When you're 11 and there is a drastic change in the way your life functions, you sit up and take note. You make sure everyone around you takes note. You make sure the entire hemisphere you live in knows your life has changed.
When you're 36 it's not that different. The entire free world (well, at least the entire Facebook and Blogging world that stumble into my corner of each) knows I've returned to work. They all know that my life has changed. They know that I've had to readjust my days and nights. They know my full plate is now heaped higher than I thought possible.
But somehow this entire process has been lost on my children. Mom's return to the work force has no place in their little worlds. They don't see that it changes anything in their lives.
They're dead wrong.
Mom is tired. Mom is spread thin like too little butter over too much bread. Mom is short on patience and time and sleep. Mom needs cooperation and peace and effort put forth by all 4 of her children.
What Mom does not need is a 5 year old who sings loudly, dances incessantly, and believes the living room furniture are pieces of an elaborate obstacle course surrounded by lava. She does not need an 8 year old constantly pestering about the Wii and how he never gets to play anything he wants to play or who can be found crying at the drop of a non-existent hat. Mom doesn't need a 9 year old who has suddenly decided to argue with her about every word out of her mouth while whining because he believes anyone speaking is making fun of him. And she really doesn't need an uber-bossy cheerleader yelling at her siblings over imagined slights or her parents over basic daily tasks.
In short, Mama needs a vacation from her children.