Growing Pains

I've been having a rough week. I don't actually remember what happened on Tuesday...but yesterday was an awful, horrible, not-so-good day and today has only become better by the peace and serenity of nap-time. Oh, it could be worse, I'm sure of that. But I'm feeling quite down about it all.

It seems like randomly, every so often, children have mental growing pains. A few nights of serious struggling at bedtime. Or a week of testing Mommy's boundaries. We typically push through those hard parts and then enjoy each other significantly more for the next few weeks/months. Until the next spurt.

You could call them phases.

And since my first-born is introducing me to each new phase for the first time...he gets to see me flailing and kicking as I attempt to get back on my feet and figure out what to do with him! YES, I have moments of uncertainty! I make mistakes! I don't always know what to do!

For some reason, those feelings have compounded this time around.

We'll call it the "Mommy COME" phase. "Mommy, come play with legos!" "Mommy, come play in my kitchen!" "Mommy, come watch me play my organ!" COME MOMMY!!!

It sends me into mental anguish. I love my son! I want to play with him! But I have dishes to wash, food to prepare. I have laundry to fold, floors to sweep. I have another son who is also craving my attention.

I have been reeling. I really don't know quite what to do.

This morning I tried an experiment -- I scheduled our time:
8:00-9:30 sibling/independent playtime while Mommy cleans up breakfast and other chores
9:30-11:00 Mommy/Peter playtime while Ezra sleeps

We played with shaving cream on the counter. We listened to fun songs. We looked at magazines together. We played with legos. We even played with puppets and did some role playing. Serious playing, I thought! This should fill him up good so I can get a couple more things done before making lunch.

11:05 "Mommy!!! Where are you? Come play with me!" hmmmmmm

So what is your response? "No, mommy is busy right now" or "not right now, maybe later"? Are you prepared to hear the same reply when you ask your toddler to do something? "Peter, please come quickly -- it's lunchtime!" "Not right now, I'm busy!"

I really don't want spoiled kids. I don't want them to think the world revolves around them and they deserve attention from EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME.

I also feel really guilty when my children cry. Or ask me to play. It makes me feel like a bad mother who is obviously neglecting them.

I NEED to find the answers here. I NEED to find balance. Last week went so well! I just can't believe we've gone into such a tailspin.