time for Mama to spend with her wool.

Alas, the gloomy weather kept everyone inside. That could have been okay. Sometimes everyone inside means cozy family togetherness. But not yesterday. Yesterday it meant chaotic irritate Mama day.

I was assaulted by “Mama Can I”‘s, “Mama I want”‘s, and “Mama I’m Hungry”‘s all. day. long. On top of that, The Man was home all day, which usually means playful flirting and time with my best friend, but yesterday it meant that I felt guilty for the dishes in the sink and the growing mess.

So, what did I do about this bad attitude and these tough circumstances? I decided to sit and knit anyway. While this should have been a calming and centering activity, it actually had the opposite affect. I couldn’t get the yarn to do what I wanted and I got angrier and angrier. I saw every interruption by the kids as an irritant and even anything that was said to me was frustrating.

I spent the entire day like this. Hating my knitting, yet keeping at it. Hating my dirty house, yet not getting up to clean. Angry with the kids’ constant needs. Angry with The Man’s constant talking to me.

Knit, knit, frog, frog. Change diaper. Break up fight. Knit, frog, knit. Nurse baby. Take 2 year old potty. Knit, frog. Help kid with art project. Knit, frog. Step on Legos. You get the picture.

This morning, I started a new day. Baby curled up next to me nursing. The house still quiet while everyone slept. And I thought about yesterday. What was my deal? Why was it such an awful day? The kids weren’t really bad, The Man only tried to make it better, and I did get some knitting done. Why couldn’t I be happy?

I know what happened.

Sometimes I get this attitude that my time is mine. I look at motherhood as a job that I want to clock out of on the weekends. I see my duties as… well, duties. Sometimes, knitting does this to me – I get so focused on what I want to do that I forget some very important things.

Things like My children are a blessing, not a burden. They bring me joy and I love being with them. Being their mother is an honor.

Things like My time is not my own. I do have “me time” in the evenings after all are tucked in bed, but all day yesterday I was fighting for time that wasn’t mine. I was stealing that time from my children and my husband who need me to put the knitting down and smile at them.

In twenty years, I will not say, “Gee, it’s too bad I didn’t finish more knitting projects while my kids were young.”

In twenty years, I don’t want to say, “I wish I had knit less, and played with my kids more.”

So, next time my hobby gets in the way of what is really important, I want to remember yesterday.

I just need to put down my knitting, and play.

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