Guest Blogger...Judy FedeleEverybody Wants a Piece of Me
Nudge, nudge. “Not now, Zoe.” The dog’s wet nose insistently pushes at my hand. “Cut it out, Zoe. I have to fold the laundry. Nudge, nudge. I sigh and reach out to scratch the dog’s fuzzy white head. “I can’t scratch you forever, you know. I’ve got to finish this laundry, I have dishes to do, dinner to get ready…” The dog does not care about my long list. She just wants attention. A thin wail, sounding much like an angry sheep, cuts in through the baby monitor. “Great. Now Delia’s up. And I have to pick up Jaime from school in twenty minutes. I’m never going to get anything done. Terrific. I never get a break.”
Little insistent voices all day and all night. It seems like everybody wants a piece of me. “Honey, can you throw in a load of whites? I’ve got nothing clean to wear.” “Mom, can I have a snack? I’m staaarrrrrrrrving. And will you play Barbie’s with me? Will you will you will you pleeaaasssseee????” The baby toddles over and clutches my leg. The arms go up. I continue cutting up the potatoes for dinner. The crying begins. “I can’t pick you up, babe, I have to get this done or we won’t have dinner. Delia, please. Give Mama a break. Five minutes. That’s all I ask.”
Five minutes for me! I scream in my head. It seems as though that never happens. When I get the rare down time, I don’t use it for me (an unheard of luxury!) – it goes into the next round of dishes, laundry, dinner, whatever needs to be done, or finished, or started again. It’s endless, the list of things to be done. And the list of needs, well, that’s another impossible to-do list. I’m like a juice box, sucked dry. I get it from all quarters: the baby, my older daughter, my husband, the dog – even my mom with her calls and emails nagging and nudging about every little thing. Will it ever end?
Yes, actually, it will. Those non-stop, whining little helium voices will get older soon enough. They’ll be able to get their own snacks. They won’t want to play with me anymore. They won’t want their tired mama around every second of the day. Yes, kids grow up. Their needs change (though there will always be needs) and I will (God willing) always be here to meet them, as best as I can. I was strongly prompted of this recently when I came across a note from Jaime. I was cleaning her room and found a little crumpled piece of paper shoved in the back of her closet. It said, simply, “Mom, will you please snuggle with me? Because I love you.” At the time, I was probably too busy with something or other and didn’t get the chance. Or more likely, I wouldn’t make the time. When I saw that note, I was reminded of how precious my children are. Their needs, so insistent now, are so much more important than all the things that keep me so busy. The gentle nudges are their way of getting my attention. Just like the dog with her pushy nose and endless itches.
Yet I do need my own time to refresh, or I’ll have a hard time meeting all those needs on a daily basis. I relish the time I spend with friends, time at MOPS, any little bit I can call my own. It is so important for us as moms to recharge ourselves, so we can keep on keeping on.
I admit, it’s a busy time in my life, being the mom to small children. But I love it. I love those two little faces, I love all the joy and laughs they bring. They are a lot of work, granted. And it’s never quiet at my house. But you know what? It will be quiet soon enough. For now, I think I’ll enjoy the nudges.
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