Do you ever feel a little…claustrophobic? I do! Not that I spend a lot of time in small spaces, but I spend a lot of time with little people who what to get up in and take up my space.
Picture this: I’m sitting cross legged on one corner of my king size bed. I’ve got a baby who is hungry and having trouble latching on in one arm, and I’m trying to hook up the haakaa with my other hand. At one knee I’ve got a 5th grader who is crying about how much work it takes to divide and simplify fractions. At the other knee I have two little boys who want to have a punching match and one of them keeps getting knocked into the haakaa and detaching it. The baby is super frustrated because he’s still not latching right and the little girl behind the boys is wanting me to correct her language arts worksheet so she can move onto the next one. Right. This. Second. She’s not being rude or anything about it, she’s just not my most intuitive child and can’t see that I’m a little busy at the moment.
It’s a KING SIZE bed, but they are all crammed into my corner of it.
Yeah, I get a little claustrophobic sometimes.
But not every moment is like this. Life is going to be full of these kind of overwhelming instances, that is all a part of motherhood.
Kids just don’t understand personal space. Well, they understand that they don’t want their siblings invading THEIR personal space, but the idea that anyone else wants their own space is completely foreign to them. At least before a certain age. Sometimes my 10 year old will see that mama desperately needs a break and offer to take the little ones outside. It’s amazing how much ten minutes just to yourself can help you reset your day.
I took a deeeeeeep breath. Exhaled. Told the boys it was quiet time and they needed to go play in their room. I told my girls they needed to wait until the baby was latched and I needed to help them one at a time. We got through that moment. And I didn’t even yell at anyone!
Picture this: The baby is all snuggled up on my chest for a snooze. I’ve got one little boy laying alongside my legs and another snuggled up to my side. My happy little girl has brought her favorite fluffy pillow into the bed and is next to him. My oldest has made us a delicious bowl of buttery popcorn while we watch one of my favorite old movies. We still are 6 people who are only occupying half of a king size bed. I was just as crowded as the last “Picture this:”, but I don’t feel claustrophobic. Its a totally different atmosphere.
I guess I just want to encourage you mama’s to set boundaries for your kids so they will understand that you need space, but don’t take it personally when your kids don’t understand why you need space. We humans are born incredibly self-centered, and it takes a while for us to understand other people’s feelings. I’m still working on my empathy, too.
I hope you have a good day, mama, and you are able to carve a little time away for yourself .