Juliana and Hudson are my world, if you haven’t already got that. But for the love of God, they are so needy, rightfully so. Being 3 and almost 5 is a hard job, trying to navigate your big feelings in this crazy chaotic pandemic of a world. Pandemic or not, being a toddler isn’t all fun and games and they need their mom all.the.damn.time. I’m okay with it most of the time, but those times that I am trying to do 10,000 things, it’s no joke. I snapped one day and said, “I’m only one mommy. I don’t have 8 arms!” My little fierce quick-witted Juliana laughed and said, “Oh it’s because you’re not an octopus, right?”
I wish I was an octopus…
When I am zooming with the students in this “new era” of teaching, when I am trying to eat and give them a meal at the same time, when I am trying to play with them and do the laundry and the dishes and everything else in between, when I am trying to get work done and keep them happy…The list goes on and on.
It’s okay that I’m not an octopus, but it was so genius for her to say that because now every time I say to them that I am only one mommy, we start to laugh and wonder what it would be like to be an octopus. “Mommy, imagine if you were an octopus! You can play with us and get your work done at the same time!” How sad that she was able to even recognize how busy I am. After all, I am the queen of multitasking, which isn’t something I am necessarily proud of. When I am doing something, I want to be all in, especially when I am playing with the kids. The other day all 3 of us (Hudson, Jules and me) went in the pool and we played. I mean, we really 100% played. No phone, no incessantly checking social media like a troll, no technology or OCDing over the next thing I have to do or how messy my house is…I was in the moment, not being an octopus and not wishing I was an octopus and really just being. How beautiful it was to just be with the kids and NOT wish for 8 arms. Not project my anxiety and OCD onto my strong-willed empath daughter. Hudson? He would rather be fixing the wheels on his perfectly charged jeep.
I think most moms wish they were octopuses. Most of us wish we could get everything done in one sitting and then have time to play with our kids, but the truth is…There is ALWAYS something. I watch my husband be an octopus without even knowing it, but the difference is he can’t multitask so he just yells instead. The pandemic has been hard on him because he used to being able to focus on his on mind, routine, and his independence. Sorry buddy, but we are all over his ocean and it’s shaken us all. We are trying to get our “already big lists” done all while trying to pay attention to our “just as needy and have a big list of things they want to do” too kids. Not even sure that made sense, but their big lists are a little different than ours: swim, play with mom, build a fort, take a bath, go in the slip n slide, eat ice cream, go to Target (yes my kids love it as much as I do), read 3438094389 books, jump on the trampoline, play the iPad, drive the jeep, etc. Our lists: do laundry, check 4348309483 text messages and write everyone back, zoom/work, obsessively check social media to see if your ex had a baby/feel bad about yourself, eat healthy, water the garden, go running, update an IEP, email a co-worker back, finish that training, load and unload the dishwasher, do finances, etc. YUCK! Our lists suck.
I’m not an octopus. I am one mommy. I am one person. I can only do so much. Have some grace with yourself and stop expecting so much. Let the house be a little messy. You CAN clean it later. The kids will remember eating ice cream for breakfast. The kids will remember the random trips to Target and the secret cake pops. The kids will remember you dancing around making up a song about how you aren’t an octopus. This pandemic has made me realize that I don’t want to be an octopus. As much as I wish I could get everything done, I don’t want to miss a beat with my kids and in my life. I want to marinate in those moments and remember them forever. I want to give my all to those moments.