So I’ve got a secret I’ve been afraid to admit because.. well, I’m not sure. Maybe because I worry what my KCAP friends would think, or because my identity has evolved into The One Who Does All Things Anti-Mainstream and I feel like I should be above this. I don’t know.

But the truth is that sometimes I think that parenting might actually make me go batshit insane.

And let me clarify – I’m not at the brink. I’m not crying, I’m not sad, I’m actually very happy with my life. But after recently having two conversations with two of my wisest friends (both Saras, coincidentally), I’m getting close to admitting that I don’t know if I’m hardwired to be the kind of parent I want to be. And I certainly am not sure I wouldn’t fully be carted away if we tried to have a third right now (or ever..). And this makes me sad, because this isn’t the sort of whiny realization that parenting is hard. (I’ve had 5 years to be thrown in that pool.) No, this is a concession that my goals and abilities may not be aligned well, so it’s possible I’ll have to be realistic about the future in regards to what I want versus what I can do. We’ll have to see.

After stumbling on the research for Jack, I definitely think some of my biggest concerns are my sensory issues – specifically auditory. I just want to hide when it gets loud. AND IT’S ALWAYS LOUD HERE. The chaos that comes with small kids and stupid animals and gregarious parents is too much for me literally 100% of the time. It wears me out trying to calm my nerves all day. And yes, I know I should try meditation or quiet times. I agree completely. It’s just not always feasible – especially like today when Jon’s out of town and the kids are requesting cookies (wth?) by 6:00 am.

[And the truth is, that only goes so far. I realize not a lot of people can fully understand what I mean by sensory overload; that’s cool. Quiet time would be the mini-aspirin to combat the migraine, if I can make a comparison that is too dramatic but close enough. This is my normal, but after 30 years I’ve realized it’s not supposed to be. That’s all.]

And again, this isn’t about stress. Our life is not overly-stressful, despite what people may think. We are healthy and stable and warm and can pay the bills. That keeps me leveraged, I promise. This isn’t about having another child being physically attached to me for upwards of three years. It’s not about autism. It’s not about sleep.

This is just about the daily selflessness of parenting, and my rarely-selfless reaction to it.

I love my kids with a ferociousness I never knew I could, but I compared my whole family to leeches that suck the life out of me the other night. (Well, that was the wine talking. I promptly took it back.) I’m just being honest about the underbelly of parenting that I’m not proud of. I don’t like that sometimes I don’t like any of them. That I don’t always love feeding them 5 times a day, every day. I don’t like fighting about washing hands or hair or ears. I don’t like that Jack perserverates his sentences like a skipping record and I really don’t like Lorelei’s screeching. I don’t like that I can clean all day long (I don’t, but assuming I could) and by bedtime when I turn around Things 1 & 2 have frolicked behind me and it’s a wreck again. I see people who have their shite together, and I used to stress that I wasn’t doing something properly. But then I realized those people can be spectacularly boring, and I’d much prefer to be late on birthday cards if that means I was wrapped up in a book or something equally mind-stimulating. There are a lot of things about parenting I excel at, but there are an equal number of things I fail at, obviously. Thank God for fun/awesome/super daddy, because again, He was no dummy pairing us together.

Really I just wanted to stand up and say Hi, my name is Jen and sometimes I dream of going to Italy by myself. Sometimes. But not really. I miss my kids when I’m gone for a couple hours. At night when it’s quiet and I feel Jack breathing deeply, I imagine homeschooling and family trips and even having more hobbits to add to our shire.

But then another day dawns where I call Jon and threaten bodily harm to someone if he doesn’t come tag-in soon. That’s a strange disconnect, and I’ve come to realize it’s just who I am. I don’t know that I am designed to be the best mommy to a large(r) brood, and that’s ok.

There’s more to this idea of procreating (money, the environment, housing, transportation etc..), but for now I’ve been thinking about the simple quantity/quality aspect. And since this is already ridiculously long (methinks I wouldn’t have much to blog about if I had a therapist) I’ll just stop here.

Anyway, it’s always a little freeing to admit something that’s been weighing on you, so that’s nice. Especially because I’m not lying when I say right this instance Jack is sitting on Lo’s back as she’s sprawled over the Spiderman chair, and everyone is screaming.

(What’s that creed? God grant me the patience to what? Well, I don’t care. I’ll just start with that.)

Happy Thursday everyone.

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