I Need You to Need Me Less

Mom, I’m still hungry. Mom, I’m hungry. Where’s my snack? Mom, did you hear me? Are you near me?” 

“Where’s your dad?!” 

“Mama, baby’s crying. I can’t hear my iPad now. Mama, make him quiet.” 

Child, I would, if I knew how.

“Babe, where’s my work shirt? Did you iron all the rest?” 

My family, you’re my world, but I need you to need me less.

It’s the middle of the night, baby hasn’t slept a wink. He’s still crying, I’ve been trying, but it’s hard to even think. Dad helps when I ask him, but this feels like it’s my job. What kind of Mom am I if I can’t even do my job?

I remember being seventeen, “I want five kids,” I’d say. But juggling two is a small freakin’ zoo, and it’s hardly halfway through the day.

I’d never give up on the kisses and slobber, and the things my kids say are the best. But once in a while, and I say with a smile:  love, I need you to need me less.

By no means am I preaching that I’m one of the best. To be honest, my skills are sub-par. I can’t cook, I don’t clean, I am no husband’s dream; it’s a miracle I’ve made it this far.

But I can still love my life while yearning for silence, a quiet half hour at most. Because a parent’s self-care is not only fair, it’s required – or this family is toast.

I’ll take the long nights, the dumb fights, the no naps, I’ll take both the joy and the stress. All I’m asking of you, as a sweet mom of two, the next time that you do,

if you need me,

need me (a smidge) less.

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