I Was More Fun as a Babysitter Than I Am as Mom of Five

Parenting is exhausting and one mom of five comes to terms with the fact that she may not always be full of energy, but she will always be the best mom possible. 
Courtesy of Lindsey DeAngelis

I was once a fantastic babysitter. The kind with boundless energy who whipped up games of “Simon says” anywhere, anytime. Parents booked me for everything from errands to birthday parties because I was always fun and I never got tired. I couldn’t wait to have my own kids; I knew I’d be Mom-of-the-Year. And then I had five children of my own. All girls.

Today I find myself with them in the orthodontist’s waiting room while the oldest gets her braces. They argue about seating arrangements. I hand out phones, iPads, and chocolates. I collapse into a seat and take a moment before someone’s screen stops working.

Why no “Simon says” or flash cards? Where is that parent? I have no idea. I only know that I am exhausted. The energy it took just to get to this point emptied my tank. I need silence and caffeine. The girls become quiet, and I am sadly happy.

That night I actually make it to bathtime. Feeling guilty about earlier, I find the energy to lead my speedy version of “Simon says.” I receive giggles from them all. Have they forgiven me for ignoring them and bribing them with chocolate? I consider our evening game a victory, and surely there will be more.

I truly thought I’d be that babysitter version of myself as a mom. I realize now that those moms hired me because moms don’t always have a song and a dance available. I won’t be able to give my children a show every day, but I still think there is a fun mom inside me. Perhaps not Mom-of-the-Year. Maybe an occasional Mom-of-the-Day.

This article originally appeared in Parents Magazine as 'The Energizer Bunny Is Tired.'


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