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Tug of War – Mommy vs Mommy

It’s 8:30pm. I’m lying with my five year-old at bedtime. After a few minutes of snuggling, I try to leave, but he begs, “One more minute!” So I stay a minute more, growing restless. Again, I kiss him goodnight, and he pleads for more time. I leave, but five minutes later, I return for one more minute.

It’s 9:15pm. My 8 year-old wants tickle back, which I do, but then he wants longer, which I do, but when he whines for more, I kiss his head, and say, “That’s it babe, time for bed.” Immediately he squeals his offense and huddles under his blanket to ward off any of my gentle advances for a good night. I sigh, pat his blanketed back and leave. Five minutes later I return for one last minute of tickles.

It’s 9:45pm. My 11 year-old in bed declares he’s starving.

“Mommy has closed up shop for the night.” I say firmly.

“But I’m hungry,” he whines.

“Baby, I asked you an hour ago.” I whine.

He looks down at his belly and gives me a cock-eyed grin. “It’s rumbling, mommy.”

I go down and cut him an apple.

Finally, I get to the couch where my husband rests comfortably, baseball on the TV, laptop on the lap. I sit my tired ass down and begin to speak, probably for the first time of the day to my husband, but we’re interrupted by a small voice from upstairs.

“Mama.” We hear, and both roll our eyes.

“Mommy’s busy!” My husband calls up. “Go to sleep.”

It’s quiet for a minute, but then we hear it again. “Mama.”

“Go on,” my husband says, as annoyed by their constant need of me as my babying, “You know you have to.”

I take a deep breath. He’s right. There’s no way I can ignore him, even though I really want to. I race upstairs and into the room calling Mama. Tonight it’s my 11 year-old but it could have easily been any of them.

“One more hug.” He says, sleepily, and I melt into his warm body for a sweet moment.

I leave and head back downstairs, exhausted from the constant push and pull, both physically and emotionally. I wonder why I can’t stick to my guns without shooting myself in the foot? Why I must always soften any tough talk with a batch of fresh cookies? I am a jumble of contradictions and the biggest one is that I often complain that I’m not everyone’s bitch, when clearly I willingly am.

“I could really use some pretzels.” My husband hints, not at all subtly.


He lifts his brows to give me a pleading, goofy look, not so unlike his son’s.

“Arrgh! Get it yourself!” I yell as I make my way to the kitchen, grab the bag from the closet, stomp back into the living room and toss them at his chest.

“Thank you.” I hear as I head upstairs, hoping not to feel another tug at my heart to do anything for anyone. This rope is going to bed, before it strangles someone.

rope 2

Linking up with YW, then taking a couple of weeks off.

Can you tell I need them? 😉

See youuuuu in Septemberrrrr….  xo

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

43 responses »

  1. The rope is pretzel twisted, no? You are a softie like that crappy ice cram at the Chinese buffets, but I don’t think it spoils boys too much.

    • i kind of made it look that way.. i feel like a pretzel sometimes. i hope i’m not screwing them for their future wives.. can’t worry bout that! 😉

      • eleanorjanebirdy

        Can and should! For their own sakes and well as any future wives, I do hope you’re teaching them life skills like washing, grocery shopping, cooking, handling money etc. (in a gradual and age-approriate way).

      • i’m trying… right now, i’m happy if i can get them to wash themselves and not try to sneak as many junk food items in the cart at the supermarket. it’s a process. we’re working on it. btw, york looked lovely!

  2. ack so much love though. so much love. 🙂

  3. Sometimes I wonder whether I’ll be able to be tough, or if I’ll just have to give in. It’s definitely a tug-of-war, but honestly? I think you’re winning.

  4. Here’s the trick: Read to them when you put them to bed, but as you read make your speech progressively more monotone, softer and slower. It hypnotizes them.

    • i wish that worked. they love me hanging out with them at bedtime, but that’s kind of, exactly the time, i want them to sleep! still, i’m going to definitely try that tonight!!

  5. Awh sweet boys! It is hard to ignore cries for mom. If my daughter tells me she’s not sleepy, I let her look at books by herself on her room.

    Yeah I don’t like waiting on my husband after the kids go to bed. It os nice to just take care of yourself after being pulled on all day.

