Thursday, September 15, 2011

But what if I can’t?

There are groceries all over the counter in the kitchen behind me, and zombie children watching tv to the right of me, no toilet paper in the kids bathroom, not to mention that pile of wet towels from last night that wants to go to therapy with me so they can tell me that “when” I don’t wash them, they “feel” stinky.

I am going to vent, and you know what? I don’t care who reads it, because I am not even a person right now. I am a caricature of every overwhelmed mom I have ever met, or seen on tv, or watched in a movie, or read about in a book.

When we were growing up, we were told our whole lives that we were special, different, one of a kind! I could be anything I wanted to be… and what I am today? Is EVERY SINGLE OTHER WOMAN IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD that wants her children to pick up their toys, put a dish in the sink, not put their shoes there, leave their sibling alone, stand by the cart in the grocery store, treat me like a person and not just a chair…

Alice makes this sound lately… you guys, it has a direct line to my emergency reactor hormone, or brain section, whatever, but it is this shrill, angry, loud sound that makes me want to dive under the bed and suck my thumb. Don’t worry, she only makes the sound about 30 or 40 times a day. Just enough to have me declared legally insane, but not enough to get me a note from my doctor to take a day off.

I am not a nice person right now. It makes me so sad when everyone in my house is finally asleep, and I spy on their peaceful sleeping faces and think of all the times I could have kissed them instead of shouted. If I was on a reality tv show, I would be the villain. I would be known my whole life for that time when I had two houses to manage, and taught my daughter, who learns to speak once in her life, that the way we speak to Russell is with exasperation and impatience.

Wow, writing that really hurt my feelings.

I know my kids deserve better. I am a good mom. I know there is a finish line for this particular part of the race I am running. I know I will get there, and soon I will be shouting less and laughing more. I know that I am not stressing my family out for something selfish or insignificant. Jon and I have chosen a path that requires a lot from us, because it will give us a lot back.

And I know I’m a good mom, because my life is FILLED with wonderful moms. Moms who have felt exactly like I do right now. Mom’s who work their butts off, who would make pioneer women proud even though we aren’t having babies in the back of wagons, but reading labels, making charts, voting in elections, mastering the internet, joining the PTA, working full time jobs, or working as full time moms, all while keeping relatively high standards for hygiene considering the fact that we aren’t even allowed to PEE without someone standing outside of the door saying “What doing, mommy? WHAT DOING?!”

Have I mentioned on this here blog that we are being sued by a bully? A BIG STUPID BULLY. I am watching the shine of every dime right now as we pinch pennies over this renovation, and this guy who damaged our property before we ever even owned it is trying to bully us into, not only having to pay someone else to fix the whole stupid mess, but still paying him an outrageous amount for the “work” he did messing it up in the first place.

It blows my mind that adults require children to sit in their chairs, say please, thank you, and sorry, to share, wait your turn, and clean up your own messes, and yet somehow our society is still filled with adults who missed any of those lessons. 

Or, the school lessons didn’t carry as much weight as the behaviors they learned from watching. That used to mean watching your own parents, family, community. Now it’s that and tv, movies, video games.

If our children are going to learn softness, patience, how to give an apology or accept one, they are going to learn that from us. If they are going to learn how to make technology work for them, instead of becoming slaves to it, we have to teach them that, too.

Maybe I will go and do that right now.

I have problems that are a privilege to have, I have children who give twice as much as they take, and friends who let me pitch a fit once in a while. If someone wants to come over and do my dishes, I think I could probably shut my trap.

Or cookies. In fact I will accept baked goods of any kind.

And thanks. If I had to write these feelings in a journal it would probably have thrown itself off a bridge when I was done.


(I like chocolate chip, but really, I’m not picky…)


Erin said...

You totally can!

I just got done looking online and found an adorable birch house that they would send with 9 cookies in it. Guess how much they wanted for overnight shipping? $32! And since the order would go out Friday, it wouldn't actually get there until Monday. Regular shipping was more than a week! So I love you and want you to know that I know that you can do anything, but I'm not gonna spend $50 on 9 cookies.

And as I'm leaving this comment, all I can see is that picture of Russell and Alice making their weirdo faces at me. I LOVE them and I LOVE you and you are going to get through this because you aren't like everyone else. You are a fighter and you don't give up when most would.

So yah. You so totally can.

Kings said...

I so totally had a day very similar to yours and I totally understand! I was the shouting, angry, negative mom yesterday, and I don't wanna be her! Things are so overwhelming sometimes that we take it out on the ones we most love. You will get through this! You are amazing! Loves!

Brookelyn said...

And somehow in the midst of all of this, you take the time to help your crying, pregnant, crazy, friend feel human again and like she's not alone on a desperate scary ride to becoming a mom.

The strength you have and give is what your children see. That is what they are learning. They are learning the communication skills needed to fight for the life they want and to enjoy the ride at the same time, because I know your kids. They're awesome and unhappy kids are not awesome like yours.

Thank you for being you. I couldn't live without you and there are a lot of people I could live without. So, you are definitely NOT like everyone else, even if you struggle with more than anyone's fair share of "everyday" struggles.

love you

Sharron said...

you can be a GREAT mom and still be allowed to be human and overwhelmed. i loved raising you People (most of the time!), but i remember when my high-powered friend Fay and I confessed something to eachother about our lives as overwhelmed moms/career humans. I confessed that when I regularly drove by Utah Valley Hospital I wished i was just sick enough to be checked in for a few days to watch tv, eat green jello and get taken care of. SHE confessed that every day when she drove home from work in SLC she would drive by the women's prison and wish she had committed a crime just barely bad enough to be locked up in a cell alone for awhile and get 3 meals a day served to her through the bars... All of her children and all of my children turned out ok anyway... this too shall pass, LOVE YOU

Tara said...

I know I'm a terrible friend to you because I secretly do a little fist pump when you write these rant-y posts that articulate exactly what the rest of us are thinking.

So, 1) sorry for being a bad friend, 2) you're awesome.