The Grownup Toddler

Warning, this post is a whiny, epic vent. I’m ok with that. I’ve had a good stretch recently. That said, I also know it’s pretty pathetic. It is what it is. #shrug

I am selfish. Yeah, I can admit it. Don’t let all this adoption stuff about opening my home and heart fool you. I. am. Selfish. And I’m really struggling with both the selfishness and the guilt I’m saddling myself with for being so damn selfish. Despite the fact that I love my kid and my new life with her, I desperately miss my old, single, no kid having life. I have no regrets, but the truth of the matter is that today I’m not feeling it.

There I said it or typed it.

As Hope and I continue to settle into our life together, I can’t help but wrestle with the things I don’t want to share with her. I am actually hoarding parts of my life.

There are certain foods that I hide from her. I’ll even admit to just never saying that they are in the house—probably because I stash them under the seat of my car. I bought my favorite gourmet popcorn today. I’m leaving it at the office because I don’t want to have to share it. I would share it if I took it home. There’s a part of me that would be happy to share it. But I’m equally satiated just leaving it on my desk in my office so I don’t have to share it. I also hate sharing my gum with her. I order a very specific type of gum in bulk from Amazon with regular frequency (don’t judge me, it’s my thing!). I don’t like other gums. I don’t ask to bum other gum off of folks. I get my gum in large quantities so I always have my favorite stress manager. I just want to take my Extra Sugar-Free Bubble Gum and shove it in my mouth. My mouth. I buy Hope her own gum, but she wants my gum. Why the heck does she have to have *my* gum?

I do not want to share my gum. Yes, I am selfish and I am petty.

I am glad she thinks my homemade cookies are too sweet; I do not have to share them with her and I can enjoy them late at night with wine—not good for my waistline, but whatever.

I find myself struggling to share space sometimes. I want to watch something only for adults on the big TV during hours other than 11pm-5:30am. Of course Hope always wants to watch her shows on the big TV. This morning, she stood so close to me while I was buzzing around the kitchen that I wondered whether we were sharing shoes and underwear, I just had to stop and say get out of my way. The kitchen is mine.

I want to have Lucky Charms for dinner, with a rum and coke, and a giant piece of chocolate cake for dessert. But I can’t. I can’t because to do so would require me to snarf/imbibe all of it on a stool in my walk in closet, in the dark. Hiding. The side eye that Hope would serve me for my dinner of choice would shame me into eating broccoli without any seasoning at all…probably for a week.

I long to be selfish with my time again.  No, I don’t want to watch another Bruno Mars concert clip on YouTube. I don’t want to do hair—not even my own—I can probably stretch my afro puff another day. I don’t feel like walking The Furry One, especially since right now I have to carry him because he’s so wobbly. I just want to sit and watch this Redbox movie without one single question being asked about why Noah is building this dang ark again and why didn’t all the animals kill each other in the boat. I do not want to rouse myself early to do parent ish in the morning—the routine paperwork is alarming. And despite my exuberant extroverted-ness, I do not want to talk before 7am. Ok, sometimes before 8am. Please stop talking to me.

I also do not want to share my stuff. “What’s that?” Hope asks. “Nothing,” I reply. It’s my new headphones, or a glass of koolaid (ok, that’s a lie, it’s really a shiraz), or a piece of chocolate that I surreptitiously snuck into the house or my new eye shadow or a new hair product that I’m trying out or a book I got from the library when we went yesterday—you got your own books, go on, go on sit down somewhere. Stopppppppppp [insert excessive whining here]!

I feel like a toddler who is walking around touching stuff going, “Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.” I know it’s wrong. I feel really guilty about it all. But I’d really like to not find smudge marks on the mirror, see the laundry sorted, and have her volunteer to make Velveeta shells and cheese for dinner, even though I think it tastes like plastic…Yeah, not going to happen.

I am acutely aware that Hope has done not one thing wrong. Nothing at all. She’s just fine and acting age appropriate and everything. I really am the toddler in this relationship. Sigh.

There’s not a day that I don’t feel at least a little passing fancy of selfishness. I’ve gotten better at admitting it and letting it go and float on by as I choose to sacrifice bits and pieces of my life for Hope. It is worth it, but today I’m not feeling it one bit. I need to be like ComplicatedMelodi and “take to my bed” with my wine and cookies and some fancy cheese and Triscuits. I will spread them on my comforter and scream—Mine! Then I’ll close the door to the world.

Sigh. But I won’t do that. It’s soft taco night, and that is one of Hope’s favorite meals. I won’t disappoint her. So I’ll put my big girl undies on and be a grown up. Sigh.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

12 responses to “The Grownup Toddler

  • Anonymous

    Just based on comments my mom has made to me (“No matter what I give you, you want what’s on my plate!”), I think all moms feel this way. It’s not selfish. As I got older my mom and I would occasionally break the rules together i.e. stay up super late eating chips and salsa and watching a movie and those are some of my best memories. I think Carolyn Hax said something once like, “The older your kids get, the less the harmful consequences of bending the rules and the better the rewards” or something like that, and I definitely think it’s true. My mom’s attitude was always like, if it doesn’t cause permanent damage, we can do it once in a while. Chocolate cake for dinner once in a while never killed anyone – that’s why you allow yourself to do it every now and then – and so I am sure there will come a time when you can Hope can indulge together.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I used to love reading Carolyn Hax–I might have to get back to reading her columns. It’s not so much I have a problem with bending the rules–I don’t. I want to eat my Lucky Charms, cake and grown up bevie by myself, in peace, with no questions or commentary. I make a point to break some rules with Hope sometimes, but really, I just have to find the balance with a bit me time so that I can be a better, healthier parent. Thanks for reading and the reminder about Carolyn Hax!

  • momto3sugars

    You are so honest! Love that about your blog! We all feel this way sometimes! I hate to share my iPad with the kids! It is full of their games and I just want to read! Ha ha!

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      It’s interesting–parenting just requires that you pour so much of yourself into the activity that sometimes it feels like nothing is left, right? For me that sends me to the other end of the sharing continuum–I don’t want to share at all. Nothing, nada. She has her own tablet because i refuse to share mine. Nope! 🙂 Good to know that this is normal.

      There was a great complementary blog on ScaryMommy yesterday that oddly also resonated with me: Motherhood: The Big F*ck You (pardon the language). Just helped me realize that getting tapped out every now and again is normal. I still feel guilty though.

  • Jackie

    I feel this too. You’re not selfish!

  • susan9604

    You have to do it. You have to create a grown up world for yourself. Not only for your own selfish sake but also because your child’s good development depends on it. I seriously could go on for hours about this subject but I’m not! Instead I am going to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog and thanks for putting it out there. And I am going to tell you that i found this funny little blog that I want to share with you so you can go be a bear too 🙂 (and you can share it or not, no judgement lol)

  • apathchosenforme

    I am stuggling with this lately and especially today my indulgence is twix ice cream bars and I dont want to share… Then i have my red solo cup of wine that i call mommys juice. the struggle is real with a two yeat old who always asks questions.

  • AdoptiveNYMomma

    I hear you and some days I join you!! No need to worry I agree it is natural.

  • canderson186

    I used to wait until my foster sons went to bed before I would indulge in dessert. Otherwise I’d get one bite before the vultures descended. You’re not alone!

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