Before I get all bloggy here, I have to set a couple of ground rules. I’m about to get pretty vulnerable, and I want to be very, very, very clear: I do not want sympathy. That is not the purpose of this post. So, you can put the violins away (unless you’re literally practicing your violin right now, in which case, don’t let me stop you). The reason I am sharing this is that I imagine that I am not the only one that feels this way. Maybe there are one or two other mothers in the world that feel this way, but it is really difficult to talk about without feeling like you are a) hosting a pity party for YOU, the guest of honor or b) being unappreciative of all you have been blessed with. While I can understand how this may sound like complaining, I assure you that's not the intention, it is simply making note of an episodic event in the life of a mother (this mother, to be exact). Usually, I tolerate anonymous comments with a tone of judgement or mocking (people are entitled to their opinion) - on this post however, it's not even worth it to post them because they will be deleted. I will not allow myself or anyone else to feel shamed for feeling the way I feel. Got it, cupcake?
With no further ado...
I have a confession to make. I don’t always love being a mom. Sometimes I don’t even like it. There is a whole ton of guilt that goes along with this feeling because God knows I’ve been through a whole lot in order to have kids that stick around here. Having lost one child to SIDS and another late in pregnancy, I cannot say that I value my children more than others, but I definitely value them differently with the heart of someone who has not only feared losing them, but experienced it. So, having the feeling of not loving and cherishing each moment with my kids, especially when I KNOW how fleeting they are, makes me feel… sad, angry, lonely, incompetent, lazy, self-centered… you can stop me any time. It’s a horrible feeling, but a real feeling. I LOVE my children, that is unwavering, but sometimes the act of being their mom isn’t exactly my pleasure.
I can go for months cruising along and enjoying (mostly) the natural chaos of my days (with the occasional hiccup). Even the really busy moments (when everyone needs something five minutes ago including myself, and usually what I need is 4 more arms, and an extra hour or two in the day) they can feel sort of humorous and once I am through them they feel like little victories. Then all of the sudden the grand emotion hits… Sometimes it can be directly attributed to something, (PMS, lack of sleep, Glee re-run), and other times I don’t know where it comes from. Sometimes I can feel it boiling up inside of me, and I can intervene (a solo lingering trip to Target aka Mommy’s Happy Place, a girls night out [this is where I give the Odd-Quad and my dance girls a loud shout], or a date with the hubby all seem to do the trick), and sometimes it feels like being rear-ended like a big ol’ Mack Truck that you never even saw coming.
Tuesday morning, it hit hard. Setting the stage: When you have three children, two of whom share everything (sleeping quarters, pacifiers, spoons, toys, each other’s hands, etc) bugs just get passed around like the sweet potatoes at the Thanksgiving table. So, when the stomach bug hit, it hit us hard. After a week of passing that around, we moved along to a colds and ear infections. By the time we were on the mend there, Minneapolis was hit with the second largest snowstorm in my lifetime. I was doing pretty well. Keeping a good attitude and plugging along with gusto, knowing that we’d come out on the other side some way or another. Until Tuesday morning, in the kitchen, over eggs. That’s when it occurred to me that this life that I wished for, this life that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl, this life that I thought would make me feel fulfilled and whole – is draining me. Even if I used all the snow that fell over the weekend here in the Land ‘O Lakes, I could not have built a snowball as big as the one forming in my head:
I have only been out of the house twice since Friday
I haven’t had a shower since Saturday
I am wearing the same clothes I had on yesterday
I can’t even eat hot food because everybody is screaming at me
Even if I wanted to go out I couldn’t because I don’t have a babysitter
Nor do I have the energy to look presentable
Plus I recently found out that I take a little more effort to be presentable than I once thought
I haven’t even had a haircut since the twins were conceived
Maybe if I took a nap… but I can’t nap and leave the kids unattended
But I swear I am going to run away from home if I have to ask the four year-old to stop “it” whatever “it” is one more time
But I can’t run away because all my clothes are dirty and I have to do laundry…
And on and on and on and on
You get the idea
And then, what can I do because I’ve been snowed in for 3 days, and it’s so cold outside that when the option of taking all the kids out in the cold and dropping them at “school” just to have an hour to myself and the option of keeping the very subjects of my temporary discontent in my midst all the live long day are equal evils?
See, it sounds like complaining. (I guess it is complaining.) As a rule, I can’t stand complaining, unless a plan is born from it. So far, my plan has been tears, because I can multitask with tears. Beyond that, I don’t know what my plan is… but I know I need one. The other night when we were out for a family dinner, we made casual conversation with a man who remarked on the fact that we had twins. He told us that he has five year-old twins. I think I must have spotted the Mack Truck putting on the gas for the eventful rear-ending right then because I said to him, “please don’t tell me about the hard parts, I don’t want to know.” His response, “you’re in the hard part.” I guess that’s the glimmer of hope that I need right now. It gets better. I know that this is what I signed up for. I think, though, when I signed up, I didn’t really realize how much of mySELF I would be signing away. I have grown so much more confident of who I am as a mother, but somehow lost touch with who I am as a person. I don’t even know what (if anything) I’m good at anymore, besides the fact that I change a mean diaper, and am a rock-star at microwaving hot-dogs (these are real world skillz). I hate to sound so hopeless, but I am being honest. Does this happen to everyone – and what do you do about it????? I need your advice, please, because I am paralyzed.
*Disclaimer: This moment will pass, it always does. I just thought… it’s easiest to capture the fluster when I am in it.