This Parent is Broken: There Are Days When You Just Want to Return Them
I had a great idea for a blog post. It’s been circling around my head for a few days now. But just as I opened a new document and was about to type in the first word there was a knock on my home office door. It was our nanny.
“Hi, sorry to bother you but I have to go early today, I have a doctor’s appointment, remember?”
“Of course I remember,” I lied, “no problem. Go ahead, sorry I didn’t come out.”
As she left the office door open, I was staring at the blank page on my computer for a few seconds and then looked at the time. It was 2:40pm. The kids will wake up from a nap in a few minutes and then it’s my day with them. Alone. Until 7pm when they go to sleep.
I wanted so much to write a meaningful post about the connection of a gay dad to the one of his two children not biologically his, and maybe this will come up in the future. But right now I need to complain: after 4.5 hours with a couple of two year old boys, all of the energy has been sucked out of me. Where’s the wine bottle? I want to get drunk.
Sometimes I feel that I’m whining too much about how hard it is for me, while others put on the parent role as if it was a TV dinner. I’m just a gay guy who until 25 months ago lived a rather full life that mostly consisted of a quest to discover himself physically and psychologically. Yes, it’s true, Alex and I both wanted the kids, even though none of us had intended to give up his career for that, and none of us did. We knew that both of our families live at the other side of the world so there will be no free help. And we also knew that it would not be easy.
But there are days like today, when one minute you’re juggling clients and work and the next minute you draw shapes with a bunch of broken crayons on a little kids’ table and mediate over the sharing of toys. Not to mention the ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that.’ This is the age where they want things all the time just because they can, and they want you to cheer and applaud them for every step they take (in case you ever wonder where human beings’ thrill to how many Likes they got on their latest Facebook post comes from – THIS is where. Two years old). And when it’s two of them you have to cheer to one side and applaud to the other side, comfort on this side after a fall and criticize the other for doing something dangerous. Your brain is divided in two and keeps churning up attention on both sides until you feel the smoke coming out and suddenly all you want to do is go look at hot West Hollywood (non-parent) boys on Instagram for the rest of the evening and get all jealous because they get to go to the gym after work and meet friends for dinner and you are negotiating bath times and get food sprayed on your face and shirt because your kids just discovered how to do it.
Some would say that the ‘terrible twos’ are not called that for nothing, others would glide through it without even blinking. But sometimes I just miss the days when I had time to myself, you know?! When I could sit at the end of the day and reflect about things that happened today while eating a cucumber (Israelis will sit with a cucumber as a snack. My America husband thinks I’m insane) in order to learn more about myself, or develop one of my hobbies, or meet a friend for dinner, or talk with my husband, or catch up on “Access Hollywood” without having 22 episodes that haven’t been watched on my DVR.
I’m just tired. And it doesn’t end.
Don’t get me wrong, the kids are cute and all, and they’re growing really well, thank G-d, and they amaze us and make us laugh. But when it’s two against one it just drains you mentally. I honestly don’t know how (and even why) people do it. Is there something I’m missing?
This time I’m not giving tips. I’m looking to get some. How do you give your children attention for a long period of time and stay yourself?