Grow Up Mom

Rushing out of the house, grabbing coats and hats as we dart to the car that has been sitting cold in the bitter winter air but there is no time to stop and warm the car up because we are running late again. We are perpetually running late for our engagements. We are poorly dressed and I am haphazardly tugging hats onto the refusing children through protests and squirms. “But it’ll keep you warm, you need to be warm!” What kind of mother runs out wildly in frigid air when her children aren’t even dressed?

The same kind of woman who rolls out of bed in the morning and says, “OH, THIS SHIT AGAIN?”

I’m not going to go down that path of defense with you, we know each other better than to have to say “I love my kids, but…” of course I love my kids, you love your kids, they are ours, but that is not to say that the job of caring for them isn’t sometimes tedious and frustrating in a way that makes you pull your hair from your follicles while tears stream down your face, and you bury your head in your hands as you bend over the kitchen counter wishing you had bought at least four more bottles of wine. The kids have taken every opportunity to act like potential super villains and I may as well just be the banged up Metropolis. They’re running, screaming, fighting over toys. Toys mind you, not life, not death, not cuts scrapes or bruises. No serious infractions or injuries to anybody’s health. Toys. And if there is one thing I’ve run out of patience for, it’s arguing over stupid, commercial plastic shit that we bought at Target on one of my desperate trips to just get the hell out of the house.

I blamed winter, I blamed pregnancy, then I blamed the baby. I blamed the blahs. I blamed the kids. The one honest to goodness thing I was never willing to face was myself. What needs were not being met for me? Why was I constantly shuffling my kids out of their house to go shopping or find a play date? Because I need adult human interaction mostly, it’s not that Target sells the best yoga pants ever and I love them so much that I could just hardly stand the thought of spending a day not looking at them sitting on the same rack. Well, that part might be at least seventy-five percent true.

I surely, stubbornly was not willing to accept that I couldn’t stand being by myself. I needed comradery in a constant and desperate kind of way. I needed another grown woman in my life to sit across from me and just talk. Talk about how much they loved the Bush administration for all I care, but just a person who would connect with me and read my face and talk over the constant thrum of noise in my house. Where is my Wisteria Lane?

I need fresh air and outings, but hell, I don’t need to be running away from my feelings and my own insecurities, Target doesn’t have the answers I need and I’m not going to find anything in the bottom of a Venti Soy Chai Latte but bigger love handles, and the pungent stank of douchiness that I even just asked someone making minimum wage to make that bullshit for me.

I’m coming around and digging my heels down as firmly as they will go. I’m not sure my husband can make money as fast as I can blow it up China’s ass and fill my house with more baubles. He shouldn’t have to be forced to support my unhappiness, and my unhappiness shouldn’t take us into financial ruin. I can’t outspend my problems any more than I can outrun them. I may not be able to convince any fellow moms to move in and sister wife with me on the compound (we can get a puppy ladies, c’mon!) but I can start taking responsibility for myself and stand up taller.

I won’t “should” all over the place and start to worry about the things I ought to be doing with my children just to create more anxiety that I am no doubt ill equipped to handle, but I am going to be kind of present for them and work my way out of feeling overwhelmed in just tiny baby steps. “Read a book with me mommy” won’t send me fleeing tomorrow and the fear of being stuck at home and bored with my kids won’t make me run in horror. I can stand up to those feelings and not stress drink Five Hundred calories of Salted Mocha. By mentally being here for my kids at least half of the time and only employing the distractions of shopping trips in the most dire of circumstances, I can save myself from crumbling under the weight of the life I’ve created for myself. No friends or money are going to dig me out and save my day. I had these kids, these are mine to raise and looking to other people to show me how or distract me from having to do it isn’t going to get it done.

Who gave me these kids to handle and raise and turn into adults when I myself am constantly trying to escape my inevitable ascent into adulthood, and when am I going to feel like I’m there yet?

10 thoughts on “Grow Up Mom

  1. Wow! Swap out your Soy Latte for a Caramel Macchiato and you are describing me. I had three boys in four years (no twins) and spent nearly a decade looking for the culprit. Excellent read and so dead on. It gets better but they still fight over ridiculous things (like oxygen and couch space) but they do want me less and less as the years roll by. Thank you for sharing your soul.

  2. I totally love this! Why? Because my little ones are now teens and I miss the days when I actually meant something to them -more than some quick cash, a ride to anywhere, or to get them some goddamn fast food! I can remember reading “I’ll love you Forever” to my 16 yr old son when it felt like he still loved me and I miss those days. At least when they were young and I was escaping into the bottles of Shirah as they were driving me batshit, they didn’t realize mommy was slurring her words! I am beginning to think that teenagers are the reason animals eat their young, they were saving themselves from the future they undoubtably knew would cause only heartbreak!

    1. Well that’s not good news for me, I was hoping my teenagers would still cuddle me but get their own god damn milk and wipe their own bums. I suppose there is no perfect world of perfect parenting and perfect circumstances.

  3. I’m a single mum to 2 girls. The oldest has just turned 2, the youngest is nearly 6 months. I didn’t get to sleep until 4am, the baby woke at 7 and when she’d finally gone back to sleep the oldest woke up. Since she’s been awake I’ve listened to her tell me that everything she lays her eyes on is “miiiinneee!” (Mostly when it isn’t) and the baby has pretty much constantly cried for no apparent reason other than to raise my anxiety levels I think. I’m tired, I’m in a rotten mood, I can’t listen to anymore crying or “mine” or Doc McFuckingStuffins anymore today! I called their father and told them he better come and get one of them, I don’t care which, just get one of them out of my sight so I can breathe and attempt to clean some of the mess that is my house and maybe sit down and have some silence for 5 minutes!
    Yes I love them but today is a write off and I wish it was over. Tomorrow will be better… Mostly because I’ll be in university and the kids will be in childcare but it will be better! Ha, glad it’s not just me who’s had enough sometimes!

    1. You really are having a hard time, just like me, it ebbs and flows. Some days are hard, fucking hard and sometimes it lasts for weeks. Sometimes motherhood is awesome for long stretches and you have your shit together. The struggle is staying afloat during it all. You are. You will.

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