PMS & Playdates

I woke up this morning. Walked over to the mirror. Then noticed that my nose looked like I had been on a gin bender. Bright, bright red - especially at the tip where a giant blemish planted itself. One of those monsters that repels any and all attempts to cover it up. And when I saw this spectacle of beauty, I smiled. Because I knew that it meant I wouldn't be bearing a child anytime soon. The wait was over.

I think PMS can be especially hard on a medicated mommy. I know I'm constantly monitoring myself for crazy. Am I being too mean? Too weepy? Too obsessive? And when PMS comes around the answer is usually yes. Yes. And yes. Which is absolutely OK and normal. But I often feel like I've long since used up my quota for crazy with my family.

Though despite the PMS stress, I have been proud of myself for sticking to my recent resolution of spending more time with son and daughter. Which sounds like a silly vow for a stay at home mom to make. But when I get stressed I find that I spend the whole day running away from them. Hiding in the computer, the housework, the crafting, the errands, etc. The alone, introspective time I seem to crave to get right-side-up is often far more than the day allows.

But for the last 5 days the kids and I have spent time playing on the floor together. Pretending to be mermaids in the pool together. Pretty much just doing stuff together, instead of my taking them to venues they can play and then sort of mentally detaching from them while they do their thing. And the irony of this experiment is that I've had more time to myself then ever before. The kids feel happy and safe because we've connected and are content to color on the floor or play Lego's while mommy does her thing.

The realization that I needed to focus more on the kids hit me after bedtime one night. They were begging me to read them a story, and I was done and done for the day. So I pawned it off on husband. As I was falling asleep that night it dawned on me that I had two of the people I loved most in the world begging, begging me to read to them. They thought me reading them a book was the best thing in the world. God, what a huge compliment! And how small of a thing to give them that makes them feel loved.

UDPATE: I have to add that I hope this post doesn't seem like I'm advocating giving over yourself to your children's whims entirely. By all means, run like hell when you need a break. I'm doing it at 4 when the sitter gets here.

I'm just saying that it's amazing how much love my kids get out of having my attention and interaction for small periods throughout the day. Sitting eye to eye with them and playing together for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day. Versus just "taking care of them". And in the end I actually get more time and guilt free time because they feel satisfied and aren't bugging me for more, more, more.

That's all. I had to clarify because I hate mommy guilt and didn't want to pass any on inadvertently.

10 comments:

Katrina said...

Are you my clone? Were we separated at birth? I kinda think we were...

I am pure evil with PMS. Doc is upping my meds a smidge during "Hell Week" and it's made a HUGE difference. Not a big jump, but enough to calm the crazies for me.

Hope the hag is here soon and the tumor zit is gone even sooner.

Mitzi Green said...

when i feel guilty for ignoring bob, i remind myself that my parents certainly never bothered making themselves my bestest friends, either, and we were often told to "go find something to do" that didn't involve either of them. and we turned out just fine. well, functional, anyway. and bob's last therapist told me that just engaging him for 5 minutes a day was enough to make him feel that warm fuzziness of connection. so when he's up my ass all evening asking if i want to play legos/watch casper/play air hockey/read this book with him, i can assure myself that it's because it's march and the weather STILL sucks and he's bored out of his mind--not because i'm neglecting him.

slackermommy said...

So true! Mine love to cuddle for an hour in my bed before they head to theirs. Often I feel put off so for the last couple of weeks I've made an effort to do it most nights and now I look forward to it. Now I'm the one who feels jilted when one of them doesn't want to cuddle.

Oh, The Joys said...

Amen and amen!

jakelliesmom said...

Thank you for the reminder and putting me to tears at my desk. I needed this.

Lotta said...

Mitzi - Totally! But I think I wasn't even taking 5 minutes to sit down and look them in the eye and play with them. So making myself sit on the floor for several 20 minute periods throughout the day actually makes all of us feel better about ditching each other to do our thing.

Mitzi Green said...

forget mommy guilt--you should feel guilty for posting more fabulousness on your etsy site because i absolutely, positively cannot spend any more $. STOP FEEDING MY ADDICTIONS.

kathi d said...

I don't have experience on the mom side, but I can well remember begging my mom to play a game, or whatever. Kids really do love to have that attention, I guess.

My mom did something that would no doubt be frowned on these days. When I woke up with the "tummy ache" that really meant "I just don't want to go to school" she would sometimes play along, knowing that her youngest (of 5) needed to be an only child once in a while.

Jason Dittle said...

hey! here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra $800 last month, checkit out... the site is here

Caution said...

This is a great post because so many of us know exactly what you mean. The author, Kate Atkinson, uses a phrase "autistic mothering" in one of her novels and that haunts me because it's so easy for me to be that kind of mom. Then about 2 AM every morning I think about it and wonder if my kids will be okay when they are grown. It's exhausting.