Monday, August 17, 2009

i need to remember this

First of all, if you're looking for teh funneh, please see yesterday's entry here and exult that your dinner was better than mine, even if you ate freezer-burned ice cream and Krystal sliders.

Secondly, I'm about to have a bit of a rant/complaint/pity party, so if you're the sort of person who doesn't need more negativity in their life, please don't read this entry. I get it-- I'm a complainer, and it gets annoying. I'm trying to work on it, but today's not the day for self improvement.

If, however, you are in the sticky and anxious throes of motherhood and could use some fellow feeling, please read on.

Because I need to remember this.

Motherhood is wonderful, resplendent, joyous, full of beauty and wonder and awe and happiness and pride and amazement and warm fuzzies in happy koala bear rainbow land where marshmallows and fifty-dollar-bills rain from the sky. And I'm thankful to be a mother, and I'm grateful to have such healthy, happy, unblemished children. I'm also actively appreciative of my awesome husband, strong marriage, supportive family, amazing house, and generally kickass life.

But.

When your kids are small, motherhood is also a lot like a heavy blanket. You're pretty sure you want it, you get it, you get wrapped up in it and go to sleep happy and warm. And then you wake up covered in sweat and feeling suffocated with a heat rash on your thighs, but you can't kick the blanket off. You can't even stick a foot out. You're just stuck with it, stuck under a heavy blanket.

Mothering two small children is HARD. It's so much harder than I thought it would be, so much harder than the books ever described. I see my friends with only one child right now, and I am jealous. Seriously, I get jealous when I think of how easy it would be to just have the Biscuit, to get to spend all this time focusing on her and doing fun things with her and being a better mother to her. I feel guilty because t.rex is so demanding, physically and emotionally, and I can't just spend all day at the playground or movie theater, doing things that are fun and easy with a 3-year-old but impossible with a 9-month-old strapped to my chest.

In fact, if t.rex wasn't so cute and affable and generally loveable, I would probably regret having two kids. I don't think I'm very good at mothering them both. I meet all their needs, but I never feel like there is enough of me to go around. When we're at home and we don't have plans, I can't freakin' stand myself. I'm anxious, petty, controlling, resentful, and trapped in mind-boggling and useless inertia. My house is a pit. I'm in mismatched pajamas, covered in sweat, with my hair in a bun and wearing smudged glasses. My kitchen is a wreck from failed dinner last night. There are spilled grits everywhere and stuck to my feet.

And I don't care.

I finally got my teething, growth-spurting, sniffling baby down to nap. And then he woke up and cried, so I ground my teeth and stuck out my jaw and stubbornly walked back upstairs to nurse him back to sleep again, reading Middlemarch over his head and wishing I could take a nap and/or run away to Paris. Then, instead of spending quality time with the Biscuit, I put Aladdin in the VCR for her and came downstairs to negatively vent my dissatisfaction with myself onto my blog for reasons that I don't really understand. And I hate that. It makes me dislike myself.

So why am I doing it? Maybe because I read this or this or this and thought, HOLY CRAP, THAT'S ME, I'M NOT ALONE, THIS REALLY DOES SUCK.

And part of it is that one day, I'm probably going to think, "Aw, let's have another baby!", and I want Dr. Krog to march me over to my laptop and show me this post and say, "Do you really want that? Do you want to lose yourself for two years, never get enough sleep, pile on more guilt, gain weight, and generally feel like you're nothing but a vessel, serf and a vending machine?"

And I'd be like, "No, let's get a puppy."

I have this horrible and/or wonderful gift/flaw. I forget how bad things were. All the horrible things that have happened to me in my life-- I just forget. There weren't a lot of horrible things, not compared to some folks, but there have been instances of depression, abuse, stalking. I was suicidal, at one point, but I remember that like it was a chapter from The Awakening, like it was someone else's story. Right now, I'm actually pretty happy on a moment-to-moment basis. But I need to remember how hard this time is for me, how hard it is for me to give and give, to sacrifice myself and my time and my needs.

And I know that it's only a phase, that it's hardest right now, with a toddler and an infant. I know that things will change, even when Biscuit's school starts in a few weeks and gives me some breathing room. I know that siblings are a gift to each other. But it doesn't change how I feel right now, stuck to this couch with inertia, in tears. There are so many things I want to do, and I can't do any of them. I don't feel like myself. I desperately need more than the 4 hours of sleep I got last night. And I need to get the grits off my feet.

