I don't enjoy my children.
Not like I wish I could.
My daughter was having a dance party while her dad cheered her on.
I was holding a bottle in the baby's mouth with one hand and rubbing my eyes with the other.
"Look at me! Look at me!" our toddler kept shouting. Like they do.
She eventually gave up on me. Like she does.
She was tired of giving each move more and more gusto, wasting her spirit on my expressionless eyes.
She set sights on her father and performed for him, her captive audience. While I felt like I was being held against my will.
We were so close to bedtime and the beginning of my second shift. I dropped the baby in the crib and clocked in.
Standing in the kitchen with a mountain of cups and crumbs. I thought to myself what a hard day it was, taking in the destruction of my home.
My husband moved through it with ease, fueled by their laughter.
We're in the same space, but we have different experiences.
I miss out on the joy.
My husband takes the kids to the park to give me a break. I miss the running and playing, I'm too tired from the diapers, snacks, and outfit changes to feel the sun on my face and see the joy on theirs.
He reads books and plays chase while I get dinner ready. They squeal in delight and it reaches my ears, but my fingers are busy filling the spaces on colorful plates. They're out of reach.
I can barely balance their meals, it's no wonder I can't find a balance in motherhood.
Taking care of my kids has kept me from enjoying them.
I'm burnt out from a job I'm always in.
Tomorrow I'll find the joy in meeting needs, "Mama, this snack is so good!" and I'll watch it unfold during the playdate I planned.
Time will give me space, the work will lessen, their independence will grow. And that is the best and worst part of motherhood.