Maybe that’s a little extreme. Is it competition for my love or for my attention? Either way, it’s making this mama a little insane.
Here’s how our family looks.
Our 4 year old son.
Our toy poodle Emma.
Our big fat cat Josie.
Simple and small. We’re happy. But everybody loves Mommy. I’m not complaining. It’s just a little maddening at times.
Let’s start with Josie. I love my kitty but she hides for about 18 out of 24 hours in the day. And when she does come out, we’re all pretty much sleeping. Yes, I get to feed this cat and scoop her litter box and get pretty much nothing in return. Until Josie wants love.
You see, Josie is pretty much afraid of everyone in the house but me. Lately, Josie has decided that she wants more of my attention when she’s awake since she seems to be hiding more and more. The problem? She usually wants it around 4am as she prances around the bed mewing her arrival. She purrs at the site of me and nudges me until I’m half-awake. I’ve actually gotten pretty good and what I like to call “sleep petting.” I give her some pets and scratches while I’m still in a semi-conscious state. Then I roll over, she gets frightened, jumps off the bed and I can go back to sleep.
Emma is a dog. She’s a cute little toy poodle with the energy of a wet noodle. Poor Emma worked for years at a puppy mill as a breeding machine. I got her after her teeth had already rotted and she had learned to mistrust pretty much every human being out there, especially men. It’s been 2 years and she’s come a long way but it’s pretty clear. She’s my dog. I’m the one that has to feed her, walk her, groom her, bathe her, and yes, pet her. She’ll let my son rough her up a bit but she’s still pretty convinced that my husband is the devil.
Then there’s my son. I love, love, love me some Evan. He’s fun, funny, full of energy, clever, talkative, and he loves his Mommy. Yesterday, I was just having a rough afternoon. I just needed a few minutes of quiet time so I went upstairs to the bedroom to maybe play a little Angry Birds. I was soon followed by Evan who was also followed by my husband. My first instinct was to scream to everyone to just give me 5 minutes of peace and quiet!
And then guess what happened? Evan came up on the bed and just hugged me. Not an annoying hug. Just an “I love you, Mommy” hug without him even saying the words. Within a few moments, I was crying but I explained they were happy tears. He was happy that I was happy, even if it meant tears. My husband joined us and we all decided we should spend every afternoon as a family just laying on the bed and hugging each other.
Then he went to play video games.
Last week, my husband was out of town and it was just Evan and I for the week. As he gets older, our relationship changes but the bond doesn’t. Our special time together last week I think helped us rediscover that bond. We laughed. We stayed up late. We hung out in the car eating fast food while people looked out our house and then never made an offer.
And then, my husband returned.
(cue dramatic music here)
His first night back, we decided to let Evan sleep in our room with us (he had been sleeping in my bed while Daddy was out of town). We thought it might be a nice transition. And it was. Until the morning came.
He awoke, took one look at Daddy, and knew his competition for Mommy was back in town. They exchanged a few grumpy remarks and Evan ran back to his room. When I went in to see why he was really upset, he said, “I wish I had 2 Mommys. One that could sleep in there and one that could sleep in here.”
Did that statement just break your heart? Because it broke my heart.
I try to scoop him up with as much love and attention as I can. I try my best not to neglect my husband. We laugh when Evan insists on calling me his wife. Yesterday, he made up a game. He told Daddy, whoever kisses Mommy first gets to have her as a wife. They laughed and it was cute.
It’s hard to be pulled in a million different directions. I want to give equal time to everyone but I know that Evan gets a little bit more of my time and attention. I know that someday he probably will choose someone else as his wife. That’s okay. It’s probably more legal. Until then, I try to maintain the balance and hope the competitive spirit gives me a little break once in a while.