I don't know if I'll post this, or if I'll post it and redact it. I don't know which would be worse: getting comments with annoying, "suck it up" flack or comments with heartfelt pity and encouragement. I just know that I need to get it out. Like when I'm drunk, and I know that as horrible as it is to puke, I'll feel so much better after I puke, so I go to the bathroom and stick my finger down my throat until I'm empty. That hasn't happened in-- what? five years? But I know that there is a time to purge and move on.

Life is good. Now is hard. I need to remember this.

15 comments:

Virginia Valerie said...

don't erase your post! And thanks for the candor.

If it does help you feel better about not paying enough attention to the biscuit, I thank my parents' lack of attention for the wonderful sense of independence i now have and self confidence in my ability to do things and figure out things on my own. did that help? Prolly not...

Cupcakes and margaritas?
Love you Honey!

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

1. Thanks to Val, Dr. Krog, and Ericka for making me feel a lot better.

2. I appear to be Australian, in that I get depressed every summer instead of every winter. I just checked through my blog, and I was depressed this time last year, too. I need to be more aware of that.

3. Screw it, man. I'm getting out of the house.

Jennifer said...

I totally get it. It is hard to put the feelings into words. Lots of guilt for even voicing it and for that reason I have trouble talking about it. It does help to know that others do feel the same way - sometimes I see moms that seem to handle 2 or more kids so well and I am jealous and wonder if I'm the only one in the world who thinks it is so hard. Anyway, two kids threw me off big time and I have felt that same 1 child envy and how I could be a better mother if I just had one etc. I think it gets easier eventually and gradually to where one day you'll forget what it was like and actually think that you miss these days (but teleport yourself back to them and how much would you really?). Let's get together for another park playdate soon!

roseaeron said...

I wish I had had this blog to read when I was going through this. I really felt so horrible about myself all the time. I had so much guilt. Now I realize how tired I was and overwhelmed, and that everyone goes through this. At the time it was awful. It does get better though. Well, actually, it becomes different, but that may be enough. :-) Keep you chin up!

faemom said...

*hugs* We ALL have days like that. It's fine to vent.

Ash said...

I feel like you do most days, and I only have ONE teething, growth-spurting baby.

laterg8r said...

totally get it - i have 3 (8mths, 3 and 4 years old)

Cleo's Nina said...

i hope your turkey sammich & jump on the trampoline helped, little one. I have such strong feelings of helplessness & guilt that I want to save you all the time. Your feelings are certainly validated...3 hours with them was rough for me! Never forget what a strong, amazing and fantastic woman you are. It will be OK.
luv
mom

MamaBear said...

You are so not alone in how you feel D. We've all been through it in one way or another. It's hard being a mommy, in some ways I think harder than being a daddy. Our kids depend on us in a way that is separate from their pops! You are doing a great job with the biscuit and trex and they will be no worse for the wear.

Caroline D. said...

SAME HERE.

M family said...

I guess your post really impacted me last night, hitting home with my own life and feelings, that I was dreaming about us living together in one big house. As with most dreams I already forgot most details, but I remember that you were getting ready to go out on town in a light purple tube top! So, see, life can be worse :)

Motherhood Uncensored said...

Now IS hard. And it's hard to remember that it won't be as hard when you're not wiping butts and putting on shoes and buckling them in and out of cars and making snacks 400 hours a day.

And I know I'll miss it. I already miss parts of it.

But damn. NOW IS HARD.

Motherhood Uncensored said...

Damn. Did my comment get eaten?

Well, I'll paraphrase.

YES.

Sybil said...

I humbly suggest that your last line be re-written to say "Life is good. Now is hard. IT WILL GET BETTER. I need to remember this."

Hang in there mama!

veganf said...

I think you've well articulated how difficult and lonely it sometimes feels to be a mother of young children. Most of us reach this mindset throughout the journey. It comes and goes. Recognizing it is key IMO to accepting the role you've been dealt for this portion of your life. I try to find my Zen and let stuff slide off my back, knowing I'll get to do something for ME in I dunno, 10 years or so? LOL