  6. nataliedeyoung

    I learn so much about being a mama from you… 😉
    Enjoy your time away! We’ll miss you.

  7. Its so hard to just walk away or say no isn’t it? I have difficulty with that all the time…Enjoy your much needed time off, I know I needed mine ((HUGS))

  8. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me

    I am never sure if mine have me where they want me or vice versa. I just know that the requests dwindle, so how can we say no to the simple ones. My rope looks much more frayed I think. You are lovely! 😉

  9. OMg, it’s so hard to not go when they call for me. I get this totally. I’ll miss you when you’re gone!

  10. I always think, “One day they won’t want me anymore!” But still they do. 😉 Nicely done. This was great.

  11. I too try to remember that they are not always going to want me, but some days I really wish I didn’t feel so pretzel like myself! Great piece!!

  12. The kids, yeah I get it. But the hubs? Can get his own damn pretzels!! Enjoy every minute of the hugs and cries out for mommy. It will end all too soon. Don’t feel bad for wanting to be wanted.

    You definitely deserve your time off! Enjoy.

  13. Good for you for taking a break! I’m constantly impressed at how many things you juggle at once. At least you know your kids really love and appreciate you =)

  14. 5, 8, and 11! I think you’re going to be at this for a little while yet. Or, if the pretzels are any indication……..forever! I think you may need to write yourself up a chore list and get those kids too tired to do anything but sleep, when it comes to bedtime.

    Not speaking from any sort of experience here though, I was a pretty big softie too. Without the fresh baked cookies. 🙂

  15. So lovely, so loving! 🙂 Over here in my house, I’m the one puppy dog eyeing for pretzels and grumbling in the tummy after bed time… so speaking as the person who needs so much, to all the people out there who DO so much… thank you. 🙂

  16. Oh my goodness, do I hear you on this one! My son is afraid of the dark, so I stand with him until he’s asleep. I don’t want to do it anymore (OK, I sort of do), but not doing it creates the sort of frustration and chaotic bedtime that I don’t want. Am I babying? Am I doing what’s needed? I have no clue. I think in the end the kids will see they were loved, and for me at least, that’s what matters. Enjoy your break!

  17. I’m right there with you. I always attend to my kids if they’re up in the night. Which is why I’m a total zombie today. One of the twins was up at 2, 3, 4, & 5. ZZzzzzz….

    I love tucking them in — I love a sleepy-sweet kid and the wonderful and awesome way they say good night to me. But I don’t love the, “Mom! Just one more drink!” and “Mom! I’m still hungry!” and “Mom! I can’t find my pajamas!”

    I have a rule for the older kids — if it is something other than blood, vomit or fire, they need to stay in their rooms and try to sleep. Most of the time they can accomplish that. But some nights? They hear me loading the dishwasher and think there’s someone breaking in. Or I accidentally knock the broom over and they think I’m hurt and dying on the floor. Most nights I put each of them to bed twice, LOL!

    I’ll miss you the next couple of weeks, darlin’!

    • same. i love the sleepy hugs but after a bit, usually because i get them to bed too late, i’m done and ready to extract myself and when they need more, i’m not as patient as i pretend to be. they never leave their beds though, so i guess that’s something.
      thanks. i’m sneaking a check in. 😉

  18. That’s a fantastic last line! You’re a wonderful Mama. It’s hard to resist the tug when our families need us.

  19. I figure there will come a time when they don’t want or need me so I try to be there for the here and now.

  20. I’m impressed by your patience. I would have snapped into, “MOMMY NEEDS ALONE TIME BECAUSE MOMMY IS NOT THE BUTLER!” mode about half way through the evening.

  21. Yeah, Moms get everything. For everyone. All. The. Time. I love that your husband asked. 🙂 Enjoy the time off!

  22. Much-deserved time off!! Agree with Larks. My response to hubby would have been a lot less nice. 😛 You’re my hero.

  23. I’m like putty, too. On the one hand, I don’t want to cave into every little request. On the other, I think . . . “But, but, my baby’s hungry.” And, when I say “baby,” I’m not referring to my man child.

  24. Pingback: Sunday Jumble Spoiler – 09/14/14 | Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

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