Room to breathe: Chicago mom wants more space

I am not a hugger.

I briefly was. In high school and college. You know, back in the stone ages (the 90’s) when everyone seemed to hug hello and goodbye. I blame “Friends.” The TV show, not people. Well, well the people too! The longer I was working with people, the less of a hugger I became. Now I’m a parent and, well, I would pay to go 24 hours without being touched.

My husband and my kids are all huggers, touchers and climb-on-your-lap-and-get-in-your-face-ers (the kids, not my husband). Unless I intend to become the 700 pound women, there is just not enough mom, or lap, to go around. For the last week and a half, one or the other toddler has been sick. Which meant someone was needing to be held all the livelong day.

I generally try to relish in these moments. Sink into them and remember that they will only be this little and this needy for a short amount of time. It doesn’t always work. On this particular day it wasn’t working. By 10:30 a.m. I was ready to run screaming for the hills or punch my fist through a wall. But since I have 100-year-old plaster walls and would never harm my children by leaving them alone, I did the next best thing. I hid in my basement and let the smallest toddler tear about my kitchen. He was so thrilled to be able to empty the cabinets and the box of sandwich bags and I had enough peace to scroll Facebook and take some long deep breaths. That was enough to get me through to nap time when I could work out and shower without anyone touching me.

The adjustment to four kids has thrown me off more than I thought it would. Our house seems to have instantly shrunk to nowhere near big enough. I feel constantly suffocated and behind. I’m sure the extended winter and inability to go outside has a little to do with it to. I just need to keep breathing and keep reminding myself that this is just a phase. Bad days don’t make me a bad mom, and one day my children will want to sit somewhere other than on my head.

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