I heard my son scream, then yell MOM at the top of his ever-loving, healthy lungs from his bedroom. I could tell by how many O’s he put in his "mom" that he was about to throw one of his sisters under the bus. I instantly went into a fight or flight response.
I chose to flee. I had been fighting with the wee ones all day and I was quickly becoming a sore loser. As Little Man came barreling out of his room, letting another long-winded MOOOOOOOOOOOOM roll off his tongue, I hid behind the front door.
My racing mind began to ask all of its normal questions in a attempt to block out the non-stop screaming of children constantly trying to tattle on each other. How did I get here again? How can I learn to manage this "normal" and excessively irritating sibling rivalry? Every time I sit in front of my laptop (to do a little something for myself), they smell it. They incessantly hunt me down and hound me, gnawing at my ankles like a rabid chihuahua, until I have no choice but to abandon my task. Constant interruptions mixed with the drudgery of daily chores had once again taken over and stopped me in my tracks. I was trapped – not only behind the depressing sight of my skinny jeans but in my world where doing something for me is forbidden. As my mind went silent from defeat, I noticed an odd sound; kids, playing together without fighting. While I was throwing myself a pity party in the dark, the conflict that had made me stuff myself in the closet had resolved itself – I emerged enlightened.
I realized my children will survive if I don’t referee every fight. For that matter they would most likely survive if I don’t answer every call for mom, do every dish or make every bed – everyday. So, why do I keep doing it? Maybe I am a victim of the routine – the monotonous stay-at-home mom daily drudge that, after years, lulls your mind into a trance until your actions are robotic and each day is a carbon copy of the next. This routine overrides rational thinking and replaces it with the urge to make chores priority. We allow the routine to lead us into a world of cooking and cleaning because our children deserve to eat healthy and dwell in a sterile environment. So we follow the path of carbon copy day’s barely feeling the cuts from thorns or itch of poison ivy until we find ourselves hiding in the closet from our kids. I am at constant odds with the routine – every time I try to clear a better path by doing something for me, the routine calls and I am pulled back into the thickets.