As a kid, I remember being so afraid of being alone. I hated going to bed at night by myself. I literally packed stuffed animals all along the side of my bed to feel cuddled. I remember praying that I would not have to be alone when I was older.
Well, I haven’t been alone now for almost five years. In fact, I am pretty sure God is getting a good chuckle out of this one. It’s funny how my want and desire for alone time changed once I had kids.
I mean I haven’t had a trip to the bathroom by myself in years. If I want one, I have to literally sneak out of the room, run the to bathroom and lock the door before they realize I am gone. And they always realize I am gone.
Most of the time, I don’t make it to the lock quick enough so its an unwelcomed party. What are you doing, Mom? Oh, just wanted to use the potty. Oh good, I wanted to come in here and sit and watch you. Great. I just love an audience. How’s your day, mom? Fantastic.
When I do actually get the door locked in time, it’s like I left them forever and I am never coming back. Reagan will literally scream and cry on the other side of the door until I come out. She will try to stick her tiny little fingers under the bottom of the door just so she can feel close to me. She is so upset that I would want to go to the restroom without her — why would I ever want to do that?
And showering. Are you showering, Mom? Yes, baby, mommy is showering. OK … as she stands there to watch. Um, can I help you? Go eat your snack and watch your show that I put on for you! Can I get 5 minutes? And if she does actually walk away, there’s the phantom cries. As soon as I put my head under the water, I hear someone crying out. Most of the time, it is all in my head, but it is there nonetheless. I better hurry, someone is upset.
Dinner time is a time for togetherness — and I strictly enforce this because I think it is important. However, their food is typically ready first. They take three bites and are so not hungry. Until I sit down. I mean, my food tastes so much better than theirs. Reagan must sit on my lap and eat off my plate because clearly my food is superior.
And all those stuffed animals in my bed as a kid, I think they were just preparing me for motherhood. At bedtime, we put them down in their own room. By 2 a.m. (sometimes as early at midnight), we have at least one helicopter sleeper taking up more than half the bed.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t want them around! It would just be nice every once in a while to have a kid-free trip to the bathroom, an audience-free shower, a meal all to myself, and a night of sleep without being kicked in the ribs and holding on to the edge of the bed.
And I know, one day I will miss this. And I won’t realize it until I walk out of the restroom freshly showered and they didn’t care to notice. We will be busy with evening events and dinner will be on the go and I will actually get to scarf down my whole plate. Or even worse, they will be grown and not even there to know what I had for dinner.
Which is why I rarely lock the door when nature calls, and why I am never the only one eating the food on my plate. This is why our queen-size bed is always overflowing with discomfort and sleepless nights accompanied by backaches and pains.
And I’m just not quite ready to carry them back to their beds yet. Because I realize that one day I will be alone and just long for these days. I may even sit outside of their bedroom door and cry for them to want to let me in. But that’s life — all or nothing.
Sure, at times, it is over the top annoying. But honestly, I can’t even be mad, because this is exactly what I prayed for. And it is an amazing feeling to know that someone loves me and cares about me so much that they want to be with me every second.
Yeah, this stage of motherhood is a whole lot of togetherness mixed in with love and a side of frustration. But one thing is for sure, it is anything but lonely.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.